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What to do when someone dies

When someone dies, you will need to:

  • register their death within 5 days, unless a referral has been made to the coroner
  • make arrangements for their funeral
  • inform the government of their death - you can then use the Tell Us Once service to report the death to most government organisations in one go
  • check if you can get bereavement benefits and deal with your own benefits, pension and taxes
  • deal with their estate

You can find more information on about:

Death abroad 

If the death was abroad you must register it with the local authorities in the country where the person died. In many countries, you can also register a death with the UK authorities. You can’t use the Tell Us Once service for deaths abroad. 

If the person died from unnatural causes you will also need to notify a coroner in England. Ask for advice from the British consulate, high embassy or high commission in the country where the person died. 

To bring the body of the person who has died home, you must get:

  • a certified English translation of the death certificate
  • permission to remove the body from the coroner in the country where the person died 

When you have returned the body home, you’ll need to take the death certificate to the Register Office.  The registrar will give you a certificate so that the funeral can go ahead.

The coroner

In certain circumstances, a death is referred to the coroner for further investigation. 

You can find more information at the Black Country Coroners Service.

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