If Someone Dies . . .

With so many experiencing loss this past year, predominately due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is hoped the information on this page is of some help to you at this very sad time.

Experiencing the loss of someone close to us through death is an inevitable part of life but that does not make it any easier when we experience it, even if the death was expected. If you are of religious belief, you or someone close to you will let your vicar know.

The Tell Us Once Service was set up by the Government in 2011 to make the notifying of a death far easier for those left behind. Surprisingly, many are unaware of this service. The service is Free to use.

  1. The first thing you must do is register the death.  This can be done online HERE or you can telephone the Dorset Registrar on 01305 225153. You will be given a unique reference number to use the Tell Us Once service online or by phone.
  2. Arrange the funeral.  Because of Covid-19, arrangements are different.  The funeral director, if you’re using one, will provide help and guidance about how this could affect you.
    There are several funeral directors in Dorset, A.J Wakely & Sons at 7 North Street in Beaminster are the most popular in this area.  Their telephone number is: 01308 862358.
  3. BEFORE YOU CONTACT Tell Us Once – You’ll need the following details of the person who died:
    • date of birth
    • National Insurance number
    • driving licence number
    • vehicle registration number
    • passport number

    You’ll also need:

    • details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting – for example State Pension
    • details of any local council services they were getting – for example Blue Badge
    • name, address, telephone number and the National Insurance number or date of birth of any surviving spouse or civil partner
    • name and address of their next of kin – if there is no surviving spouse or civil partner or their spouse or civil partner is not able to deal with their affairs
    • name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’
    • details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying in to

    Obviously, you need permission from any surviving spouse or civil partner, the next of kin, executor, administrator or anyone who was claiming joint benefits or entitlements with the person who died, before you give their details.

  4. Who do they notify?  Tell Us Once will notify:
    • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – to deal with personal tax (you need to contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
    • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – to cancel benefits and entitlements, for example Universal Credit or State Pension
    • Passport Office – to cancel a British passport
    • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – to cancel a licence and remove the person as the keeper of up to 5 vehicles (contact DVLA separately if you keep or sell a vehicle)
    • The Local Council – to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Support), a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
    • Veterans UK – to cancel Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments

    HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you about the tax, benefits and entitlements of the person who died.

    Tell Us Once will also contact some public sector pension schemes so that they cancel future pension payments. They’ll notify:

    • My Civil Service Pension
    • NHS Pension Scheme
    • Armed Forces Pension Scheme
    • Pension schemes for NHS staff, teachers, police and firefighters in Scotland
    • Local authority pension schemes that participate in Tell Us Once
      There’s a different process to update property records if the person who died owns land or property.
  5. Banks and other financial organisations: Contact the person’s bank or mortgage, pension or insurance providers to close or change the details of their accounts.

    If you have your unique reference number and all the necessary details, you are ready to start the Tell Us Once service. Click HERE.

You can download a Bereavement Checklist HERE.

If you’d like some advice on coping with grief and bereavement – please click HERE.