What To Do When Somebody Dies

At A.G. Morriss Funeral Service, you can be assured that my service to you is one that is personal, dignified and professional. If you find yourself needing the services of a funeral director, please call me on 01903 896776 for my immediate personal attention. I am available for you 24 hours a day.

I will give you advice on all matters relating to the funeral arrangements.

Important Initial Steps

As soon as possible and within the first 5 days you should do the following:

  • Notify the deceased’s GP (if the GP did not certify the cause of death)
  • Register the death and obtain official copies of the death certificate. You will need sufficient copies to send to various authorities.
  • When you attend to register the death you can use the ‘Tell us once’ service. This let’s you notify pensions, benefits, DVLA, passport office etc
  • Find their Will if they left one and contact the executor
  • Arrange the funeral (taking into account any instructions in the Will)

Registering a Death

If the death occurred in West Sussex, you can book an appointment to register at any of the Registration Offices. Please call 01243 642122 or go online

Worthing Registration Office
Portland House
Richmond Road
BN11 1HS

Whilst we will explain fully the procedure involved in registering a death, unfortunately we cannot do this for you. However, if you are alone or simply unsure about what to do, we can accompany you to the Registrar's office.

Registration should take place prior to the funeral. In the case of cremation, the death must be registered before the funeral can take place.

The duty to provide particulars to the Registrar rests principally with a relative of the deceased. If no relative is available then the duty may be performed by any person present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death took place or the person accepting responsibility for arranging the funeral


The procedure for registering a death is a straightforward question and answer interview conducted by the Registrar. The information required includes the following:

  • Confirmation of the date and place of death
  • The full name of the deceased (and the maiden name if the deceased was a married woman)
  • The date and place of birth of the deceased
  • The occupation of the deceased (and husband's name and occupation if the deceased was a married woman or widow)
  • The usual address of the deceased
  • If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse

In addition, the following documents should be taken to the registrar's office:-

  • If applicable, the medical certificate of the cause of death (normally issued by the deceased's doctor or by the hospital in which the death occurred)
  • The deceased's National Health Service medical card, if available
  • The deceased's birth certificate, if available
  • The deceased's marriage certificate (if appropriate)

In certain areas you may have to make an appointment with the Registrar, there is a charge for additional copies of the death certificate.

Local Authority and Government Contacts

Financial Contacts

  • Local authority if they paid council tax/received social services help
  • Department for Work and Pensions/Job Centre cancel any government benefit)
    Passport service (return passport
  • DVLA (return driving licence)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (Stop state pension)
  • Banks/building societies
  • Insurance companies
  • Any companies which the deceased had hire purchase, loan or rental agreements with
  • Pension providers
  • Mortgage provider
  • Credit card companies

Household and Utility Contacts

Arranging Probate

  • Gas and electric companies
  • Landlord if property is rented
  • Royal mail to re-direct postTV subscription companies
  • Broadband provider
  • Any agency providing home help
  • If there is no Will seek advice as to who can administer the estate.
  • There are various alternative ways to apply
    for probate and administer an estate.

Using a Solicitor

What Information Will a Solicitor Need?

Most people use a solicitor to apply for probate and administer an estate. The executor or the nearest relative can instruct a solicitor and the legal costs can be paid from the estate. These legal costs are a legitimate expense and any executor or administrator are able to do this.

As property values increase it is important to claim all of the available allowances so that Inheritance Tax is minimised. The addition of the Residence Nil Rate band in April 2017 has added another level of complexity to administering an estate.

Specialist solicitors are used to dealing with deceased estates and have relevant knowledge of the law and the tax implications.

If you choose to use a solicitor to administer
the estate you will need to take them:

  • Death certificate and copies
  • Financial information including, savings, assets, investments and debts
  • Any recent household bills
  • Title deeds to property or mortgage information
  • Will or, if no Will, a rough family tree
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • National insurance number

Local Crematoria

Worthing Crematorium
Horsham Road
West Sussex
BN14 0RG
Tel: 01903 872678

The Downs Crematorium
Bear Road
Tel: 01273 572472

Woodvale Crematorium
Lewes Road
Tel: 01273 604020

Surrey and Sussex Crematorium
Balcombe Road
West Sussex
RH10 3NQ
Tel: 01293 882345

Local Cemeteries

Durrington Cemetery
Findon Road
West Sussex
BN14 0AA

Findon Cemetery
Findon By-Pass,
West Sussex
BN14 0TR

Local Natural Burial Ground

Clayton Wood Natural Burial Ground
Brighton Road
West Sussex BN6 9PD

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