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 https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/births-ceremonies-and-deaths/deaths/register-a-death
Worthing Registration Office
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
- 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
- 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
Tel: 01903 872678
The Downs Crematorium
Tel: 01273 572472
Tel: 01273 604020
Surrey and Sussex Crematorium
Tel: 01293 882345
Local Natural Burial Ground
Clayton Wood Natural Burial Ground
West Sussex BN6 9PD