Regardless of the subject of your query, we will almost invariably be able to quickly put you in contact with the appropriate source of information or help. What follows however, is a list of the most common practical issues that need to be addressed following a bereavement:
Organisations to inform:
Car insurance company - if you are insured to drive the car under the deceased person's name, you immediately cease to be legally insured. Ask the insurance company to issue a temporary cover-note, pending permanent alteration to the policy or disposal of the vehicle.
Driving License - you should return the deceased's driving license to the D.V.L.A. Vehicle Registration Documents should also be returned to change the details of ownership if you are keeping the vehicle.
Home/contents insurer - to ensure cover continues where necessary.
The deceased's G.P./Doctor's surgery - if they are not already aware - so their records can be amended.
Hospital/Doctor's/Dentist's/optician's etc. appointments will need to be cancelled, and the deceased's name removed from their lists.
Social Services Department - If the deceased was receiving meals-on-wheels, home help, or day-centre care or had an appliance or piece of equipment issued by the Department.
Council Housing Department / Private landlord - if the person who has died was living in a Council house or alternatively in privately rented accommodation.
Local Council (Council tenants or private homeowners) - if the person who has died was receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit, and also to alter Council Tax payments
Social Security Office - you may be entitled to alteration to your pension, or bereavement benefit, etc. See also "Certificates the Registrar will issue" in previous section.
The Inland Revenue / Local Tax Office - if you know which Tax Office dealt with the deceased's tax affairs then you should contact that office. The address and tax reference may be among the deceased's papers, for instance on recent tax forms. If you do not know which Tax Office dealt with the deceased's tax affairs, then contact the Tax Office nearest to the deceased's home address. It will help if you can provide the deceased's National Insurance number, which can be found on the pension book or an old pay slip.
Any employer or trade union - there may be entitlement to pension or death benefit payments.
The deceased's bank(s) or building society(s) - accounts may need to be closed and any joint accounts will need to be amended.
Any company or personal pension provider.
Investments - Premium Bonds are not transferable. The Post Office will issue you with a form that needs to be sent to the Bonds and Stocks Office. For further advice on investments, stocks and shares etc. we suggest that you consult a financial advisor or accountant.
Credit Card companies - to cancel cards the deceased held.
Store Cards - customer loyalty / charge cards will need to be cancelled.
Gas, electricity, water, telephone, and cable/satellite television providers - to cancel accounts or change account holder details.
The Post Office - so that they can redirect the deceased person's mail to the person who will be responsible for the deceased's estate / affairs.
DOCUMENTS TO BE RETURNED:
Grief support / counselling.
In the majority of instances, with the support of family and/or friends, the process of recovery from bereavement often occurs naturally, albeit over a period of time. However, the forms grieving can take, and reactions to bereavement in general, are unique to each individual person.
If you feel that you would like further support at any level, we can put you in contact with suitable grief support groups/organizations or even help you to explore the possibility of professional bereavement counselling. Likewise, there are many organizations specializing in specific kinds of bereavement, e.g. the death of a child, bereavement through sudden or violent death, etc. Please ask us if you would like to know more. In addition to the help we can give you, if you feel that you are struggling to cope following bereavement, we would always strongly advise - particularly in the early stages - that you also consult your G.P. for advice and support.