What Do I Do Next?
This can be a confusing time. If you have to organise the affairs of the deceased it is a good idea to make a simple check list for those days when you don’t know where to start or it seems that everything needs to be done at the same time.
Have a note of the Funeral Director's and Coroner's Officer's telephone numbers next to the phone. Keep a notepad near the phone. Do not try to do it all at once and don't be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.
Try not to let the involvement of the Coroner worry you. If there is to be an inquest then the Coroner's Officer will be able to keep you up to date with the progress of the inquiry.
Find out if the deceased made a will. If so, an executor will have been appointed. He/She will be able to deal with the affairs of the deceased.
Bereavement Payments and Allowances
Several types of payments are available to the bereaved. You may be entitled to a lump sum bereavement payment or an allowance. Click on the link to find out if you qualify for any of these.
Bereavement Payments and Allowances
If you are the executor, then in the weeks following a death you will need to deal with business affairs connected with the deceased.
In most cases members of the family deal with the estate of the deceased.
If there is to be an Inquest you will not receive a full Death Certificate until after the full Inquest.
You will need an Interim Death Certificate to show to the bank, building society, insurance company, pension provider, National Savings or any other body which needs official confirmation of the death.
Three copies of this are supplied to the next of kin once the Inquest has been opened. Do not send all 3 away – keep one copy in case you need to have certified copies made for other institutions.
Certified copies can be obtained from a solicitor.
You will need to show a copy of the death certificate to the bank, building society, insurance company, pension provider, National Savings or any other body which needs official confirmation of the death.
There will be other people to notify, if the deceased lived alone or was the bill payer then these are only some of the people you may need to notify -
- The Council,
- the service providers (gas, electricity, water, telephone, internet service provider, care alarm service, TV licence authority, buildings and contents insurer),
- any visiting organisations eg. meals on wheels, mobile hairdresser, milkman, news agent (if papers are delivered).
- Remember that if you organise the funeral the bill will be sent to you. You may be entitled to bereavement benefits.
- Redirect the mail. The Bereavement Register is a service to remove the deceased's details from direct mailing lists. Contact the Royal Mail to redirect or hold post being delivered to an empty house.
A copy of the Bereavement Handbook for Worcestershire will be sent with the Inquest opening information. This booklet contains a useful checklist and advice on many aspects of bereavement and how to cope.
If the Coroner orders a post-mortem examination then the Coroner's officer will organise the removal of the deceased to and from the hospital. The Coroner's office will pay for this service.
Information about post-mortems is available on the Frequently Asked Questions page and in the leaflet When Sudden Death Occurs.
Most funerals are arranged by a member of the family. If there are no relatives then anyone close to or appointed by the deceased can make the arrangements.
If there is a post mortem then there may be a delay in releasing the body of the deceased. Be aware of this when you plan the date of the funeral - allow plenty of time.
You do not have to wait for the Post mortem to be completed to contact a funeral director to discuss arrangements.
You are not obliged to retain the services of the Funeral Director appointed by the Coroner to transport the body of the deceased to and from the hospital.
Useful information on what is involved can be found on the Citizens Advice Bureau website.
Your local Minister of Religion will also be able to help you.
You can obtain advice on a non-religious (secular) service from the British Humanist Society. Tel: 020 7079 3580 Fax: 020 7079 3588
Click here for answers to other Frequently Asked Questions
Ethnic Access Link
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