What to do after a death, guide and useful contacts

When someone dies there are many things to sort out, often when you are experiencing personal distress and feel unable to manage.

Hopefully this webpage will help towards the practical side of things. Please see below for leaflets and useful contacts.

If at any time you feel unable to cope emotionally, please call the surgery and ask to see a doctor. There are services available to help you to cope following the death of a relative, and your doctor will offer support and information.

In the first few days after someone passes away you will need to get a death certificate from their GP or the hospital in which they have passed away, and register the death within 5 days. Once the death is registered you will be given documents which enable you to arrange the funeral. Please note that sometimes, dependent on the circumstances, the death is reported to a coroner and this will cause a delay in receiving a medical certificate.

If a person passes away at home and the death is expected (if they have been suffering with a terminal illness for example) please call us. A doctor will then visit to confirm the death and issue the death certificate. If somebody passes away in hospital then the hospital will issue the certificate.

Appointments are required for all death registrations.  Please call 01782 235260 to make an appointment with our local council, and remember to take the death certificate and details about the deceased person (this includes full name, date and place of birth, date and place of death, maiden name, their address, their occupation, whether they were receiving any benefits, and if they have a spouse or civil partner the registrar will also need to know their name, occupation and date of birth).

You don't need to deal with their will, money or property straight away.

Our local council offers a service called 'Tell Us Once', which you can use to inform them of a person's passing. They will then inform all relevant government organisations on your behalf, such as DVLA, DWP and HMRC. The registrar should give you a unique reference number to use this service online or by phone. You do not have to use this service and can choose to inform government organisations yourself if you prefer. Please note this service is not available if the person died abroad.

To arrange their funeral yourself you will need to contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your local council (Stoke on Trent City Council). If you are on a low income please see the link below for information on help with funeral payments:


"...take extra care of yourself - try to eat well and get some rest, even if you can't sleep. Be kind to yourself, don't try to do too much while you're grieving."

-Age UK

Click the links below for full guides from Age UK.

~Age UK Bereavement Guide

~Age UK Guide when someone dies


DWP Bereavement Service
Telephone: 0345 606 0265
Textphone: 0345 606 0285

Age UK Advice Line 0800 169 6565



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