In recent years the Government has tried to make the process of notifying them about a death much easier for your relatives.

A relative will first need to register the death.

If a relative isn’t able to register the death, sombody else can do it if they:

  • were there at the time of death
  • are an administrator from the hospital (if the person died in hospital)
  • are in charge of making funeral arrangements

The relative should take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) to the Registrar at their local Register office.  The Council website will tell you where this is.

If possible also take the person’s:

  • birth certificate
  • Council Tax bill
  • driving licence
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • NHS medical card
  • passport
  • proof of address (eg utility bill)

You’ll need to tell the Registrar:

  • the person’s full name at the time of death
  • any names previously used, eg maiden name
  • the person’s date and place of birth
  • their last address
  • their occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
  • whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits

You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (eg. a utility bill) but you can still register a death without them.

Once they have successfully registered the death the registrar should let you know if Tell Us Once is available in your area and provide you with a reference number to use online or by telephone.

The Tell Us Once Service is specifically designed to speed up the process.

They will inform the following departments:-

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – to deal with personal tax (you need to contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – to cancel benefits, for example Income Support
  • Passport Office – to cancel a British passport
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – to cancel a licence and remove the person as the keeper of up to 5 vehicles (contact DVLA separately if you keep or sell a vehicle)
  • the local council – to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
  • Veterans UK – to cancel Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you about the tax, benefits and entitlements of the person who died.

Tell Us Once will also contact some public sector pension schemes so that they cancel future pension payments. They’ll notify:

  • My Civil Service Pension
  • NHS Pension Scheme
  • Armed Forces Pension Scheme
  • pension schemes for NHS staff, teachers, police and firefighters in Scotland
  • local authority pension schemes, except where Tell Us Once is not available

At the moment unfortunately it is not available if you live in the following locations and local authorities:-

  • Brighton and Hove
  • East Sussex
  • Eastbourne
  • Harrow
  • Hastings
  • Lewes
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Medway
  • Rother
  • Wealden

For further information about what to do when someone dies you can read our related blog  What You Need To Do When Someone Dies  or visit