What you need to do when someone dies
An overview of what you might need to do after the death of a loved one.
Let the authorities know
If the person:
- was in care when they died or the death was expected, call their doctor or nurse
- died unexpectedly or in an accident, call 111.
Depending on how the person died, a doctor, nurse or coroner will examine the body and decide what happened.
Time off work
If you’ve been at your job for at least 6 months, you can take 3 paid days off after the death of a close family member, or one day after the death of someone else close to you.
See if you can get financial help
You might be able to get help with the cost of the funeral, burial or cremation. In some circumstances, you might be entitled to help with living expenses or childcare.
Organise the funeral and burial or cremation
If you want to hold a funeral, you can use a funeral director or organise it yourself.
Before a body is buried or cremated, you need:
- a medical certificate signed by a doctor or nurse, or
- a coroner to authorise the release of the body.
There are rules about where and how you can bury or cremate someone, and where you can scatter ashes.
Before burial or cremation (PDF 298KB)
Register the death
If you’re using a funeral director, they’ll register the death for you.
Sort out their finances and execute the will
If you’re managing someone’s estate, you’ll need to do some things like:
- cancel any benefits or pensions
- let Inland Revenue know the person has died and do a final tax return
- cancel their passport and driver licence.
You can let government agencies know someone has died and cancel their passport at the same time using the service myTrove Notify.