Report the death without a Tell Us Once reference number

Contact the following organisations if you cannot use the Tell Us Once service.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

Contact HMRC, who will work out whether the right amount of tax has been paid by the person who died. They’ll let you know:

  • what tax they need to collect or repay
  • whether you need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return on the person’s behalf, for example when the estate continues to receive income

You can also use HMRC’s bereavement tool to work out which forms to fill in and where to send them.

Inheritance Tax may be due on the person’s estate after they die.

You may be able to get free tax advice if you’re on a low income.

National Insurance (NI) Contributions Office

Contact the NI Contributions Office to cancel the person’s NI payments if they were self-employed or paying voluntary NI.

Child Benefit Office

Contact the Child Benefit Office if a child or the parent dies. You need to do this within 8 weeks of the death.

Tax Credit Office

Contact the Tax Credit Office if your partner or a child you’re responsible for dies. You need to do this within 1 month of the death.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Contact the bereavement service to cancel the person’s benefits and entitlements, including their State Pension. They’ll also check if you’re eligible for help with funeral costs or other benefits.

DWP Bereavement Service
Telephone: 0800 151 2012
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 151 2012
British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service if you’re on a computer - find out how to use the service on mobile or tablet
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453
Welsh textphone: 0800 731 0456
Find out about call charges

If they were living abroad when they died, contact the International Pension Centre instead.

Personal, workplace and armed forces pensions

What you need to do to stop pension payments will depend on the type of pension.

Use the Pension Tracing Service to find details of the person’s personal or workplace pension.

Contact Veterans UK if the person had an armed forces pension.

Vehicles and driving licences

Contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if the person held a driving licence or owned a vehicle.

HM Passport Office (HMPO)

Fill in the form ‘What to do when a passport holder dies’ and send it to the address on the form.

Social Security Scotland

Contact Social Security Scotland to cancel the person’s benefits and entitlements from the Scottish Government, for example Scottish Child Payment. They can also check if you’re eligible for help with funeral costs.

Freephone: 0800 182 2222
Telephone (if you’re outside of the UK): +44 (0)1382 931 000 - charges apply but you can ask them to call you back
contactSCOTLAND video relay app for British Sign Language (BSL) users
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

  1. Step 1 Register the death

    1. Register the death within 5 days

    Check what to do if:

    To stop or change benefits payments you can tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the death straight away.

  2. Step 2 Arrange the funeral

  3. Step 3 Tell government about the death

    The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

    1. Use the Tell Us Once service to tell government
    2. You are currently viewing: If you cannot use Tell Us Once, tell government yourself

    You'll also need to tell banks, utility companies, and landlords or housing associations yourself.

  4. Step 4 Check if you can get bereavement benefits

  5. and Deal with your own benefits, pension and taxes

    Your tax, benefit claims and pension might change depending on your relationship with the person who died.

    1. Manage your tax, pensions and benefits if your spouse has died
    2. Check how benefits are affected if a child dies
  6. and Check if you need to apply to stay in the UK

    If your right to live in the UK depends on your relationship with someone who died you might need to apply for a new visa.

    Check the rules if:

    1. Contact UKVI to check the rules for other visas
  7. Step 5 Apply for probate and check if you need to pay Inheritance Tax

    You might need to apply for probate and pay Inheritance Tax before you can deal with the property, money and possessions (the ‘estate’) of the person who died.

    1. Check if you need to apply for probate
    1. Estimate the value of the estate to find out if you need to pay Inheritance Tax
    1. Find out how to report the value of the estate
    1. Pay Inheritance Tax if it’s due
    1. Apply for probate
  8. Step 6 Deal with the estate

    Pay any debts or taxes owed by the person who's died. You can then distribute the estate as set out in the will or the law.

    1. Deal with the estate
    1. Update property records