Letting People Know

Friends and Family

Having to tell other people that someone has died is not an easy task and what you say to others will vary depending both on your relationship to the person you are telling and also on their relationship to the person who has passed away. If the death has happened in hospital, a hospice or a care home there is usually somewhere private made available with a telephone for you to use for the most urgent calls.

Simplicity is the best stance especially at the beginning unless the person has died at the end of a long illness and the news is expected. If the cause is unknown its best to say this at this stage rather than surmise.

There will be many companies and organisations who will need to know about the death. Some will be more pressing than others. Here is a suggestion of who you may need to contact:


  • Employer or place of work
  • Social services – for home helps etc
  • Social Security – to cancel direct debits you will need to fill in a form
  • Inland Revenue
  • Local council – to cancel council tax and benefits
  • Utility Companies – Electricity, gas, water, telephone, mobile, cable, satellite, internet provider
  • TV Licence
  • Car insurance - who is legally insured to drive the vehicle?
  • Insurance companies
  • Credit Cards/Store Cards – Cancel cards and settle accounts
  • Bank & Building Societies – Close accounts and amend joint accounts
  • Investments/shares/premium bonds - Get a form from the post office for Premium Bonds
  • Membership organisations – Coop, WI, Clubs, Gym
  • Monthly/Annual Payments – Opticians, Dentist, Health Schemes, newspapers, magazines, National Trust, English Heritage etc
  • Charities – Cancel regular donations
  • Email accounts – Gmail, hotmail etc
  • Internet payments – Subscriptions, Amazon, Paypal etc
  • Online accounts – Close down Facebook, Twitter, etc
  • Post Office – get mail re-directed

Finally, if premises are to be left empty, contact the local police to make them aware.