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Dealing with Death and Bereavement

There are many things to deal with, and legalities to sort out, when someone dies. Check out the most important issues with extra help and advice on death and bereavement. This section provides the practical steps you should take and the advice you need after a death. It will help guide you through the issues and tasks associated with the bereavement process.

Bereavement Advice: One of the sad facts of life is having to contend with the death of a loved one.

People react to grief, sadness, and the loss of someone special in a variety of different ways.

After all, in most cases death and bereavement is not something that we can ‘accurately’ predict in advance.

Even so, there are legal issues to take care of when dealing with the death of a family member or a friend. Whether they are unwelcome or untimely, it is something that everyone will experience.

The information will help you understand the different legal process of death and bereavement. It also covers the sensitive topics of getting financial support as well as death and wills.

Legalities of Death and Bereavement

Bereavement Support

Benefits and Taxes

As a rule, the death of a spouse or civil partner affects your benefits, tax, and pension. Check what you can claim and who to inform about a change in circumstances.

Bereavement Payments

The Bereavement Support Payment is a new death benefit. It gets paid out to the most needy of bereaved citizens.

Funeral Payments

The DWP Funeral Expenses Payment helps people on a low income. Check if you can get it to cover the cost of arranging a funeral.

Guardian’s Allowance

Eligibility provides money for taking care of a child whose parents are no longer living. Check the current special Guardianship Allowance rates and how to claim.

Widow’s Pension

Those who qualify for the Bereavement Allowance will get a weekly benefit. It is for people widowed from the age of 45 up to the State Pension age in the United Kingdom.

Widowed Parents Allowance

The Widowed Parent’s Allowance helps widowed parents under State Pension age. Find out how much you can get if you meet the widows parent allowance eligibility criteria.

Inheritance Tax

Business Relief

There are ways to get Inheritance Tax relief on business assets in an estate. Find out what qualifies as an asset and how to give away business assets or property.

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

IHT is a death duty paid to HMRC if the value of someone’s estate is worth more than the threshold when they die. Check the current Inheritance Tax rates and rules.

Paying IHT

There are several ways to pay your Inheritance Tax bill in United Kingdom. Discover how to get a reference number and use the different payment methods.

Presumption of Death


You need a valid reason to vary or revoke a presumption of death certificate. Check how to make a claim, advertise it in a newspaper, and attend a hearing.


The section explains how to get a declaration of presumed death and the grounds for doing so. Find out who can make a claim, the court fees, and what conditions apply.


The Presumption of Death Act has been in force since October 2014. Find out what to do if you have a reason to challenge a claim for a presumption of death declaration.

Registering a Death

After a Death

Having a basic checklist of what to do after someone dies is helpful. Find out how to register a death, deal with a coroner, and arrange a funeral.

Note: You can also apply to settle in the UK if your partner dies. It applies to people already in the United Kingdom as their dependant or their partner.


There is an online tool to register a death in the United Kingdom. You can use the same service to register a death abroad if it happened since the 1st of January 1983.

Registering a Stillbirth

An informative section on registering a stillborn baby. Find out where and how to register a stillbirth and get financial support afterwards.

Updating Property Records

There are several different ways of updating property records when someone dies. Check how to update property records or transfer a registered property after a death.

Making Corrections

Anyone can apply to change an original registration certificate. Find out how to correct a death registration with the register office.

Tell the DVLA

Prevent further correspondence by telling DVLA a driver has died. Check what information you need to give and how to deal with road tax if you keep or sell the vehicle.


You must apply for an exhumation licence before removing human remains from the ground. It applies to those in the form of a body or cremated remains.

Tax on Property You Inherit

The guide explains how tax on inherited property, money, and shares works. Check when you must pay Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duty or Inheritance Tax on assets you inherit.

Wills and Probate

Bona Vacantia

Ownerless property passes to the Crown if someone dies with no will or known family. Check who handles it and how to claim or refer an unclaimed estate.

Finding a Will

A will becomes a public document after the issuance of a grant of probate. So, you can search online to find a will or probate document in England and Wales.

Making a Will

You can make a will at home or through a solicitor. But, you must make sure the will is valid and change it when circumstances change.

Official Solicitor and Public Trustee

You can appoint a public official to be executor after a death if no one else can do it. Check the process of appointing the Public Trustee to act as executor of your estate.

Statutory Wills

Check the procedure for making a statutory will on behalf of someone else. Find out which forms to use, application fees, and how a court makes a final decision.

Valuing an Estate

There are several reasons for valuing the estate of someone who has died. Check how to value a deceased person’s estate and report the estate’s value to HMRC.

Probate in United Kingdom

Dealing with the will, probate and inheritance of a deceased person can be complex. The section will help you sort through the affairs of wills and probate.

Dealing with Death: Bereavement Advice in United Kingdom