What to do when someone dies

When someone has died there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them.

This guide can take you through what to do in the first few days.

1. Register the death

You should register the death within five days through our Registration Services. This is to ensure that the necessary forms and certificates can be issued to allow you to arrange the funeral and deal with the deceased’s estate.  

More about how to register a death

2. Arrange the funeral

There are two options for a funeral: burial and cremation. The Cemeteries Team can advise you with your options.

You can appoint the services of a funeral director to help you with the arrangements. Choose from a list of accredited funeral directors(pdf, 210KB) based in the borough.

Funeral Choice is an independent website that allows you to find local funeral directors and compare prices.

Otherwise our Cemeteries Team can help advise you on making the funeral arrangements yourself.

Funeral fees

We charge for funeral-related and burial services.

Find out what cemetery fees we apply

Financial help

You may be eligible for financial help to cover the cost of the funeral if you or your partner receive benefits such as housing or income support.

Find out more about funeral payments on GOV.UK

3. Find a will

Check if the deceased left a will which includes what should be done with their effects or estate.  

Find more about wills, probate and inheritance on GOV.UK

4. Inform others about the death

Our Tell Us Once service means you only need to notify us once, and we will inform our other services as well as most government departments for you. Discuss this with the Registrar at the time you register the death.

More about Tell Us Once

Others you may need to contact

  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Hospitals (cancel appointments)
  • Banks and building societies
  • Credit card companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Pension companies
  • Solicitors, accountants or financial advisers
  • Utility providers
  • Television licence
  • Clubs
  • Tradesmen
  • Postal services – the Mailing Preference Service can help stop you receiving unwanted post.

5. Get bereavement support

Over the coming weeks and months it may be helpful to get support from others, as sometimes it can be difficult to manage your feelings alone.

NHS Choices have a bereavement support directory to find local suppport services in your area.

Contact the Cemeteries Team

We are open Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm, excluding Public Holidays, Christmas and New Year.

The Cemetery Office

East Sheen Cemetery,
Sheen Road,
Richmond,
TW10 5BJ

Telephone: 020 8876 4511
Email: cemeteries@richmond.gov.uk
Fax: 020 8878 8118

Updated: 7 October 2015