The value of investments and any income from them can fall and you may get back less than you invested.

Easing the strain of bereavement


Checklist for the days and weeks following bereavement

Eventually there comes a point at which one’s financial planning days come to an end. Then it is over to your surviving family, friends or executors of your estate to tidy up all of your affairs.

The days and weeks after your death (or that of a close relative) will be a dreadful time for friends and family, and can be exacerbated by the work involved dealing with admin, paperwork and financial affairs.

Richard Sandys-Renton. Divisional Director at Brewin Dolphin said: “People tend to underestimate how much work there is to be done after somebody passes, how many agencies they need to contact and affairs to get in order, it really can be overwhelming. Our clients have expressed enormous gratitude from the simple check list we have provided because it helps give them a structure to follow at a time when it can be difficult to think straight.”

Where to start

The government runs a service called “Tell us once” which aims to assist in the administration surrounding somebody’s death.

When you register the death you will be told whether or not the service is available in your area.

If it is available you will need the following information relating to the person who has died to hand.

  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Passwords for everything
  • Driving licence number
  • Passport number

More detailed information you will need includes:

  • Details of any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, the state pension, for example
  • Details of any local council services they were getting, for example the Blue Badge
  • The name and address of their next of kin
  • The name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
  • The name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’
  • Details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying in to.

You need permission from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator or anyone who was claiming joint benefits with the person who died before you give their details.

Organisations Tell Us Once will contact

  • Tell Us Once will notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to deal with tax and cancel benefits
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to cancel benefits such as income support
  • Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence
  • The local council - to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
  • Public sector or armed forces pension schemes - to stop pension payments.

There’s a different process to update property records if the person who died owns land or property.

Other information you need to leave for your family/to be checked by family

  1. Is there a pre-paid funeral plan in place?
  2. Doctor (organ donor?), dentist and medical insurance?
  3. Solicitor – who holds your will?
  4. Stocks & Shares - held in nominee or own name
  5. Accountant and financial adviser - Pensions, life assurance and insurances - car, house and travel. Quote reference number.
  6. Bank – branch details and account number.
  7. NS&I - PO investments and Premium Bonds - Quote reference number.
  8. Credit/Debit and store cards. Rental, HP and Loan agreements
  9. Miscellaneous Creditors and Debtors
  10. Property/household – deeds, mortgage, insurance (buildings & contents)
  11. Utilities – Gas, electricity and water, telephone, TV and internet
  12. Car – insurance, tax and MOT
  13. Clubs & hobbies - associations, (e.g. National Trust) and seasonal memberships
  14. Alumni - Old school/college/university/employer
  15. Miscellaneous - Royal Mail redirection and newspapers

Other considerations

16. Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service - these will remove the deceased’s name from mailing lists and databases


The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

Any tax allowances or thresholds mentioned are based on personal circumstances and current legislation, which are subject to change.No investment is suitable in all cases and if you have any doubts as to an investment’s suitability then you should contact us.

The information contained in this document is believed to be reliable and accurate, but without further investigation cannot be warranted as to accuracy or completeness.

The opinions expressed in this document are not necessarily the views held throughout Brewin Dolphin Ltd.


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