Bereavement Advice & Guidance

Information and guidance on what to do after a death

When someone dies there can be lots of things to sort out and often whilst you are experiencing personal distress.

This information provides some practical guidance on what to do if someone dies. Please see below for leaflets and useful contacts.

If at any time you feel unable to cope emotionally, please call the practice to seek guidance or to book an appointment. There are services available to help you following a death and the practice can offer you support and information.

In the first few days after someone passes away you will need to get a death certificate from their GP or the hospital in which they have passed away, and register the death within 5 days. Once the death is registered you will be given documents which enable you to arrange the funeral. Please note that sometimes, dependent on the circumstances, the death is reported to a coroner and this will cause a delay in receiving a death certificate.

You will need to register the death once you have the death certification. Appointments are required for all death registrations.  Please call Stoke on Trent Council on 01782 235260 to make an appointment and remember to take the death certificate and details about the deceased person (this includes full name, date and place of birth, date and place of death, maiden name, their address, their occupation, whether they were receiving any benefits, and if they have a spouse or civil partner the registrar will also need to know their name, occupation and date of birth).

Information on how to register a death with Stoke on Trent Council is available on the link below

Stoke on Trent Council offers a service called 'Tell Us Once', which you can use to inform them of a person's passing. They will then inform all relevant government organisations on your behalf, such as DVLA, DWP and HMRC. The registrar should give you a unique reference number to use this service online or by phone. You do not have to use this service and can choose to inform government organisations yourself if you prefer. Please note this service is not available if the person died abroad.

If the person has died in the Douglas Macmillan Hospice we advise you to talk to the service regarding registering the death as this is unable to be done at Stoke on Trent Council Register office.

You will not need to deal with their will, money or property straight away.


You can apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment (also called a Funeral Payment) if you receive certain benefits and need help to pay for a funeral you’re arranging. Please see the link below for information on help with funeral payments:

Coping with the death of a loved one can be extremely hard and you may be dealing with lots of different emotions. Age UK have some really useful information on coping with bereavement which can be accessed from the link below.

The Dove Service is a bereavement and loss counselling support charity, covering Stoke on Trent, North Staffordshire and Cheshire. Information on the services which are available can be accessed from the link below.