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Informing the Inland Revenue of a Death

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Death Deceased Register Registry

When a loved one dies it is perfectly understandable that the practical concerns of death should be the things that those close to the deceased individual want to think about the least.

However, there are certain responsibilities that the surviving relatives must fulfil. The government has tried to give as long a period of time as possible for these jobs to be completed, but there are several tasks that must be completed immediately following a death.


The most pressing job that needs to be completed is the registering of the death. This only takes around half an hour, but it must be done urgently in order to prevent delays to the funeral. At the very latest this must be completed within five days. A relative can register a death at any register office, but it is advisable to do this at the office closest to the place where the person died.

Generally someone who was present at the death, someone from the relevant hospital, or the individual making the funeral arrangements could also register the death. Whoever does it must take with them a Cause of Death Certificate, which will be issued and signed by a medical professional, along with other information such as the address and occupation of the deceased.

Once the death has been registered, you will be given a Certificate for Burial or Cremation. The funeral directors will require this certificate before they can continue with the arrangements. If the body is being cremated, the relevant hospital or the deceased individual’s GP will arrange for a certificate granting permission for cremation to be issued.

Furthermore, if the individual was receiving any state benefits, you will also be given a Certificate of Registration of Death. This contains instructions that must be followed so that the relevant benefit agencies can be informed of the death.

Multiple Copies

When you have registered the death, you will be offered the opportunity to take more than one death certificate. Although extra copies are charged for, it is definitely worth taking a few. This is because the executor of the will (in most cases this is, in fact, the individual who registered the death) will need several copies to give to the relevant parties in order that they can transfer control of the deceased individual’s assets. Furthermore, if the deceased individual had life insurance, the insurer will require a copy of the death certificate before they will make a payment.

There are numerous other parties that must be informed of a death, including employers and, of course, any friends or relatives. However, some of the key government departments that should be informed include: the deceased individual’s Tax Office; the National Insurance Contributions Office if the deceased was self-employed; the Local Authority if the deceased rented a council property or paid council tax; the DVLA and UK Passport Office to cancel the deceased’s driving licence and passport respectively; and the Bereavement Register to have the deceased’s name removed from any mailing lists. It may also be useful to inform the Royal Mail, who will redirect post on production of a death certificate.

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