What to do after a death

Tell Us Once

Tell Us Once is a free service offered by HM Government

When someone has died, many things need to be done when you probably least feel like doing them.

Tell Us Once is voluntary to use and very helpful. It enables you to report a death only once, telling central and local government services securely and confidentially without you having to inform them individually.

Many services can be notified, and these include:

  • the local council - to update services such as Council Housing, Housing Benefit, Council Tax, Blue Badge and remove the person from the Electoral Register
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax and to update regarding Child Benefit and Tax Credits claims (contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to update benefits information, for example, State Pension, Universal Credit
  • Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and to remove registered keeper details, possibly for up to five vehicles
  • Public Sector or Armed Forces Pension Schemes - to update pension records.

How to access the service

The Registrar will provide you with a unique Tell Us Once reference number, enabling you to access the Tell Us Once service online via GOV.UK.

If you have been issued a Coroners Fact of Death (Interim Death Certificate), you may still be able to use the service.

Tell Us Once reference numbers are valid for 28 days. If this time period has expired and you have not used the reference number provided at the Registration appointment, use our form to request a further Tell Us Once reference number to be generated.

Request a Tell Us Once reference number

It will help you to have all the relevant information listed below about the person before using Tell Us Once:

  • date of birth
  • address of the deceased
  • National Insurance number
  • driving licence number
  • vehicle registration number(s)
  • passport number

You will also need the following:

  • Details of any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, for example, State Pension, Universal Credit
  • Details of any local council services they were receiving, for example, Adult Social Services, Blue Badge, travel pass
  • 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 into

Please note:

  • Permission is required from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator and anyone claiming benefits or entitlements jointly with the person who died before you give their details.
  • Follow-up contact after using Tell Us Once is optional unless you do not receive a confirmation from the relevant department after a reasonable period, in most cases, a calendar month.
  • Once the various agencies informed by Tell Us Once have received notification of the death, they will make any further contact, if necessary, with the bereaved family.
  • Tell Us Once is not a claim to benefit. Therefore please get in touch with GOV.UK or the relevant department for advice.
  • Tell Us Once does not notify commercial organisations of the death and cannot arrange for post redirection.