Whether a death is anticipated or sudden, it’s an extremely difficult time for everyone involved. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do when someone dies, because your mind is trying to process so many things at once. Remember to take support from family and friends as much as you can. There are also different resources available that can help you through the process.
We’re put together some of the steps you can follow both immediately and in the weeks following a death, so you can be sure everything is taken care of.
Immediately after a death
- Contact family
First thing to do is contact next of kin, particularly those who may live far away and need some time to travel home, if they are able to do so.
- Organ donation
If the deceased is an organ donor, you should inform your local doctor or attending doctor if the death occurs in hospital as quickly as you can.
- Get a death certificate
If the death happens in a hospital, this will be taken care of automatically. If not, contact your local GP to get a death certificate from them.
Days after a death
- Register the death
To register a death in Ireland, you need to bring the death certificate stating the cause of death to a local registrar of births, marriages and deaths. You can register a death in any office of registrar of births, marriages and deaths; it doesn’t matter if the death took place in another area.
- Handling of the estate
When someone dies, their property, money and possessions (called their estate) is passed to a personal representative to decide how they are distributed. If there is a will, the personal representative, or executor, will have been chosen by the deceased. If there is no will, the personal representative, or administrator, will be assigned and is usually a next of kin or solicitor. Follow the guidance of Citizens Information for more details on how this can be done.
- Arrange the funeral
A funeral home can help you arrange for either a burial or cremation, depending if the deceased had any wishes in this regard, or what the family decides to do. A funeral director will lead the family in all aspects of the funeral organisation if this works best for them.
- If there is one, notify the deceased’s solicitor
In the weeks following the death
- Notify all relevant government, financial and other departments of the death. This includes:
- the post office
- utility providers
- the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) if they held a driving licence
- their mortgage provider
- banks and credit unions so all direct debits, standing orders and loans can be cancelled
- insurance companies to transfer or cancel policies or pensions
- contact the tax office about possible tax refunds/credits you might be due
- Contact the deceased’s employer, teams, groups or services they were a part of
Possible claims you can make following a death
- Life insurance
- Death in service benefit
- Supplementary social welfare schemes
- Pension; contact the deceased’s pension provider for details
- Widowed or surviving civil partner grant
At Aviva, if you make a death claim we’ll handle it quickly so that you can focus on what really matters. Call us on 1800 159 159, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more information here.
At Aviva, we know how important looking after loved ones is. That’s why we’re committed to helping you protect yours.