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Documents and information needed when someone dies

By John Hayward
This article is published on: 20th August 2017

Here you can check the lists of all the documents and information needed after someone dies. They will help you notify the required people and organisations immediately after the death and assist you in the longer term probate process.

Documents and information to get as soon as possible

You will need to gather together the certain documents and information as quickly as possible after a death, so you can start funeral arrangements and register the death. You’ll need to know:

  • full name and surname of the deceased
  • date and place of death and usual address
  • marital status (single, married, widowed or divorced)
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation of the deceased (if the deceased was a wife or widow, the full names and occupation of her husband or deceased husband will be required)
  • if the deceased was a child, the full names and occupation of the father will be required, or where the parents are not married the full names and occupation of the mother will be required
  • maiden surname if the deceased was a woman who was married
  • the name and address of the deceased’s GP

You’ll also need to gather together the following documents:

  • medical certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor) for registering the death
  • birth certificate
  • marriage/civil partnership certificates
  • NHS number/NHS medical card
  • organ donor card

Documents needed to notify benefits/tax credits offices

  • correspondence confirming payment to the deceased of benefits , tax credits (HM Revenue & Customs) and/or State Pension (Department for Work and Pensions)
  • Child Benefit number (if relevant)

Documents relating to a partner or relative

  • proof of your relationship to the deceased (for example, marriage/civil partnership or birth certificate, child’s birth certificate naming both parents)
  • your social security card/National Insurance number if you will be claiming/changing benefits

Documents/information needed by the person sorting out the deceased’s affairs

The personal representative is the person formally responsible for sorting out the deceased person’s estate, paying any taxes and debts and distributing the estate. They will need the following documents (where relevant):

  • sealed copies of the grant of representation (probate/letters of administration)

Documents relating to the death

  • the will, if there is one
  • death certificate (often needed when requesting access to funds; it’s best to order at least two extra certified copies when registering the death)

Savings/investments related

  • bank and building society account statements
  • investment statements/share certificates
  • personal or company pension account statements


  • life insurance documents (including mortgage cover)
  • general insurance policies (for example, home, car, travel, medical)

State pension/benefits

  • relevant correspondence or statements from Jobs & Benefits Offices (for benefits) and/or the Pension Service

Amounts owing by the deceased

  • mortgage statement
  • credit card statements
  • utility/ rates bills in the deceased’s name
  • rental agreements/statements (private or local authority)
  • other outstanding bills
  • leases, hire purchase agreements or similar (for example for equipment, car or furniture)
  • educational loan statements
  • any other loan statements

Amounts owed to the deceased

  • outstanding invoices if the deceased ran a business
  • written/verbal evidence of other money owed to the deceased


  • property deeds or leases (main home and any other at home or abroad)
  • property keys

Other possessions

  • existing valuations of property such as jewellery, paintings and similar (though an up-to-date market valuation will be required)
  • any existing inventories of proper

Employment or self-employment

  • PAYE form P60 and latest payslips if the deceased was employed
  • recent tax returns and tax calculation statements (if relevant)

Business related

  • company registration documents, accounts, tax and VAT returns if they had a business

Other documents and information

The following documents and information will be required by the personal representative or close relative in order to contact relatives and friends or to return documents to relevant organisations:

  • address book/information listing close friends and relatives who will need to be informed
  • passport
  • vehicle registration documents if the deceased owned a car
  • driving licence/parking permits/travel cards/disabled parking badge
  • membership cards or documents/correspondence showing membership of clubs, associations, Trade Unions and similar

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

Article by John Hayward

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