Making arrangements and who to notify immediately
When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to make, all of which can be difficult in a time of grief.
There are a few steps that need to be taken shortly after the death:
- notify the family GP
- register the death
- find the will (their solicitor may have a copy if you can't find one)
- begin funeral arrangements (you'll need to check the will for any special requests)
- inform the Social Security and Income Tax departments
The undertaker who you select to arrange the funeral will take you through everything that needs to be done regarding funeral arrangements, and can provide information, assistance and guidance.
A detailed list of who to contact can be found below.
Registering a death
Every death that occurs in the Island must be registered by the registrar of the parish in which the death occurred within a period of five days from the date of death. Usually the undertaker will arrange this.
If an inquest or post-mortem examination is ordered, the period of five days for registration is extended.
It is free to register a death, but you can get a death certificate from the registrar of the parish in which the death occurred for £20.
Stillbirths must be registered in a similar manner as for live births, although the notification period is five days.
Financial matters and probate
When someone dies, the person responsible for settling his or her affairs and for administrating the estate is known as the executor or administrator.
Before you can act as an executor or administrator, you will normally have to get a legal document known as the ‘grant of probate’ or, if there is no will, ‘letters of administration’.
The executor or administrator must also complete a tax return for the year in which death occurred and settle any income tax due (including arrears of tax).
Personal applications for a grant of probate (Jersey domicile)
Tax information for dealing with a deceased person's estate
Payments and benefit
To help with funeral costs, a Death Grant may be available from Social Security.
Special payments are also available for people on low incomes.
If your husband or wife has died, you may also be eligible for widow's / widower's benefit.
Death grant: single payment
Special payments: help with emergency costs
Widow's / widower's benefit
Who else should you contact
As well as informing people who are close to the person, in many cases you'll need to close down accounts, or cancel or change insurance details, subscriptions, agreements, payments or direct debits.
You'll probably want to contact these people first:
- relatives and friends
- employer / school
- solicitor / accountant
Government departments and other organisations
You'll need to notify the following of the death:
- Income Tax Department
- Social Security Department
- parish hall for rates, residential parking permits or return any driving licence
- Customs and Immigration Service to return and cancel a passport
- DVS to return car registration documents / change ownership
- financial organisations
- general insurance companies - contents, car, travel, medical etc
- any other company with which they may have had rental, hire purchase or loan agreements
- if they were the first named on an insurance policy, make contact as early as possible to check that you are still insured
- pension providers / life insurance companies
- banks and building societies
- mortgage provider
- credit card providers / store cards
Utilities and household contacts
You may also need to contact:
- landlord or housing department if they rented a property
- any private organisation / agency providing home help
- utility companies if accounts were in the deceased's name
- Jersey Post, if mail needs re-directing
- TV / internet companies with which the deceased had subscriptions
Other useful contacts
You may also need to contact:
- Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service to remove their name from mailing lists and databases
- clubs / trade unions / associations with seasonal membership for cancellation and refunds
- church / regular place of worship
- social groups to which they belonged
- creditors (anyone to whom they owed money)
- debtors (anyone who owed them money)
Bereavement register website
Deceased Preference Service website
Support to help you cope with bereavement
The death of a loved one is a very difficult and distressing time, but you can find support to help you below.
A counselling service is available through our health department. This service is free, private and confidential.
The Community Bearevement Service is available to those in need of support, whilst coming to terms with the death of a relative or friend.
Community bereavement service on Jersey Hospice Care website
Bereavement following a suicide
If you've learned that someone close to you may have died in circumstances that may be due to suicide, you can experience a range of emotions and be unsure about what you're thinking or what you need to be doing.
You can read our 'Help is at Hand' guide below, which includes information about how you might be feeling, what practical matters you're likely to have to deal with and suggestions on further support in the weeks and months ahead.
'Help is at Hand' support guide for bereavement following a suicide