A Guide to Bereavement What to Do When Someone Dies
Coping with Bereavement
What to do when someone close to you dies
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Getting started What to do in the first 5 days Registering the Death Funerals Who to tell about the death Personal possessions
Dealing with the financial affairs The role of the Executor and Administrator Probate Letters of Administration How to apply for Probate Inheritance Tax
Coping with difficult discoveries Debt Personal history
Financial Support – bereavement benefits Funeral payment Bereavement payment Bereavement allowance Widowed Parent’s Allowance War Widow’s or Widower’s pension
Tesco Support Bereavement leave Additional time off
Being a carer Tesco support Further information
Where to go for further help
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Useful contact details Useful books
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The information in this document, which does not purport to be comprehensive, has been provided by Tesco for the guidance of its colleagues. It is not a substitute for colleagues obtaining legal advice and Tesco is not responsible or liable for the accuracy or legality of the information contained within the document.
Introduction When someone close to you dies there are many things to do, often at a time of great personal distress when you may feel least able to manage. This Guide will give you brief, practical information about coping with bereavement, what you need to do, and where to go for more help and advice.
Section 1: Coping with Bereavement Experiencing the loss of someone close to us is something that changes us and may change the way we understand the world around us. This takes time, usually more time than we realise but eventually most people are able to make these adjustments and look forwards. The effect of grief You may feel overwhelmed by the emotions you experience and the intensity of this difficult time. Grief is the normal response to the loss of someone we love, and everyone’s reaction is different. You may find yourself going through different emotions such as numbness, shock, anger, sadness, confusion or anxiety. Some people may find they have difficulty sleeping or lose their appetite. Everyone’s reaction to grief is unique, and different people may experience different emotions, even when they are mourning the loss of the same person. Who can help? Most people find the help of family and friends is enough to support them through the experience of bereavement. However sometimes it can be helpful to talk with people who have gone through a similar experience or with someone who is trained in supporting people who are bereaved. Sharing your feelings with others can help, but don’t feel under any pressure to talk if you don’t want to. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned that you are not coping. They can check that there is no physical cause for the way you are feeling and many surgeries have counsellors on their staff. There are also self help groups set up and run by the bereaved and other organisations, many of them charities which specialise in providing support for the bereaved. If you, or someone you know, might benefit from support, one of the following organisations may be able to help. There is a further list at the end of this guide.
Cruse Bereavement Care is a counselling and advice service for bereaved people that offers information and practical support. It helps anyone bereaved by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss. RD4U is a website developed by Cruse Bereavement Care’s Youth Involvement project supports young people after the death of someone close to them. Tel: 0844 4779400 (Available from 9.30am until 5pm, Monday to Friday) Email: [email protected]
Website: www.cruse.org.uk; www.rd4u.org.uk In Wales contact 029 2088 6913 [email protected]
In Northern Ireland contact 028 9079 2419 www.cruse.org/nothernirelend In Scotland contact 0845 600 2227 www.crusescotland.org.uk
Samaritans can provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support to anyone in distress on the phone, face to face, by email and by letter. Tel: 08457 90 90 90 (Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year) Email: [email protected]
London Friend LGBT Bereavement Helpline (for people across the UK). Tel: 020 7837 3337, Weekdays (except Thursdays) between 7.30pm and 9.30pm London Friend's dedicated helpline offers support and practical information to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered callers who have been bereaved or are preparing for bereavement. They also welcome calls from affected family, friends, colleagues and carers.
Age UK has a number of information guides and fact sheets. Age UK Advice: 0800 169 6565 www.ageuk.org.uk
Child Bereavement Charity is a leading charity that supports families when a child dies or when a child is bereaved. Website: www.childbereavement.org.uk Email: [email protected]
Bereavement services Tel: 01494 568900
Living on your own The death of anyone close is tremendously difficult. If you find yourself living on your own for the first time in many years, this will have an impact on your everyday lifestyle and it can take time to get used to this. You may need to learn to do things that your partner may have done or helped with, such as organising the household finances and cooking. If you have family or friends who you can ask for help, they will often be happy to assist. Living on your own for the first time ever or in a long time, may make you feel more vulnerable and less secure. If this is the case then consider making your home more secure, for example, by installing an alarm, adding window locks or ensuring you have a phone by your bedside. Meeting new people Local newspapers, libraries and council one stop shops have information about local groups when you feel able to resume social activities. This can be difficult if you have been accustomed to always being one of a couple, and for some people becoming a volunteer can help, and is also an opportunity to meet new people. Helping Children Children can find it very difficult to understand what has happened when someone dies. They often will be aware of the tension and distress of the adults around them. What they understand and how they respond will vary depending on their age, previous experience and individual personalities. Remember to tell their teacher or nursery teacher who will keep an eye on them in the early days after a death and will be able to suggest the best way to deal with this in the context of the whole class. They will also have access to the advice of educational psychologists if you both feel this might be helpful. Some important things to remember are: Try and keep the security of familiar routines if you possibly can. Remember children can change mood quickly – becoming upset one moment and then playing normally the next. This is part of the way that they cope but can be difficult for adults to adjust to. Keep talking about the person who has died. Answer their questions honestly, using words they will understand.
Other children may hear their parents talking about the death, and if it is known in the local community, they may speak to your child about what has happened; therefore it is important your child hears information first from you. Do not hide the fact that you are upset and miss the person who has died so that they can feel comfortable showing their feelings too. There are a number of resources that can support and help children, including specialist organisations, and picture storybooks. There are also helplines and websites for teenagers and young adults wanting to talk with someone about the issues they face after bereavement. Please find a list of support groups and useful books at the end of this Guide. Winston’s Wishes is a charity offering support for bereaved children and young people up to the age of 18. They also provide support for parents and carers and give advice to families. www.winstonswish.org.uk. Please refer to the back of this pack for the helpline telephone number. To view more information on the support that they offer, go to: http://www.winstonswish.org.uk/page.asp?section=0001000100040003&pagetitl e=What+we+do Supporting those who have been bereaved If you know someone who has suffered bereavement, you may feel powerless to help them. In many respects this is true, because no one and nothing can bring back the person who has died. However you can help to alleviate the loneliness which comes with bereavement, and facilitate the grieving process. Allow the bereaved person to talk. They may want to talk about their loss, either about their own feelings or about the deceased person. Freely discussing memories of him or her can help tremendously, and is often a very happy and cathartic experience. Even if they are not ready to talk about it, having someone to chat to about the minutiae of life can help provide much needed grounding and distraction from their sorrow. You needn’t even talk – silences needn’t be awkward if your presence alone helps alleviate the loneliness. Be sensitive to the fact that the bereaved person may like to spend time alone with his or her thoughts at times, and will turn you away when you arrive at the home, despite your good intentions. Those going through grief can also be moody and angry. Develop a thick skin and don’t allow anything that is said or done during this time to sour your friendship – the time will come when you will be welcomed and needed. There may be occasions where you might feel uncomfortable, you may not know what to say or are worried that you may upset the bereaved person. It can be very difficult for someone who hasn’t experienced bereavement to understand how strongly it can affect you, or to realise just how long someone may be affected. A genuine expression of sorrow can demonstrate real compassion. “It’s for the best” or “You’ll get over it in time” can sound very hollow and trite to a bereaved person. A simple expression of sorrow is all that is required. Offer practical help. Your friend or colleague may be too proud to ask, but help with tasks formerly done by the deceased, or assistance with practical matters such as transport for the funeral, can lift the burden. Think laterally and imaginatively to identify areas where help may be needed.
Be patient. You may have to offer your support for many months or years. There is no point at which they might be expected to be over it, and birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas will be difficult for years to come. CareCalendar is a simple tool to enable friends to provide practical help, when it's most needed. It is a web based system to organise meals and other help for families during a time of illness or life changing event, such as the birth of a baby or death of a family member. CareCalendar can also be used for long term situations, including homebound and caregiver respite care needs. For more information go to: http://www.carecalendar.org/.
Section 2: What to do first when someone close to you dies It can be a confusing time following a death and difficult to know what you need to do first, especially if this is the first time you are experiencing it. There are many procedures that will need to be undertaken, including decisions and arrangements to be made. What needs to happen next will depend on the circumstances of the death and whether the person died in hospital, at home, a public place or overseas. This will also affect the documentation that you will be given. There are also many people who will need to be informed of the death. This section in the guide will help you through the initial 5 days following a death. It includes a useful checklist of what needs to be done and who to contact. What to do first Before you start, it would be useful to have the following information to hand about the person who has died: National Insurance number – you may find this on a payslip, P45, P60. If you still can’t find the number then call the NI registration helpline on 0845 9157006. NHS number – if they are registered with a GP surgery, you can call them up and ask for the number. They may require you to show a passport or other proof of identity for this. If the person is not registered with a GP surgery you can ask your local clinical commissioning group (formerly your primary care trust (PCT)), which you can find here: http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Clinical-CommissioningGroup/LocationSearch/1 Date and place of birth – you will find this on a birth certificate / passport. Date of marriage or civil partnership (if appropriate) – you will find this on the marriage certificate - if you are unable to locate this then the General Register office holds details of every marriage registered in England and Wales. For further details go to: https://www.gov.uk/research-family-history For Scotland go to www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk For Northern Ireland refer to www.nidirect.gov.uk Tax reference number – you can get this from the deceased’s employer or from any tax correspondence from HRMC. What to do in the first five days There are a few steps that need to be taken shortly after the death. In many cases the hospital or GP involved will help you with this: Notify the family GP (if not already notified); Register the death at a register office; Find the Will – the deceased person’s solicitor may have a copy if you can’t find one; Begin funeral arrangements – you will need to check the Will for any special requests; If the deceased person was in receipt of a state pension or any state benefits, you will need to complete form BD8 (which will be given to you when you register the death) and send to the local Jobcentre Plus or Social Security; If the person who has died was receiving any tax credits, advise the offices that were making the payments;
If there is a Will contact the Executor (if this isn’t you), as this will enable them to start the process of obtaining Probate (the legal process of administrating the Estate of the person who has died); If there is no Will, decide who will apply to sort out the deceased’s affairs, and contact the Probate Registry to apply for ‘Letters of Administration’. You can find your local Registry by contacting: 020 7947 6939 or visiting: www.justice.gov.uk/courts/probate/probate-registries.
Registering the death You must register the death with the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths for the district where the death occurred. When someone dies at home, the death should be registered at the register office for the district where they lived. If the death took place in hospital or a nursing home it must be registered at the register office for the district in which the hospital or home is situated. In England or Wales, if it is convenient, you can go to a different office to register the death and the details will be passed on to the correct office. You should check the opening hours of the office you wish to go to and contact them beforehand as some offices have an appointments system. You can find the Registry Office for the area where the person has died either from the local area phonebook or by visiting: www.registeringadeath.co.uk You need to register the death within 5 days (8 days in Scotland), unless it has been referred to the Coroner. If the death has been reported to a Coroner you cannot register it until the Coroner’s investigations are finished. Visit www.gov.uk to use an interactive tool that will give you tailored information for your situation. The death should be registered by one of the following (in order of priority): A relative who was present at the death; A relative present during the person’s last illness; A relative living in the district where the death took place; Anyone else present at the death; An owner or occupier of the building where the death took place and who was aware of the death; The person arranging the funeral (but not the funeral director). You can not delegate the responsibility for registering the death to anyone else. You must take with you the medical certificate of death (which the doctor who certified the death will have issued), since the death cannot be registered until the Registrar has seen this. If possible, you should also take the person’s NHS medical card and birth and marriage certificates. The Registrar will want from you the following information:
The date and place of death; The full name of the person (including maiden name) and their last address; The person’s date and place of birth; The person’s occupation and, in the case of a woman who was married or widowed, full name and occupation of her husband; If the person was still married, the date of birth of their husband or wife; Whether the person was receiving a pension or other social security benefits.
Forms When you have registered the death, the Registrar will give you a green certificate known as the Green Form in England and Wales, Form 14 in Scotland, and Form 36/BD8 in Northern Ireland - you will need to give this to the funeral director. There is no charge for this form. This allows either burial or cremation to go ahead. Occasionally a Registrar may be able to issue a certificate for burial where no-one has yet been able to register the death. The Registrar will also give you a form to send to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (in Northern Ireland the Social Security Agency). This allows them to deal with the person’s pension and other benefits. Death Certificate The death certificate is a copy of the entry made by the Registrar in the death register. The certificate is needed to deal with money or property left by the person who has died, including dealing with the Will. You may need several copies of the certificate, for which there will be a charge (approximately £9). Copies required at a later date will be more expensive. Note that ordinary photocopies are not accepted by some organisations, such as banks or life insurance companies. You may need as many as ten copies, and the price will vary between Local Authorities. You can get copies of the death certificate from the General Register Office. Contact details are on the DirectGov website at: https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate In Northern Ireland certificates can be obtained from the General Register Office of Northern Ireland. Their contact details can be found at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro. Death abroad If someone dies whilst abroad, you should register the death according to the local regulations of the country and get a consulate death certificate. You will also need to register the death with the British Consul in the country the person died in, so that a record can be kept in the UK. The British Consul will support you by offering practical advice and help with funeral arrangements and other formalities such as inquests. If the person died whilst on a package holiday, the tour operator will be able to contact funeral directors and British Consular staff for you.
For further information and to find details of British Consulates around the world, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500 or go to the website: https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations
Funerals There is no specified period within which a funeral must take place after death. Most funerals are arranged by the nearest relatives, for example, a spouse or civil partner. However, if there are no relatives, anyone close to the person can arrange the funeral instead. When you arrange the funeral, you should think about what type of funeral the person would have wanted and what should happen to their body. The deceased person may have left funeral instructions in their Will or in a letter about their wishes. If there are no clear wishes then the Executor or nearest relative will usually decide if the body will be cremated or buried, and what type of funeral will take place.
The deceased may have paid into a funeral plan or life insurance policy, or a pension scheme that provides a lump sum towards funeral costs. If you arrange the funeral, you are responsible for the bill, so check first where the money will come from. If the deceased person left any money, property, or assets, these can be used to pay for the funeral, as funeral costs take precedence over any debts. Sometimes banks and building societies will release money from the person’s account to pay funeral costs, but they do not have to do this until Probate has been granted (probate is the certificate giving your executors authority to deal with your estate). If there is a delay, you may need to pay the funeral costs out of your own pocket in the meantime. Some people do not leave enough money to pay for even a simple funeral. If this happens, the person arranging the funeral will have to pay for it, although other relatives or friends may be willing to contribute. There is no general death grant, but if you are in this situation and you receive a means-tested social security benefit (such as income support), you may be able to get payment from the social fund (known as funeral payment) to cover the cost of a simple funeral. For further information on Government financial assistance refer to the Financial Support section further on in this Guide. If the person who died was receiving a war disablement pension, the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency will help with the cost of a simple funeral. Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Email: [email protected]
Website: www.veterans-uk.info/pensions/pensions.html Tel: 0800 1692277 (helpline) Funeral Directors Most funerals are arranged through a funeral director (who used to be known as an undertaker). It is important to find a funeral director who belongs to one of the professional organisations, such as the National Association of Funeral Directors, or the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors, since these associations have codes of practice and complaints procedures. National Association of Funeral Directors Email: [email protected]
Website: www.nafd.org.uk Tel: 01962 712 690 The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors Email [email protected]
Website: www.saif.org.uk Tel: 0207 324 3060 Burial or cremation A burial can take place in a churchyard, a Local Authority cemetery or a private cemetery. Burials can also take place on private land, or in a woodland site, although in Northern Ireland this will have to be approved by the Authority responsible for the site. Although there is no law preventing burials on private land (including a garden) anyone wishing to do so should contact their Local Authority, who may issue a certificate confirming that the burial is lawful. Anyone living within the parish has the right to be buried in the parish churchyard, if there is space, or in any adjoining burial ground. Some churches will allow others to be buried there as well (For example, those with family graves). There is no right to be buried in any particular part of a churchyard or burial ground.
Most cemeteries are owned by Local Authorities or private companies and are non-denominational, although some have space dedicated to particular religious groups. It is important to check the papers of the person who has died to find out if they have already purchased a grave space in a churchyard, cemetery or woodland burial ground. The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management provide a wide range of information about burial and cremation, including information about burial on private land. It also provides information on funerals without funeral directors, and environmental issues. Website: www.iccm-uk.com Tel: 020 8989 4661 The Natural Death Centre can give advice on environmentally friendly burials as well as inexpensive funerals that do not need the services of a funeral director. Email: [email protected]
Website: www.naturaldeath.org.uk Tel: 0871 288 2098 Funeral Service The person arranging the service may choose any form of service. If you do not want any form of religious ceremony, the British Humanist Association can give advice on a non-religious (secular) service. Email: [email protected]
Website: www.humanism.org.uk Tel: 020 7079 3580 If you do not want a service of any kind the funeral director can arrange for burial or cremation without any form of service. Disposing of ashes Ashes will usually be ready within a day of the cremation, although you should discuss this with the Funeral Director. They may be scattered or buried at the crematorium, either by crematorium staff or by relatives or friends. Ashes can also be buried in a churchyard or cemetery, often with a short service. Ashes can generally be scattered anywhere, but if you wish to scatter ashes on private land you should get consent from the landowner. Although UK law allows ashes to be taken abroad, many countries have strict rules on the importation of ashes and it is important to check before travelling. Memorials Churchyards and cemeteries have firm rules about the size and type of memorials that are allowed and it is important to check on these rules before ordering anything. Church of England churchyards usually have more rules than Local Authority cemeteries. Some woodland cemeteries permit wooden plaques but most will only allow for planting a tree. The funeral director will usually apply to the church or cemetery authority for permission to erect a memorial. The authority will normally change for giving its permission.
Names of local monumental masons can be obtained from the National Association of Memorial Masons. Email: [email protected]
Website: www.namm.org.uk Tel: 01788 542264
Who to tell about the death As well as informing people who are close to the person, you will need to inform relatives, friends, employer, school, and their solicitor/accountant. You will also need to inform banks, building societies and other organisations that hold money in the name of the deceased as soon as possible after the death so that they can freeze the accounts. This reduces the risk of fraud. Pensions and benefits agencies should also be a priority to reduce the possibility of overpayments which would later need to be refunded. You will need to inform agencies who provide care, such as home carers or a day centre. You should cancel any appointments the deceased had arranged, for example a hospital or dentist appointment. This avoids any distress if they contact you and are unaware of the death, and means these services can be provided to others in need. Telling Government departments A new service has been introduced in England, Scotland and Wales called “Tell Us Once”. This service isn’t yet available in Northern Ireland. If your Local Authority offers this service they’ll tell you about it when you go to register the death. Using this service means the information you give is shared with other Government departments and services that need to be told. You can contact “Tell Us Once” either face to face through the Local Authority or via a free phone number operated by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). You can get the number from the Registrar when you register the death. Alternatively you can complete the details online. The Registrar will give you a unique “Tell Us Once” reference number which you will need to log in. The type of information you will be asked to provide about the person includes:
death certificate details – you get this when the death is registered; their National Insurance number; date of birth; details of any benefits and services they were getting.
You will also be asked for the name of the closest relative – known as the ‘Next of Kin’. If you’re not the Next of Kin (or spouse/partner), you must have permission from them before you give any information to the adviser. After you have used the “Tell Us Once” service, the relevant Government departments and services will be contacted on your behalf. Depending on your circumstances these may include:
Adult Services (social care for adults); Children’s Services; Council Housing; Council Tax Office; Disability and Carers’ Service;
DVLA (driving license agency); HM Revenue and Customs (for Child Benefit, Tax Credits and personal taxation); Passport Service; Pension Service.
The information you give to the adviser is only passed on to the Government departments that need to know. If the “Tell Us Once” service does not operate in your area, you will need to contact all the relevant organisations individually:
The relevant Tax Office – any close relative of the deceased can tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about the death. This should be done as soon as possible so that HMRC don’t send mail that might cause distress. They will need the deceased’s full name and address, and National Insurance number. You will also need to give the name and address of the person who’s dealing with the Estate – the “personal representative”. HMRC Bereavement Helpline: 0845 300 0627 (When you call HMRC and an automated message starts, select option 2 and then option 4 to speak to an advisor on the Bereavement Helpline.)
National Insurance Contributions – if they were self employed (to cancel payments). Tel: 0845 302 1479
Department for Work and Pension Bereavement Service – In England and Wales the DWP Bereavement Service allows you to report a death to DWP in a single phone call, which will cover all the DWP benefits that the deceased was getting. At the same time they can do a benefit check to find out if the Next of Kin can claim any benefits, and take a claim for bereavement benefits or a funeral payment over the phone. Tel: 0845 608 8601
Child Benefit Office – contact them if the person receiving the benefit or the child dies. This can be completed online or on the helpline number 0845 3021444.
Local Authority - if they paid Council Tax, had a parking permit, were issued with a Blue Badge for disabled parking, or received social services help, attended day care or similar. To find details of the Local Authority go to the GOV.UK Local Council directory: https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
HM Passport Office – to return and cancel a passport. It is important that the passport of a deceased person is cancelled so it cannot be used illegally. If you are responsible for a deceased person's belongings, you should return the passport to HM Passport Office whenever possible. You should either hand in the passport to your nearest Passport Customer Service Centre or send it to Customer Service Manager, Newport Passport Office, PO Box 175, Newport NP20 1XA along with 'What to do with a passport when the passport holder has died' form. You can get the form online on the GOV.UK website or by calling the Passport Advice line on 0300 222000. Before posting the passport cut off the top right hand corner of the book. If you are unable to find the deceased’s passport then you must still inform HM Passport Office of the death.
DVLA – to return a driving license. Send the license to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1AB with a covering note explaining the license holder has died. If the license is lost then send a letter with details of the deceased’s name and address and date of birth. To cancel car tax or return car registration documents/change of ownership then contact 0300 7906802. For DVLA customer enquiries telephone: 0300 7906801 Option 3 and then Option 8.
Who else needs to be contacted Below is a list of who else you may need to contact. As you contact the relevant organisations it will be helpful to keep a log of who you have contacted, and any further next steps you need to take. Financial Organisations Bank Accounts Building Societies Credit card providers Store cards Hire Purchases / Loan companies / rental – car, student loan, furniture Mortgage Provider Endowment Policies Savings Plans / ISA’s Premium Bonds Investments - Stocks and Shares Insurance companies House Contents Car Travel Medical Life Health / long term care If the deceased was the first named on the insurance policy, make contact as early as possible to check that you are still insured.
Private Pension provider Utilities and Household Contacts Landlord or Local Authority if they rented a property Any private organisation/agency providing home help Utility Companies if accounts were in deceased’s name: Gas/electricity Water Telephone Council Tax Mobile phone Royal Mail, if mail needs directing
TV/internet companies with which the deceased had subscriptions Other services such as: Milk / newspaper deliveries / Gardening / lawn care / window cleaner Other Contacts Dentist Church / regular place of worship Clubs e.g. book / music Professional Body Memberships Leisure Memberships / clubs – sports, gym Magazine / journal subscriptions Associations with seasonal membership for cancellation and refunds e.g. football Trade Unions Charities e.g. National Trust, Wildlife Trust Websites – Facebook, LinkedIn Creditors – anyone to who the deceased owed money Debtors – anyone who owed the deceased money Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service to remove the deceased’s name from mailing lists and databases Stopping unwanted mail Receiving junk mail addressed to a deceased relative can be distressing and a painful reminder of the loss of a loved one. Bereavement Register and the Deceased Preference Service are both free services to help reduce the amount of direct mail sent to the deceased’s address. It is a good idea to contact these organisations because it helps reduce the risk of fraud using the identity of the person who dies, as well as reducing the number of companies you will have to contact individually. Unless companies are informed of a death, they will continue to send promotional mailings about their products and services. By registering the name and address, the deceased’s name is removed from mailing lists, stopping most direct mail within as little as six weeks. These services should not stop correspondence from companies with whom the person who had died had a relationship, for example, their bank or telephone provider. The aim is to stop post that is advertising for products and services. Email: [email protected]
Website: www.the-bereavement-register.org.uk Tel: 0207 089 6430 or 0800 082 1230 - 24 hour automated registration service Website: www.deceasedpreferenceservice.co.uk
Tel: 0800 068 44 33 Personal Possessions If there is a Will, you should check it before starting to sort out personal possessions, as it might ask for particular items to be passed on as gifts. Alternatively, the Will may instruct that all house contents are to be disposed of in a particular way, for example, sold to benefit a charity. Emptying a property There are companies that will do the whole job for you. Their details can be found under ‘House Clearance' in telephone directories. However, many families choose to do some sorting themselves. It can be difficult, but also comforting to distribute the person's possessions and personal items as they would have wanted. Collections and memorabilia If the deceased had collections of items or memorabilia that are not specifically allocated in the Will and are not wanted by family members or friends, it might be worth keeping the collection complete. You can arrange for an expert view on selling the items as a set. If the collection is valuable it may need to be formally valued for the purposes of Probate. Some items may be of interest to local museums, and clothing, especially dress associated with particular professions or of a particular era, may be of use to a local theatre company. Personal and household goods Electrical goods, such as washing machines and furniture, can easily be sold by local advertising if family members or friends do not need them, or they can be donated to a local charity. Pets If someone has been taking care of a pet, you might need to find a permanent home for it. Contact RSPCA via their website to find local RSPCA in your area: Website: www.RSPCA.org.uk Tel: Advice and Information Line on 0300 1234 999 Or go to Pets Need You to register a pet that needs re-homing: Website www.petsneedyou.org.uk Local charities Local charities are usually grateful for the donation of items of furniture, clothing and other possessions. These may be sold through their shops, or re-used, for example, to furnish a home for a homeless family. If you are donating clothing to a charity shop it is often a good idea to take it to a shop some distance away from the immediate family, as it can be distressing to recognise someone else wearing clothing associated with the deceased.
Section 3: Dealing with the financial affairs of someone who has died (Note the process may differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Please refer to: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/02/6043/downloads#res386827 and http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/introduction-to-dealing-with-finances-after-adeath.htm) Everything owned by a person who has died is known as their ‘Estate’. The Estate may be made up of:
money, both cash and money in a bank or building society account. This could include money paid out on a life insurance policy; money owed to the person who has died; shares; property, for example, their home; personal possessions, for example, their car or jewellery.
If the person who died owes money to other people, for example, on a credit card, for fuel, for rent, or a mortgage, this comes out of the Estate. The Estate of the person who has died is usually passed to surviving relatives and friends, either according to instructions in the Will, or if the person dies without leaving a Will, according to certain legal rules called the rules of intestacy. The person dealing with the Estate of the person who has died is called an Executor or an Administrator. An Executor is someone who is named in the Will as responsible for dealing with the Estate. An Executor may have to apply for a special legal authority before they can deal with the Estate. This is called Probate or ‘Confirmation’ in Scotland. An Administrator is someone who is responsible for dealing with an Estate under certain circumstances, for example, if there is no Will or the named Executors aren't willing to act. An Administrator has to apply for Letters of Administration before they can deal with an Estate. (Please see the following page for details of how to do this). Although there are some exceptions, it is usually against the law for you to start sharing out the Estate or to get money from the Estate, until you have Probate or Letters of Administration.
What does the Executor or Administrator do? The Executor or Administrator (also called the personal representative) takes responsibility for dealing with all of the Estate. This involves:
finding all the financial documentation belonging to the person who died; sending a copy of the death certificate to the organisations that hold the money of the person who has died. Ask them for confirmation of the value of the money held at the date of death and the amount of income received during the last tax year up to the date of death. Also ask them to freeze the bank accounts so no one can take money out without the correct legal authority; opening a bank account on behalf of the Estate; finding out details of money owed to the Estate; finding out details of money owed by the person who has died; preparing a detailed list of the property, money and possessions and debts in the Estate; working out the amount of Inheritance Tax due and arranging to pay it; preparing and sending off the documents required by the Probate Registry and HM Revenue and Customs; when Probate or Letters of Administration has been granted, collecting in money belonging to the Estate from banks, insurance companies, pension funds and building societies; paying debts, expenses and fees, such as solicitors' fees and Probate fees; sharing out the Estate, as set out in the Will or according to the rules of intestacy.
If it appears that there are not enough assets in the Estate to cover outstanding tax, expenses, bills and other liabilities, you should seek the advice of a solicitor. Administering an insolvent Estate can be complicated. Probate (‘Confirmation’ in Scotland) If you are named in someone's Will as an Executor, you may have to apply for Probate. This is a legal document which gives you the authority to share out the Estate of the person who has died according to the instructions in the Will. You do not always need Probate to be able to deal with the Estate, if the Estate is of very low value (under £5,000) with no property to be dealt with. Letters of Administration In some circumstances, someone who wants to deal with the Estate of the deceased will have to apply for Letters of Administration, rather than Probate. This person is called an Administrator. You have to apply for Letters of Administration if: there is no Will; a Will is not valid; there are no Executors named in the Will; the Executors cannot or are unwilling to act. (In Scotland if there is no Executor named or there is no Will, then the solicitor or Sherriff Clerk will arrange for the court to appoint an Executor called ‘Executor Dative’. The Executor Dative will normally be the surviving spouse or civil partner, or if no such person, someone who is entitled to inherit from the Estate can apply.) There are strict rules about who can be an Administrator. If there is a valid Will, you can apply for Letters of Administration if:
the person who died left all of their Estate to you in the Will, and
the Executors are not named, or cannot or are unwilling to act.
If there is no valid Will, and you are the Next of Kin, you can apply to be an Administrator in the following order of priority:
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the married partner or civil partner of the person who has died; the child of the person who has died; the grandchild of the person who has died; the parent of the person who has died; the brother or sister of the person who has died; the nephew or niece of the person who has died; another relative of the person who has died.
An unmarried partner or same-sex partner who has not registered a civil partnership and who has not been named in a Will as an Executor will not usually be able to act as an Administrator. If you are the Executor or Administrator of someone's Will, you'll need to sort out their tax after they have died. You can find information about how to do this on the DirectGov website at: https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/overview. This includes information about how to get tax money back, if it's due. Many Executors and Administrators act without a solicitor. However, if the Estate is complicated, it is best to get legal advice. You should always get legal advice if, for example:
the terms of a Will are not clear; part of the Estate is to pass to children under the age of 18; the person who died has left money or property in a Trust; the person who died owned land or property abroad; the person who died owned a business; anyone is likely to dispute the Will.
The legal fees can be paid for from the Estate or you may qualify for legal aid. If there are any problems with the way that Executors or Administrators deal with the Estate, for example, if there is unreasonable delay, or if the Executors or Administrators misuse their legal powers, you will need legal advice. How to apply for Probate or Letters of Administration To apply for Probate or Letters of Administration, you need to fill in a number of forms. You will always need to fill in form PA1. This form asks for details about the person who has died, their surviving relatives, the personal representative and some details about the Will, if there is one. You will also need to fill in other forms depending on what is in the Estate and how much it is worth. You can get an application pack from any local Probate Registry (or Sheriff Clerk in Scotland) or by telephoning the HMRC Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline on 0845 302 0900. You can get contact details of the nearest Probate Registry from the helpline number or on HM Courts and Tribunals Service website at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/Probate/Probate-registries
The forms and leaflets are also available on the internet. PA1 can be found on HM Courts and Tribunals Service website as above. Other forms are available from HMRC website at: http://search2.hmrc.gov.uk/kb5/hmrc/forms/ihtforms.page. You will be required to go for an interview at a Probate Registry when you have sent in the forms, so ensure you return the forms to the Probate Registry where you would like to go for the interview. With the forms, you also have to send:
the original Will (if there is one); the death certificate; the Probate fee.
Make sure you keep copies of the forms you have filled in. The Probate fee The fee for applying for Probate or Letters of Administration depends on the value of the Estate. There is no fee where the value of the Estate is less than £5,000. The fee for an Estate valued at £5,000 or more is £105 (as at April 2013), cheques payable to HM Courts & Tribunals Service. You can apply to pay a reduced fee, or no fee, if you are on a low income or face financial hardship. Apply on form EX160 which you can get from the website of HM Courts and Tribunals Service as above. Going to the interview at the Probate Registry When they have looked at your forms, the Probate Registry will contact you, giving a date and time when you have to go for an interview with them. You need to take all relevant documents and letters with you, for example, bank books, share certificates and details of any debts of the person who has died. You also need to take identification with you, for example, your passport or driving licence. The Probate Registry will have transferred all the details onto the official legal papers by the time of the interview. You should read these very carefully and check all the details. You are legally responsible for making sure the documents are correct and you have to confirm on oath that the details are accurate. Inheritance Tax Whether or not Probate or Letters of Administration is needed, you have to inform HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the death, in case Inheritance Tax is payable. Inheritance Tax is a tax on someone’s assets when they die. This tax may have to be paid if the Estate is valued at more than £325,000 (2013/2014). Everything over this amount will be subject to a tax of 40%. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example, if the husband, wife or civil partner inherits the Estate. The person’s assets may include property, pensions, investments, insurance policies, individual items such as cars, jewellery, paintings, gifts that have been made in the last 7 years, and assets held in Trust that generated an income. If Inheritance Tax has to be paid, some of the tax must be paid before Probate or Letters of Administration is granted. Once Probate or Letters of Administration has been has been granted, the final tax bill will be sorted out.
For more about Inheritance Tax, go to the GOV.UK website. This information includes: how and when you have to pay Inheritance Tax; Inheritance Tax exemptions; inheritance planning. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/browse/tax/inheritance-tax After Probate or Letters of Administration has been granted After the interview, you will get a letter saying how much Inheritance Tax is still left to pay. Once this has been paid, Probate or Letters of Administration will be sent to you in the post. It will include details of the gross and net value of the Estate, that is, the value of the Estate before and after debts have been deducted. A photocopy of the Will, stamped to prove it is an official copy, is also sent. Both the Probate/Letters of Administration and the Will are public documents and can be examined by anyone who wants to see them. Once you have got Probate or Letters of Administration, you can begin to deal with the Estate and share out the property. The GOV.UK website has a useful checklist of what to do when someone dies. You can find this online at: https://www.gov.uk/after-a-death HM Courts and Tribunals Service produces a useful guide for people who are applying for Probate or Letters of Administration. It is called How to obtain Probate - A Guide for people acting without a solicitor. You can download the leaflet from their website at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/Probate/obtain-Probate Process for Scotland For further information on confirmation in Scotland refer to the Scottish Court service Website: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking-action/dealing-with-adeceased's-estate-in-scotland
You can also download a guide “What to do after a death in Scotland” from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/law/17867/fm-bereavement-root or write to the address below for a copy: The Scottish Government Law Reform Division Area 2W, St Andrew’s House Regent Road Edinburgh EH1 3DG Tel: 0131 244 3581
Coping with difficult discoveries During the administration of the estate or when you provide information to authorities, you may discover facts about the deceased which you were not aware of. Sometimes what you find out can be a shock, or leave you with unexpected obligations. Often talking things through with your family will help you come to terms with this together. Debt It is not uncommon to discover that even the people you are closest to have debts which they have not told you about. Being in debt can be frightening and stressful or may cause someone to feel embarrassed and keep things hidden. Sometimes financial problems can go undetected for months or years and may only come to light when the Executor or Administrator begins to handle the deceased’s estate. You may feel concerned that debts will pass to relatives or friends. It is important to remember that the deceased's estate is liable for most of their debts – not their family. If the estate does not have enough resources to pay some debts, these are generally paid in order of priority secured debts (such as mortgage), then funeral costs, then other debts (including taxes). This will be handled by the Executor or Administrator. Some debts may pass on to surviving family so you should take care to investigate whether you will be responsible for additional payments:
Debts in joint names, for example bank accounts: The debt will now be the sole responsibility of the surviving person. Mortgages: These must be paid, even if there is no insurance to cover it. This may mean you have to sell the property, but you can contact the lender to inform them and discuss options. Tenancy agreements: You will need to transfer any legal agreements such as tenancy agreements, utility bills or any other joint contracts you had into your own name. If any of these agreements are in arrears you will normally need to pay the normal monthly amount plus something towards the arrears. Some debts could be covered by the deceased's life insurance or payment protection insurance so it is important to contact the insurance company to check whether you have a claim. You may also be able to discover bank accounts which you or the estate could be entitled to, for example through websites such as: http://www.mylostaccount.org.uk/index.htm Personal history You may be contacted by people you do not know who were connected to the deceased. They may have been listed as a contact by the deceased, for example with the hospital or solicitor; they may have seen the funeral details if you published them; or they may have been contacted by one of the deceased’s friends or family.
It is also possible for a number of people (whom you may not know) to make a claim to inherit from the estate, including a former spouse or civil partner; someone living in the same household as a spouse or civil partner; any child of the deceased including illegitimate, legitimated and adopted children of any age; or any person who was maintained wholly or partly by the deceased immediately before his death. Finding out that you have a wider family may be upsetting, for example if the deceased had a child from a previous marriage or a partner which you were not aware of. You might have feelings of guilt that you did not know an important detail about the deceased, or betrayal that they did not confide this in you. You may also feel resentment towards people you do not know who make a claim to inherit from the deceased’s estate. It is often helpful to try and focus on the feelings that these other people may be experiencing. They will also be coming to terms with the loss of the deceased as well as perhaps meeting new family for the first time and could be experiencing similar emotions to you. If there is likely to be a dispute over inheritance of the deceased’s estate, it may help to keep these new relationships from breaking down if you involve solicitors from the outset.
Section 4: Financial Support for those left behind Bereavement Benefits The Bereavement service operated by the Department for Work and Pensions will check if the surviving husband, wife or civil partner can claim help with funeral costs or receive other benefits. Some of the benefits may include: Funeral payment If you're on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you're arranging, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund. You might have to repay some or all of it from the Estate of the person who died. You may be eligible for a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund if you or your partner is getting any of the following benefits or tax credits:
Income Support; income-based Jobseeker's Allowance; income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Pension Credit; Housing Benefit; Council Tax Benefit (or the Council Tax payer where you live gets a Second Adult Rebate because you are on a low income); Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element; Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element.
The term 'partner' is used here to mean: a person you are married to, or person you live with as if you are married to them; a civil partner, or person you live with as if you are civil partners. A Funeral Payment includes necessary burial or cremation fees, certain other specified expenses and up to £700 for any other funeral expenses, for example, funeral director's fees, coffin or flowers. If the person who died had a pre-paid funeral plan, you'll only get help for items not already covered by the plan. You can ask for a Funeral Payment claim form by contacting your local Job Centre Plus office. You can also download the claim form (form SF200) from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website. Or in Northern Ireland from the NIdirect Government services website. The form comes with notes to help you fill it in. Once you have completed the form please send or take it to your local Job Centre Plus office. You have up to three months to claim a Funeral Payment after the date of the funeral. Bereavement Payment If your husband, wife, or civil partner has died, you may be able to get a Bereavement Payment, a one-off, lump-sum payment of £2,000 that's tax-free (as at April 2013). You may be able to claim a Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife, or civil partner had paid their National Insurance contributions (NICs), or their death was caused by their job, and either:
you were under State Pension age when they died; your husband, wife, or civil partner was not entitled to Category A state Retirement Benefit when they died.
When you fill in the claim form you'll be asked to give your late husband, wife, or civil partner's National Insurance number, and details of their recent employment history. This will allow the office that deals with your claim to look into their National Insurance record, and to work out if you qualify for Bereavement Payment. You can order a Bereavement Benefits pack (form BB1) over the telephone, from your nearest Job Centre Plus office or download form BB1 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website. Bereavement Allowance After you're widowed you may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance, a taxable weekly benefit. It is paid to you for up to 52 weeks from the date of death of your husband, wife, or civil partner. You may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance if all of the following apply:
you're a widow, widower or surviving civil partner aged 45 or over when your husband, wife, or civil partner died; you're not bringing up children; you're under State Pension age; your late husband, wife, or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions (NICs), or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease.
When you fill in the claim form you'll be asked to give your late husband's, wife's or civil partner's National Insurance number. You will also be asked for details of their recent employment history. This will allow the office that deals with your claim to look into their National Insurance record. They can then work out how much, if any, Bereavement Allowance you might get. If you're widowed below State Pension age and you have a dependent child, you can claim Widowed Parent's Allowance. But you can't get Widowed Parent's Allowance and Bereavement Allowance at the same time. You can order a Bereavement Benefits claim pack (form BB1) over the telephone, from your nearest Job Centre Plus office or download form BB1 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website. Once you've completed the form, send it to your nearest Job Centre Plus office as soon as possible. Bereavement Allowance will be subject to the benefits cap on the total amount of benefit that working-age people can receive. On 15 April 2013, the benefits cap was introduced in four local councils and it will be introduced in all other council areas by 30 September 2013. For more information visit the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/benefit-cap. Widowed Parent’s Allowance If you’re a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and you have at least one child who you receive Child Benefit for, you may be able to get Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA).
You may get WPA if all the following apply:
you're bringing up a child or young person under 16 (or under 20 in some cases) for whom you're getting Child Benefit; you're under State Pension age; your husband, wife or civil partner has died; your husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions (NICs.).
You may also claim WPA if:
you're expecting your late husband's baby or your late civil partner's baby (with whom you were pregnant from fertility treatment); your husband, wife or civil partner died as a result of their work - even if they didn't pay NICs.
Widowed Parent’s Allowance will be subject to the benefits cap on the total amount of benefit that working-age people can receive. On 15 April 2013, the benefits cap was introduced in four local councils and it will be introduced in all other council areas by 30 September 2013. For more information visit the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/benefit-cap. War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension A War Widow's or Widower's Pension is a tax-free pension you may be entitled to if your wife, husband or civil partner died as a result of their service in Her Majesty's (HM) Armed Forces or during a time of war. You may be entitled to a War Widow's or Widower's Pension if any of the following applies: Your husband, wife or civil partner:
died as result of their service in HM Armed Forces before 6 April 2005; was a civil defence volunteer or a civilian and their death was a result of the 1939 to 1945 war; was a merchant seaman, a member of the naval auxiliary services, or a coastguard and their death was a result of an injury or disease they got during a war or because they were a prisoner of war; died as a result of their service as a member of the Polish Forces under British command during the 1939 to 1945 war, or in the Polish Resettlement Forces; was getting a War Pensions Constant Attendance Allowance at the time of their death, or would have been had they not been in hospital; was getting a War Disablement Pension at the 80 per cent rate or higher and was getting Unemployability Supplement.
For more information contact the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency's free helpline. Tel: 0800 169 2277
Section 5: Tesco Support Bereavement Leave We recognise the need to support you if a close member of your family dies. Our policy is to provide up to 5 days’ bereavement leave. This is paid leave for personal grieving. The following list should help you determine who would normally be considered as a close family member.
Spouse / Civil Partner / Partner Parent / Child Brother / Sister Grandparent Partner of Parent Parent of Partner
This is not a definitive list; therefore please speak to your Personnel Manager if your situation does not fit in with the above, as they may make the decision to treat other family members as close family. If you work less than 5 days per week, then the number of paid leave days will be pro–rata depending on the number of days you are contracted to work. Additional time off If you require additional time off from work to help you get through the grieving process or to manage affairs, then please discuss with your Personnel Manager – there are a number of options that they will be able to help you with, depending on your needs. It is important that you regularly keep in touch with your Personnel Manager whilst you are not at work so that they can offer you any support that you may require. Support services Tesco can offer you free counselling from Relate for you and your family via live chat or SMS text on your mobile. Alternatively they can offer reduced rates for telephone or face to face counselling. To find out more go to www.relate.org.uk/tesco-staff
Section 6: Being a carer Introduction At some point in our lives most one of us will be involved in looking after an older relative, a sick friend or a disabled family member. Whilst caring is part and parcel of life, without the right support the personal costs of caring can be high. This guide sets out the support that is available for those wishing to care for their loved ones are the same and managing the effects which caring can have on your life.
Tesco support We recognise the need to support you during the end of the life of a close family member. If you require time off from work to help you care for someone or to manage their affairs, then please discuss this with your Manager – there are a number of options that they will be able to help you with, depending on your needs. 1. Flexible working In the first instance, we will consider any request for holidays or other practical arrangements to best support you. You may choose to request flexible working arrangements and depending on your role, we can support working part-time hours, job-share, swapping shifts, homeworking and flexible hours. You should discuss this with your line manager. 2. Unpaid compassionate leave You are able to take compassionate leave to help with the final days of a close family member’s life. It is also possible to take time off unpaid, normally up to 3 months. The following list should help you determine who would normally be considered as a close family member.
Spouse / Civil Partner / Partner Parent / Child Brother / Sister Grandparent Partner of Parent Parent of Partner
This is not a definitive list and you can speak to your line manager if there is a loved one which you wish to care for. You should ask your personnel manager how your benefits would be affected during this this period. 3. Lifestyle/Career break If you have a year’s continuous service with the company, you can apply for a Lifestyle Break. This is normally 4 – 12 weeks leave which is unpaid, but most of your benefits such as staff discount card will be maintained whilst you are not at work.
It may also be possible to take a Career Break, which is appropriate for longer term care, normally between 3 months and 5 years. Whilst the start of your break would end your employment with the company, we will support you returning to work and your service with the company will be linked if you return to work for Tesco.
Further information The following source can offer you guidance and support for being a carer: Marie Curie Website: http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/en-GB/patients-carers/for-carers/ Guides, booklets and checklists on being a carer. Includes short films sharing the experience of others. Carers UK Website: http://www.carersuk.org/ Provides information and support to carers. The telephone advice line (0808 808 7777) is open Wednesday and Thursday, 10am - 12noon and 2pm - 4pm and advises on benefits, carers employment rights, the services available for carers and how to complain effectively and challenge decisions. NHS Website: http://www.nhs.uk/carersdirect/Pages/CarersDirectHome.aspx You can contact your local GP to discuss care and steps you can take. The Carers Direct helpline (0808 802 0202) provides free, confidential information and advice for carers. Lines are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends.
Section 7: Where to go for further help Citizens Advice Website: www.adviceguide.org.uk Advice is not available from a national number. This site gives information and links to local Citizens Advice Bureaux. GOV.UK - public services all in one place Website: www.gov.uk Official portal to UK national and local Government services. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Tel: 0845 850 2829 Website: www.fco.gov.uk follow links to Travelling & Living Abroad - contact us Government number for advice for deaths overseas or contacting relatives known to be overseas about a death in the UK. Website lists contact details for individual embassies. Money Advice Service Tel: 0300 500 5000 Website: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk Clear unbiased information to help you manage your money better. The Bereavement Register Tel: 0207 089 6403 Website: www.thebereavementregister.org.uk A service specifically designed to remove from databases and mailing files, the names and addresses of people who have died. Deceased Preference Service Tel: 0800 068 44 33 Website: www.deceasedpreferenceservice.co.uk A service specifically designed to remove from databases and mailing files, the names and addresses of people who have died. Institute of Civil Funerals Tel: 01480 861 411 Website: www.iocf.org.uk Provides details of civil funeral celebrants. National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) Tel: 0845 230 1343 Website: www.nafd.org.uk Largest professional association of funeral directors with Code of Practice and Arbitration Scheme. British Humanist Association Tel: 020 7324 3060 Website: www.humanism.org.uk Provides information on and officiants for non-religious funerals. Natural Death Centre Tel: 01962 712 690 Website: www.naturaldeath.org.uk Provides information on 'green' funerals and arranging a funeral yourself. It
includes details of natural burial grounds, biodegradable coffins, and how to organise an inexpensive green funeral with or without funeral directors. Pension Tracing Service Tel: 0845 6002537 Website: www.gov.uk/find-lost-pension To trace old work based pension schemes even if not sure of the contact details. Agencies which provide support and information SupportLine Telephone Helpline: 01708 765200, email [email protected]
- Provides emotional support and details of agencies, support groups, helplines and counsellors throughout the UK. Bereavement Trust Helpline: 0800 435 455 6pm-10pm every evening, www.bereavement-trust.org.uk - Support for anyone who has been bereaved. They also run an Asian language helpline for those who have been bereaved on 0800 9177 416 6pm-10pm every evening. BrakeCare: 0845 603 8570, www.brake.org.uk - Helpline for people bereaved or injured in a road crash, providing a listening ear and information on practical matters, and local counselling and trauma therapy services. Also offers assistance to police officers and other professionals. Campaign Against Drinking and Driving: Admin 0845 1235541, Helpline 0845 123 5542, email [email protected]
, www.cadd.org.uk - To support and assist the victims and families of victims who have suffered death or injury by drunken drivers on the roads in the UK. Child Bereavement Charity: 01494 568900, www.childbereavement.org.uk – provides support for bereaved families, online discussion forums, information. The Compassionate Friends: 0845 123 2304, www.tcf.org.uk - Helpline and support services run by bereaved parents. Support to parents and their immediate families after the death of a child/children of any age and from any cause. Northern Ireland Helpline: 0288 77 88 016 Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority: 0300 003 3601, http://www.justice.gov.uk/victims-and-witnesses/cica. Cruse Bereavement Care: Helpline 0844 477 9400 (0845 6002227 Scotland), www.cruse.org.uk or www.crusescotland.org.uk - Provides support services for people who have been bereaved. A helpline offering listening support and practical advice related to bereavement, including dealing with an Estate, debt and arranging a funeral. Puts people in touch with local cruse branches that provide a range of services including individual and group support. Cruse Bereavement Care - Youth Bereavement Service: 0808 808 1677, www.rd4u.org.uk - Helpline and other support for young people aged 12-18 following a bereavement. They also provide email and online support. Also group work with young people. Child Death Helpline: 0800 282 986, www.childdeathhelpline.org.uk - Helpline for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age - providing advice,
information, listening, befriending, referrals, and a face-to-face service by arrangement. The Lullaby Trust (formerly FSID): 0808 802 6868, http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/- Helpline for: people with concerns about cot death, bereaved families, and professionals. They provide information on: infant care; help with practical matters after the death of a baby; befrienders’ network; practical help for parents with another child through their programme ‘Care of the Next Infant’ (CONI). Grief Encounter Project: 020 8371 8455, www.griefencounter.org.uk – Workshops, one-to-one counselling telephone advice, resources and an interactive website for bereaved children, young people and their families. The Laura Centre: 0116 254 4341, www.thelauracentre.org - A family bereavement counselling centre which provides confidential counselling and group support free of charge for anyone affected by death of a child, at any age and from any cause. Any school aged child affected by the death of a parent, grandparent or significant adult. Telephone and email support throughout UK, face to face primarily Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Lincolnshire. National Association of Victim support Schemes: 0845 30 30 900, www.victimsupport.org – Provides emotional support, information and practical help to victims of crimes ranging from burglary to murder through a network of local branches. The Witness Service, operating in every criminal court, offers support and practical information about the court process before, during and after a trial. National Association of Widows: 0247 663 4840, www.widows.uk.net - Run by widows for widows of any age. Also maintain a Young Widows network. There are branches across the country. They offer information, comfort, friendship, and a listening ear. Write for information to Head Office, National Association of Widows, 3rd floor, 48 Queens Road, Coventry CV1 3EH. RoadPeace: 0845 450 0355, www.roadpeace.org - Helpline providing practical and emotional support for people who have suffered bereavement or injury in a road crash. Advice on rights, finding a lawyer, counselling and other support services. SAMM (Support After Murder and Manslaughter): 0845 872 3440, www.samm.org.uk - Telephone support line for families and friends of homicide victims. SCARD: (Support and Care After Road Death & Injury): Helpline 0845 123 5542 (office 0845 123 5541), www.scard.org.uk PO Box 62, Brighouse HD6 3YY - To alleviate distress to people who have been bereaved, injured or affected by road death or injury. Set up by a family who lost their 27 year old son in a car accident. Provide emotional and practical support, helpline, support groups, meetings and personal support. Help assist and accompany affected families and individuals and friends to Crown, Magistrates, or Coroners Court. Send out independent and informative information with regard to the judicial system, provides access to free initial legal help and advice, can assist bereaved families with access to free counselling within and outside the organisation. Scottish Cot Death Trust: 0141 357 3946, http://www.scottishcotdeathtrust.org/ - Telephone service for families who have
lost a child, pregnant women, mothers and professionals. Advice and information on reducing the risk of a cot death. Listening support. Befriending network. (Area served Scotland). Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide: 0844 561 6855, www.uk-sobs.org.uk - National Helpline and other support services run by a self help group for people bereaved by suicide. Helpline provides listening support and will put people in touch with their nearest local group. Monthly group meetings in various locations. Bereavement pack and literature for survivors. Conferences and support days. WAY Foundation: 0300 012 4929, email [email protected]
, www.wayfoundation.org.uk - Self help support group for men and women under 50 whose partner or spouse has died. Telephone support network of local members. Email support forums. Membership from £15 per year. Winston's Wish: 0845 20 30 405, www.winstonswish.org.uk - Support for bereaved children and young people. Useful websites
www.babyloss.com - Support to people who have suffered miscarriage or stillbirth. For women and their partners www.bereavedpartnerssupportgroup.com – support group in London for people who lose their loved ones to cancer, funded by Macmillan www.bereavementuk.co.uk - Online support site for those who have been bereaved www.gonetoosoon.org - Enables those who have been bereaved to set up an online memorial site to their loved one (no charge, donations welcome) www.patient.co.uk - Self help guide on bereavement under Health Information: Mental Health
Useful books How to Survive The Loss of a Love by Colgrove, Bloomfield, McWilliams Publishers Atlantic Books: ISBN 0931580439
How can I help? by June Cerza Kolf – published by Fisher Books This book gives guidance on how to support someone who is grieving. There are real life stories that are easy to relate to, and ideas to help others in each stage of grief.
Books for Children: Badger’s parting gifts by Susan Varley The tale of a dependable, reliable and helpful badger who realises that his old age will soon lead to his death. His friends learn to come to terms with his death in an enchanting tale. Full colour illustrations throughout.
When Someone Very Special Dies: children can learn to cope with grief by Marge Heegaard A workbook to help children work out feelings about death. Children, with the help of an adult, are invited to illustrate and personalise their loss through art.
Water Bugs and Dragonflies: explaining death to young children by Doris Stickney – Publishers Pilgrim Press After a water bug leaves her pond and is transformed into a dragonfly, her friends’ question’s about departures are like those children ask when someone dies.
Helping Teens Work Through Grief by Mary Kelly Perschy – Publishers Brunner-Routledge: ISBN 0-203-48790 This book is a valuable guide, helping adults connect with grieving teens. The reader will find background information along with activities to help teens reflect upon and talk about their particular concerns.
Section 7: Glossary of terms Who’s who after death Administrator The legal representative of a deceased person who has died without a Will and is usually one of the deceased's closest relatives; or the legal representative of a deceased person who has died with a Will but where there are no Executors able or willing to act. Anatomical Pathology Technologist or Technician Assists pathologists with post mortem examinations. Asset Holder Anyone who holds money or property on behalf of the deceased e.g. a bank. Barrister See ‘Lawyer'. Beneficiary Someone who will inherit from the Will or under the intestacy laws; also, the recipient of a payment under a trust or a life insurance policy may be described as a beneficiary. Celebrant Someone who officiates at a ceremony including a funeral. May be religious e.g. may be a faith leader, a humanist (secular) or civil (may include some religious content). Certifier of Death The doctor who completes the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. Must have cared for the deceased during life and be certain of the cause of death and that it is natural. Coroner The independent judicial officer who investigates unnatural and unexplained deaths. The Coroner's Officer works under the supervision of the coroner in the investigation of deaths. They may be civilians or police officers. Counsellor A qualified person who provides emotional therapy to others either in one to one interviews or though group meetings. Creditor A person or organisation owed money by the deceased. Embalmer Works for a funeral director to care for bodies. Executor A person appointed by a Will to administer the deceased person's Estate. Funeral arranger Works arrangements for a funeral.
Funeral director Sometimes called an undertaker. Takes responsibility for the care of the deceased person and arranging and conducting funerals. Lawyer There are three main categories of lawyer: solicitors, legal executives and barristers. They are all qualified professionals specialising in legal matters. Solicitors and legal executives are both able to assist in writing Wills and in dealing with the administration of Estates of deceased persons. Barristers represent clients in court.
Legal Executive See ‘Lawyer'. Medical Examiner A senior independent doctor who is responsible for checking that what a doctor who completes a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is accurate. They are part of a new system of death certification to be introduced in the next few years so they have only been appointed in a few places. Medical Examiner’s Officer A person whose role is to assist the Medical Examiner. They may work in the background helping with the paperwork, or may speak with bereaved families. Next of Kin The person who is the closest relation to the deceased in law. However is often used in quite a loose way e.g. a hospital patient can name someone to hospital staff as their 'Next of Kin' even if they are not the patient's closest relative. Officiant See ‘Celebrant'. Pall bearer A person who carries the coffin at a funeral. May be a professional employee of the funeral director or a relative or friend of the deceased. Pathologist A specialist doctor who diagnoses disease through the examination of body tissues and fluids. This may include carrying out post-mortem examinations. Sometimes called a histopathologist. A Home Office pathologist is a pathologist who is qualified to carry out specialist forensic post-mortem examinations to find evidence of unnatural death. Personal representative An Executor or Administrator. Probate Registry An office of the Probate Service (which is part of Her Majesty's Courts Service) which issues a Grant of Representation to the personal representatives of a deceased person, giving them the formal legal authority to deal with the deceased's Estate. Procurator Fiscal The independent judicial officer who investigates unnatural and unexplained deaths in Scotland. Power of Attorney Formal deed by which one person appoints another to act on his behalf or represent him, usually in respect of conducting financial affairs. The deed ceases to have effect on the appointor's death. Registrar Registrar of Birth and Deaths. Employed by Local Authorities to receive information on deaths and issue death certificates. Sexton Responsible for church graveyards. An old term and it is usually best to approach the priest-in-charge, rector or vicar in the first instance to arrange burial in a churchyard. Solicitor See ‘Lawyer'. Verifier of death Person who confirms that death has occurred. The point at which they do this is usually taken as the official time of death. May be a doctor or in some circumstances may be a nurse or an ambulance paramedic.