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Chris Wyatt

Chris Wyatt

Tell Us Once UK – Everything You Need To Know When Registering a Death

Imagine you’re dealing with the loss of a family member, and amidst your grief, you face the task of notifying government agencies. That’s where Tell Us Once helps, offering you a simple way to handle these notifications in one go.

You’ll need to prepare yourself with specific documents and information before you start, but don’t worry, it’s simpler than it sounds. This guide will help you understand what Tell Us Once is and help with registering a death, ensuring no stone is left unturned.

Curious about how to navigate this process efficiently? Keep reading to see how to use the Tell Us Once effectively.

What is Tell Us Once

Tell Us Once is a government service that streamlines the process of notifying multiple agencies about a death by allowing you to do it just once, using a unique reference number. When a loved one passes away, managing their affairs can be overwhelming.

The government Tell Us Once service simplifies this aspect by enabling you to inform several entities, including HMRC, DWP, Passport Office, DVLA, and local councils, about the death with a single notification.

This service is especially beneficial because it eliminates the need to contact each of these agencies individually, saving you time and reducing the administrative burden during a difficult period.

To use the Tell Us Once service effectively, it’s important to obtain a unique reference number from the registrar upon registering the death. You must use this service within 28 days of receiving the reference number.

Note: If for any reason you cannot register the death because an inquest is underway, you can still ask a registrar for your unique reference number. You will need to get an interim death certificate from the coroner holding the inquest first.

How to use Tell Us Once

To initiate the Tell Us Once service, you’ll need to register the death with the Registrar and obtain a unique reference number. This number is essential for effectively using the service, as it allows you to seamlessly communicate the necessary information to multiple government organizations through a single process. Before you begin, it’s important to secure permission from relevant parties to share the deceased’s details, ensuring compliance with privacy regulations.

Once you have the unique reference number, you can access the Tell Us Once service online or by phone. The service is designed to be user-friendly, guiding you through the process of submitting the required information. It’s vital to have the deceased’s National Insurance number and details about any benefits or services they were receiving. This information helps in accurately notifying the relevant government bodies, such as HMRC, DWP, and the local council, among others.

After you’ve utilized the Tell Us Once service, it’s advisable to follow up if you haven’t received confirmation of the notifications within a month. Occasionally, further information may be requested from you by the government agencies involved, based on the details you’ve provided. This step ensures that all necessary actions are taken following the death, facilitating a smoother transformation during this challenging time.

The Tell Us Once service is not available in Northern Ireland. Find out who to tell about a death in Northern Ireland.

What to do before you use Tell Us Once

Before you begin using the Tell Us Once service, it’s imperative to secure a reference number from the registrar (this is where you register the death) and verify that you have the necessary permissions to share the deceased’s information. This step is vital as the Tell Us Once reference number acts as your gateway to utilizing this all-inclusive service, streamlining the process of notifying multiple government organizations about a death.

To guarantee a smooth experience, it’s advisable to have the deceased’s National Insurance number handy, although it’s not mandatory. This detail can greatly aid in accurately matching records, thereby minimizing potential discrepancies.

View a full list of what you need when applying to Tell Us Once in the UK.

Who Does 'Tell Us Once' Inform?

Upon using the Tell Us Once service after a loved one’s passing, several key organisations, including HMRC, DWP, the Passport Office, DVLA, and your local council, are promptly informed about the death. This critical step guarantees that the necessary government bodies are aware of the situation, thereby helping to streamline several administrative processes during this difficult time.

The question of who does Tell Us Once notify extends beyond the immediate agencies. The service also handles notifications to the relevant authorities for council tax adjustments, making sure that you don’t have to worry about informing them separately. This is part of the Tell Us Once checklist, designed to minimize the number of organizations you need to contact individually.

The Tell Us Once service can inform TV Licence to update or cancel the deceased’s license, further reducing the administrative burden on you. Should you need assistance or more information, the Tell Us Once telephone number is available for guidance.

This approach, including the adjustment of council tax through the Tell Us Once council tax notification, greatly lightens the load, allowing you to focus on more personal matters during this period of bereavement and other notifications needed to notify banks and utilities.

Tell Us Once will notify:

Tell Us Once will also contact public sector pension schemes so that they cancel future pension payments. This part of the service will notify:

Actions After You Tell Us Once

After using the Tell Us Once service, you’ll need to promptly contact banks, mortgage providers, and insurance companies to inform them about the death. This step is critical in making sure all financial matters related to the deceased are handled correctly.

Beyond these initial notifications, it’s equally vital to update property records. This may involve contacting local government offices or other entities to make sure property ownership and responsibilities are accurately recorded.

There are specific agencies such as the DVLA and HMRC that must be notified. Informing the DVLA is necessary to update or cancel any vehicle registrations or driver’s licenses while notifying HMRC is essential for addressing any tax obligations or benefits. These actions are crucial components of managing the deceased’s affairs, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and preventing future complications.

Given the complexity of these tasks, especially during a time of grief, you might find it beneficial to seek professional advice. Legal or financial advisors can guide how to navigate these processes effectively. They can offer support in managing the estate, fulfilling tax responsibilities, and making sure all necessary documentation is completed accurately and timely.

What if you do not use Tell Us Once?

While the Tell Us Once service streamlines the process of notifying government departments and agencies about a death, not using it means you’ll have to contact each organisation individually. This approach requires a substantial amount of time and effort, as you’ll need to separately inform various entities such as HMRC, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Passport Office, the DVLA, and your local council about the death. Additionally, you must reach out to other organisations like banks, utility companies, and landlords.

Not utilising Tell Us Once can also lead to potential delays in updating the deceased’s records across multiple government departments. These delays might complicate matters, such as the halting of benefits or the updating of tax records, which could, in turn, affect the deceased’s estate and any related financial matters.

Opting out of the Tell Us Once service places the responsibility squarely on your shoulders to notify each relevant organisation about the death. This choice can significantly increase the administrative burden during a time that’s already challenging, making the grieving process even more difficult to navigate. Not to mention you may need an original death certificate for each organisation which will become expensive.

My Experience with Tell It Once: 

Chris Wyatt

Chris Wyatt

I had the experience I had was notifying government agencies when my stepfather passed away. Losing a family member is devastating, and having to handle administrative tasks so soon after makes it even harder to process the grief. You need to act quickly to get copies of the death certificate and start contacting agencies like Pensions and the DVLA.

The tricky part is figuring out exactly which agencies need to be notified, especially if your loved one didn’t leave a clear record of their affairs. Using the Tell Us Once service provided by the government can make this simpler – you just submit the required documents once, and they’ll notify all the relevant agencies. Otherwise, you may need to order multiple original death certificates at £11 each to send to different offices.

While Tell Us Once makes it simple, there’s still the emotional toll of formally settling a loved one’s estate during such a painful time. Navigating bureaucracy feels like an unwanted intrusion into mourning. But it’s a necessary process.

I hope you have found this article helpful and I wish you the best at this time. You can always reach out to us if you have any questions.


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