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Our guide to dealing with bereavement
To help you manage things as smoothly and easily as possible at this difficult time.
Obtain a death certificate or the local equivalent
If the death was expected, the GP will issue a death certificate stating the cause of death. If the death was unexpected, the GP may need to report the death to the local coroner and it may take longer for the death certificate (or a coroner’s report) to be issued.
You’ll need a death certificate to register the death, but you may be able to get an interim certificate from the coroner.
Register the death
Legally, a death needs to be registered within 5 days in Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man and within 8 working days in Gibraltar though this may be different if the local coroner is investigating it. A local funeral director will also be able to help you.
More information is available by visiting the government website for the relevant jurisdiction:
Find the paperwork
The person may have included details about the type of funeral they wanted in their will, and it may also tell you if they’ve made any arrangements to pay for it. It may be with a lawyer, or a family member might know where it is.
If there’s no will
This is called ‘dying intestate’ and means that the deceased’s estate is likely to take longer to be wound up.
If there's anything complex in the deceased’s financial, business or family affairs, it’s best to take advice from a lawyer experienced in probate law.
Find a lawyer in your local jurisdiction
- The Law Society of Jersey
- Members of the Guernsey Bar
- The Isle of Man Law Society
- Gibraltar Lawyers and Law Firms
Arrange the funeral
You can start arranging the funeral straight away. Most people pay a funeral director to organise it, however you can do it yourself. If using a funeral director, you should get more than one quote to compare prices, as they will vary.
For those on low incomes, you could apply to your local authorities who may provide help towards paying for the funeral.
Tell organisations that need to know
Contact the deceased's bank, mortgage lender or landlord, insurance companies, pension provider and utility companies as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to redirect any post by contacting your local mail provider.
Managing money when someone passes away
The Money Advice Service can help you learn how to deal with money after a death. Please note that some information may vary according to your jurisdiction.