Practical Support

There are many practical issues to manage when someone dies. It can be a confusing time when someone dies, and it is often difficult to know what you need to do first.

There are many procedures that will need to be undertaken. What you need to do first 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 type of documentation.

There are also many people who will need to be informed of the death. Having to tell other people that someone has died is a very difficult task and even professionals who regularly have to break the news of a death as part of their role, never find it easy.

What you say will change depending on the relationship you have have to the person you inform and how well they knew the deceased. It is best to keep it simple at the beginning and inform them later of funeral arrangements.

In this section you will find useful links for accessing help, such as contacting the bereavement register to stop unwanted mail, social services and government help.

Department for Communities Northern Ireland Bereavement Service

Tel: 0800 085 2463

The Bereavement Service is a telephony-based service that will allow you to:

  • Report a death – The service will record the date of death and tell each office that paid benefit to the deceased.
  • Check for help with Funeral Costs – if eligible, the service can take claim details for a Funeral Expenses Payment over the ‘phone or arrange a suitable call-back.
  • Check for help from a Bereavement Support Payment – If eligible, the service can take claim details for a Bereavement Support Payment over the ‘phone or arrange a suitable call-back.
  • Offer advice on potential benefits or other support that may be available.

Further information and contact details are available from

Cancer Focus NI
Macmillan Information and support
Alzheimers The Bereavement register

NI Government Services

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