Tell us Once service

Bereavement Centre

When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them. One of these is contacting Government departments and local authority services that need to be told.

Tell us Once is a service that will make things easier for you. This service will pass on information to the Department for Work and Pensions who can pass it on to a number of other Government departments and local authority services for you.

How to use the Tell us Once service

When you register the death with the Registry Office, a registrar can complete the Tell us Once service with you.

Or they will give you a unique reference number so you can use the service yourself online or by phone.

You must use this service within 28 days of getting your unique reference number.

Who will be notified

The information will be given to the following organisations:

  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • HM Passport Office

These organisations and functions can also be contacted:

  • council housing
  • council tax
  • libraries
  • Blue Badges
  • adult services
  • children’s services
  • collection of payment for council services
  • electoral services
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

The information you give will be treated securely and confidentially. The organisations who are contacted will use the information to update records, end services, benefits and entitlements as appropriate, and to resolve any outstanding issues.

Information you will need

To make sure the right information is given to any organisations, and so that you get the most out of the service, it will help if you take along with you the following information about the person who has died:

  • National Insurance number
  • date of birth
  • details of any benefits or services they were receiving
  • death certificate
  • driving licence or driving licence number
  • passport or passport number
  • registration number of any vehicles they owned
  • details of any pensions such as from Armed Forces, public sector schemes, Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS)

You may also be asked for information about:

  • the name and address of the hospital where they died and if the stay was for 28 days or more
  • their next of kin
  • any surviving spouse or civil partner
  • the person dealing with their estate

You must obtain the agreement of the people listed above if you are going to give information about them.

Next of kin

If you are the next of kin, your entitlement to benefits may change, so please have your own National Insurance number ready when you contact them.

If you are not the next of kin, or the person who is dealing with the estate, you can still use the service if you have the authority to act on their behalf.

Please remember that it is still your responsibility to make sure that any organisation that pays you a benefit has correct and up-to-date information.

Other organisations and services that may need contacting

Tell us Once does not contact everyone who needs to know that someone has died. You may need to contact:

  • school, college or employer
  • financial organisations: bank, building society, mortgage provider, credit card provider
  • pension provider, insurance company (including life insurance)
  • solicitor, accountant or any business-related contacts
  • private organisations where the deceased had an account, such as, loan, rental, hire purchase companies or store cards, utility company, creditors or debtors
  • housing, including contacting the landlord if the deceased rented privately
  • any organisation or agency providing home help
  • Royal Mail (if mail needs re-directing)
  • Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service to remove the deceased's name from mailing lists and databases


For advice you should contact a probate registry office by contacting the Probate and Inheritance Tax Helpline call 0300 123 1072 or 020 7421 8509.

Before the person’s estate, belongings, money and property can be divided between the people entitled to it, a grant of probate or letter of administration is usually needed. If the person made a will, you should contact a solicitor.

In the meantime:

  • do not sell any of the person’s property
  • tell the bank to stop payment on the person’s cheques and standing orders

Contact us

Bereavement Centres
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm.

Guy’s Hospital
Floor 14
Tower Wing
call 020 7188 3215

St Thomas’ Hospital
2nd floor, Block B
South Wing
call 020 7188 3198 or 020 7188 3182 or 020 7188 8965

Medical Examiner Office
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

St Thomas's Hospital
2nd floor, Block B
South Wing
call 020 7188 9450
email [email protected]

Spiritual care team
Guy's Hospital, call 020 7188 1185
St Thomas' Hospital call 020 7188 1187

Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm
Guy’s Hospital, call 020 7188 3931
St Thomas’ Hospital call 020 7188 3928

Registering a death that occurs at Guy’s Hospital
Southwark Registry Office
34 Peckham Road
call 020 7525 7651
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm

Registering a death that occurs at St Thomas’ Hospital
Lambeth Registry Office
Brixton Town Hall
Brixton Hill
call 020 7926 9420
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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