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An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.

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Who to Notify After Someone Dies

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms

The time after an elderly loved one dies is always difficult and heart-wrenching. All the administrative tasks that must be done in this time don’t make it any easier. To start with, there are many different entities that need to be notified about a person’s death. If these notifications and updates of important information aren’t completed, there can be negative consequences, including financial problems, for the surviving relatives.

That’s why this blog post will focus on the challenging but important task of notifying companies and organisations about a person’s death, including who specifically needs to be notified.

The cause of death

When someone dies, the cause of death needs to be determined for legal purposes. Sometimes this will mean you’ll need to notify medical professionals or emergency services of the death. In most cases, you’ll also need the medical certificate with a cause of death to start making further notifications.

If a person dies in hospital, the hospital will play a part in determining the cause of death. However, if the person dies outside of hospital, it may be best to call 999. This is because, firstly, it’s possible emergency services could be of help. Secondly, this step starts the process of determining the cause of death, which might end up involving a coroner.

If an elderly person dies at home after a long illness and decline of health, or if they have been discharged from hospital because they wished to die at home, then it may not be necessary to call 999 because the death was anticipated. In this case, you might call either the person’s GP, if their office is open, or 111.

If a person dies overseas, the cause of death must be determined in the country where they died, which means you will need a death certificate issued in that country, as well as a certified English translation of the death certificate. There are other considerations and steps to keep in mind as well, and the details are different depending on whether the person lived in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. To learn more, take a look at the government guidance about deaths abroad.

Registering the death

It’s important not to delay registering a death. For this step, you’ll usually need the medical certificate stating the cause of death.

Registration of a death usually has to be done within 5 days for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and within 8 days for Scotland. The exception is if a coroner is involved and the cause of death has not yet been determined.

The government offers an online tool that tells you how to register a person’s death based on the circumstances of the death.

Use the Tell Us Once service

When you register a death in England, Wales or Scotland, you’ll be given a code that allows you to use the government’s Tell Us Once service. This is an online process that notifies a number of government organisations all at once. These organisations include but aren’t limited to:

  • Your local council
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  • The Department for Work and Pensions.

See the list of government entities that must be contacted on gov.uk.

After a death registered in Northern Ireland, you will need to notify these and other organisations yourself.

Notify government organisations about impacts on yourself after a death

After a partner dies, you might think that all the notifications you need to do relate to your them. However, if your financial circumstances change as a result of your loved partner’s, you may need to contact HMRC about yourself as well.

If you or your partner claimed benefits, these may change after a partner’s death. You might be eligible for new benefits or pension payments after the death of a partner, too.

See the government guidance about notifications of changes in your taxes, benefits or pensions after a partner’s death.

If a loved one dies and leaves an estate of more than £325,000, it may be necessary to pay inheritance tax. If you need to pay inheritance tax, you’ll have to report the estate’s value to HMRC within a given time frame.

Lastly, if you were in the UK on a family visa together with your deceased partner, you may need to apply for a new visa.

Notify other organisations about someone’s death

Unfortunately, the Tell Us Once service doesn’t take care of all the notifications you’ll need to do. You’ll need to notify organisations that …

  • Provided the deceased person with money.
  • Were being paid money by the deceased person, such as recurring payments, direct debits or a standing order.
  • Were managing money or other affairs for the deceased person.
  • Were providing ongoing services to the deceased person.

Many companies offer pages to help you quickly notify them of a person’s death. For example, if you’re looking to take care of a BT bereavement notification, the BT bereavement page offers several ways to inform them about an account holder’s death.

Notify friends, family and social organisations

Lastly, you’ll want to notify the deceased person’s friend and relatives. You may want to use an obituary as well.

Protecting loved ones with SureSafe

Completing all the necessary notifications about an older person’s death can be difficult and time-consuming. However, it’s worth it because it protects their surviving family members from problems later on, such as fines or loss of benefits.

A personal alarm for the elderly also protects older family members, and it can be especially helpful for seniors who have lost their partners and now find themselves living by themselves. For example, an alarm with automatic fall detection ensures that if an older person falls while they’re alone, they won’t suffer the experience of lying on the floor for a long time without help. The alarm will sense their fall and call for help all on its own – so even if an older person can’t press a button because they’re unconscious, the alarm will ensure an alert is raised.

A family and friends alarm can also help an older person newly living alone to know that their loved ones are there to help if needed. This type of alarm calls the phone of a designated family member if its button is pressed to call for help. And if that family member isn’t able to answer their phone, the alarm can store additional numbers, which it will call by itself when the first call isn’t answered.

What other kinds of protection can personal alarms offer for the elderly? If you’re curious about what personal alarms can do, give us a call on 0800 112 3201. Alternatively, you can use our live chat or request a call back.

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