After the funeral

There are no strict rules about what happens after a funeral but on this page we share some ideas about what might be right for you. Remember, our team is always on hand, including after the funeral, so please do get in touch if you would like to talk things through.

We know that dealing with the raw emotions of losing a loved one doesn’t disappear, but it is important to know that the funeral team are still on hand after the funeral.  Our bereavement support services are here for you as long as you need them. We can also help you to plan a lasting memorial for your loved one.

Holding a wake

A wake is traditionally held directly after a funeral service, bringing family and friends together. It’s an opportunity for people share memories and remember an individual's life.

If you’d like to hold a wake you will want to think about the location, how you’ll invite family and friends, and whether you’ll be providing refreshments.

If you want to talk through your options, our teams know the local area well, meaning we can suggest suitable locations..

Lasting memorials

We can also help you to create a lasting memorial for your loved one. Our highly skilled stonemasons at H.L Perfitt recognise that creating a fitting memorial not only provides a lasting tribute to your loved one’s life, but is also one of the last gifts that you can give to them.

Our award-winning craftsmen create each memorial with care and respect, with designs ranging from the traditional to modern.

Settling your loved one’s estate

If your loved one had a will, it will specify one or more people who should serve as an executor or personal representative. They are responsible for making sure all creditors are paid, assets are distributed to family and friends, and relevant tax returns are submitted.

It's possible that your loved one passed away without leaving a will, in which case the law will typically indicate who is responsible and will inherit the person’s estate. This will usually be a surviving spouse or a close relative.

You should make contact with your loved one's financial advisor as soon as possible to see whether any matters require immediate attention.

You may also need to cancel some, if not all, of the following day-to-day orders and contracts:

  • Standing orders
  • Direct Debits
  • Newspapers and other subscriptions
  • Milk deliveries
  • Telephone and internet connection
  • Mobile phone contract(s)
  • Bin collection
  • Television licence
  • Postal services (or arrange for re-direction)

A member of your local funeral team will be more than happy to meet with you and talk you through these tasks.


The Paperwork

If the person who passed away was a relation, spouse or civil partner, after the funeral you have some additional tasks to complete. It might be a good idea to get a notebook that helps you to keep a track of these tasks. You'll want to record the dates and times of phone conversations, email or postal communication. Include the full name of the person you spoke to, their job title and their employer identification or extension number if necessary.

Locate and safeguard as many of the documents listed below that belonged to the person who has passed away. It may help to put each into in a designated set of file folders, and keep them within easy reach:

Birth certificate

Driver's license


Marriage certificate

Divorce papers

Deeds and Titles to real estate and personal property

Recent hospitalisation records

Insurance documents: life, health, car (there may be more than one policy in each category)

Here is a checklist of the tasks you may be facing in the coming weeks:

Request certified copies of the Death Certificate. Be aware that for each additional copy there is a fee

If the deceased left a will you may need to speak to the lawyers who put this together

Get the mail redirected, if applicable. You can do this at your local post office, or online through Royal Mail

Stop any insurance coverage. You may need to provide them with additional information, so keep your relevant paperwork handy. Not everyone has life insurance, but some people have more than one policy. No matter how many policies were in force, you will probably need to provide each of them with a certified copy of the death certificate for each claim made

Contact the deceased’s employer or union. Determine if there are any death-related benefits available, ask (and answer) questions, and change any relevant contact information

Pay any necessary bills and notify any of the companies who provide their utilities to have the accounts paid off or closed

Transfer title of real estate and personal property. You'll need to inform the DVLA of the change in ownership of any vehicles

Close or modify credit card accounts. You will probably need to provide each of them with a certified copy of the death certificate

Arrange to close or modify bank accounts. Depending on your relationship to the deceased, you may be entitled to convert them into your name

Change any stocks and bonds into your name. To do this, you'll need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate to all organisations involved

If the person who has died was in the armed forces, police force or medical profession, or if they belonged to any national societies, you may need to cancel any benefits or memberships. This might include professional or avocational associations such as Masonic lodges, Rotary Clubs, gym and golf course memberships

Tend to the deceased’s digital estate. If they were active on social media, you'll need to inform the specific networking sites of the change in status. You will need to close any email accounts as well as any online banking portal or investment accounts. You can have emails forwarded to your own account if you prefer