What to do after a death

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for See advice for England, See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Wales

'What to do after a death in Scotland' gives practical advice at a time of bereavement. It's available on the Scottish Government website as web pages or a downloadable PDF booklet.

Booklet date: 11th edition revised March 2017

Booklet size: 80 pages

Organ donation

Please note that the information in this guide about organ donation after death is no longer correct. There is now an 'opt out' system of organ donation. Find out more on the Organ Donation Scotland website.

Tell Us Once

Your local authority might be part of a service called Tell Us Once. This allows you to report the death of someone just once and a number of government departments are all then informed of the death.

The UK government departments that are informed of the death include DVLA, the Passport Service, the Pension Service and HM Revenue and Customs. In Scotland, Social Security Scotland is told about the death. Check if your local authority provides this for you. You can find out more about Tell Us Once on the UK government website.

Bereavement support and advice

You can find a useful list of bereavement support and advice services in Scotland on the Scottish Government website.

You can also find information about local and national bereavement support services across the UK on the AtaLoss website.

If someone is missing and presumed to have passed away

You will have to get a declarator of death from a court if someone you know has been missing and they are presumed to have passed away.

You can find out how to get a declarator of death on mygov.scot.

Paper copies of What to do after a death in Scotland booklet:

Contact the Scottish Government Central Enquiry Unit who will pass your enquiry to the appropriate area. Their contact details are:

Scottish Government Central Enquiry Unit

Tel: 0300 244 4000 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm

Text Relay Service: 18001+ 0300 244 4000 (service for the hard of hearing)

British Sign Language (BSL) user contact via national BSL video relay service Contact Scotland-BSL

Email: ceu@gov.scot