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What to do after a death

This advice applies to Scotland

This information applies to Scotland only.

Coronavirus – registering a death and attending funerals

Registering a death in person won’t be possible because local Registrars' offices are closed. Councils are making special arrangements to register deaths by email or telephone.  

Check your local council website for details. Find your local council on  


The government has said that funerals can still go ahead but only immediate family members can leave their homes to attend. If there are no family members, friends may be allowed to attend, but check with the funeral director first.  

Funeral directors, hospitals and emergency services will need to take precautions to control the spread of coronavirus. You might not be able to have the kind of funeral you had planned.  

Staff and people attending must follow the rules around social distancing

Scottish Government guide

'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

Paper copies:

The Scottish Government
Civil Law Division
Area 2W, St Andrew’s House
Regent Road

Tel: 0131 244 3581

Leaflet front cover

Tell Us Once

Your local authority may be part of a service called Tell Us Once. The service 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. 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.

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