Tell us Once - Report a death to Government Organizations, Financial Institutions, Brokerages

Register the Death

Register the death within five days and receive a certified death certificate from a funeral home.

Arrange a Funeral

Find bereavement services and arrange the funeral with a funeral home or mortuary.

Tell the Government

Use our ‘Tell Us Once’ service to notify the government, banks, utilities, landlords and other institutions.

Benefit Check

Some financial assistance may be available through Social Security, VA Benefits and FEMA for COVID benefits.

Settle the Estate

You might have to deal with wills, finances, property and Probate.  We can help!

What to do if someone dies:

Register the death within 5 days
Check what to do if:

  • the death has been reported to a coroner
  • the death happened outside the US
  • Arrange the funeral
  • Find bereavement services from your local council
  • Get help paying for a funeral
  • Get help paying for a child’s funeral
  • Find bereavement help and support

The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

  • Use the Tell Us Once service to tell government
  • If you cannot use Tell Us Once, tell government yourself
  • You’ll also need to tell banks, utility companies, and landlords or housing associations yourself.

You might be eligible for financial assistance.

Check if you can get:

  • Social Security Payment if your spouse or civil partner has died
  • Social Security Payments if you’re bringing up a child whose parents have died
  • VA Benefits
  • FEMA Covid Death Benefits


Deal with your own benefits

Your taxes, benefit claims pensions, retirement accounts and Social Security benefits might change depending on your relationship with the person who died.

  • Manage your taxes, pensions and benefits if your spouse has died


Check if you need to apply to remain in the US

If your right to live in the US depends on your relationship with someone who died you might need to apply for a new visa.

Check the rules if:

  • you’re in the US as the partner of a US Citizen or someone with indefinite leave to remain
  • your partner who died served as a member of Armed Forces (VA)

You might have to deal with the will, money and property of the person who’s died if you’re a close friend or relative, or the executor of the will.

  • Check if you need to apply for probate
  • Valuate the estate
  • Deal with the estate
  • Update property records


Tell Us Once will notify:

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Passport Office – to cancel a United States passport
  • The State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) – to cancel a licence, remove the person as the registered owner of vehicles
  • Veterans Administration (VA) – to cancel or update Armed Forces Compensation payments

Tell Us Once will also contact some public sector pension schemes so that they cancel future pension payments. They’ll notify:

  • State Government Pension and Retirement funds
  • Local and City Government Employee retirement funds

There’s a different process to update property records for persons who died owning land or property.

We can also assist you with notifications to private financial institutions, brokerage institutions and other 401K, IRA, SEP retirement plan managers.

How to use Tell Us Once

A registrar will explain the Tell Us Once service when you register the death. They will either:

  • Complete the Tell Us Once service with you. Or;
  • Give you a unique reference number so you can use the service yourself online or by phone

The registrar will give you a number to call. This includes a video relay service for American Sign Language (ASL) users and assistance if you cannot hear or speak on the phone.


It is strongly advised that you use the service within 28 days of getting your unique reference number.

If you cannot register the death because an inquest is underway, you can still ask a registrar for a unique reference number. You’ll need to get an interim death certificate from the coroner holding the inquest first.

Before you use Tell Us Once

You’ll need the Tell Us Once reference number that you got from the registrar.

You’ll also need the following details of the person who died:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Date of Death
  • Name, Address and Contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’
  • If there’s a surviving spouse or civil partner, the name, address, telephone number and the Social Security Number or date of birth of the spouse or civil partner
  • If there’s no surviving spouse or civil partner or their spouse or civil partner is not able to deal with their affairs, the name and address of their next of kin
  • If they died in a hospital, nursing home, care home or hospice, the name and address of that institution – you’ll also be asked if the stay was for 28 days or more

You may also need:

  • If they had a passport, their passport number and place of birth
  • If they had a drivers license, the state and license number
  • If they owned any vehicles, the state and registration numbers