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The death of someone we love is one of the most distressing experiences most of us ever have to cope with.

People react to bereavement in different ways, but grief may affect you emotionally, physically and mentally.

Even if the death was expected, or the person who died had been suffering, you can still feel like your world has fallen apart.

As well as your grief, you might have to cope with dramatically changed circumstances, like living alone or worrying about money and bills.

What to do when someone dies

The first thing to do when someone dies is to register their death – you must do this within five days.

The Money Advice Service offers a step-by-step guide on what to do if someone dies.

For advice on what to do in specific situations, visit www.gov.uk.

There is also a useful short film explaining what to do when someone dies.

Bereavement counselling

Sometimes it can be easier to offload to a stranger and counselling often helps, even when your grief feels overwhelming.

Cruse offers a free and confidential bereavement counselling service.

ISSA Wales provides bereavement counselling to BME and Muslim people.

In this short film bereaved people talk about coming to terms with their loss.

Bereavement payments

When someone close to you dies, the last thing you want to worry about is money, so it is reassuring to know there is some financial help available. What you are eligible to receive will depend upon your circumstances:

Citizens Advice has an online advice guide called Benefits and Bereavement.

Help to pay for a funeral

If you are on a low income and you will struggle to pay for your loved one’s funeral, you may be eligible for a funeral payment. The amount you receive will depend on the circumstances. You’ll probably be asked to pay back the money, if you later inherit money from the deceased person’s estate (if they have one).

When it is a stillbirth baby or a child who has died, many funeral directors, celebrants and clergy do not charge fees (however, there are other funeral-related expenses to pay).

Last updated: 19/05/2016