Advice and support

When you find out that someone you love is dying, it can be hard to know what to do next. This information will help you find your way.

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Coping as a carer

Sometimes caring can feel overwhelming, and people often tell us that they feel guilty making time for their own needs, but looking after yourself is the best way to ensure that you can be there to provide the care and support you want to for your friend or relative.

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Can I get bereavement benefit?

If you have lost a spouse, partner or civil partner, you could be entitled to financial help, known as bereavement benefits, regardless of how much your income is.

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Getting financial support

When someone is dying, it can put a lot of financial pressure on them and those who care for them. In the last year of life, most people are eligible to receive at least some benefits. They may also be able to access charitable grants or other forms of support.

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Can I get bereavement leave from work?

If you are employed, you are entitled to some bereavement leave from work when a loved one dies. However, there is no set legal amount of leave. It can help to know your rights and how the system works.

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Support for young carers

Are you under 18 years old? Do you help to look after someone who is dying – this might be your mum or dad, grandparents, brother or sister or maybe another relative, friend or neighbour? If this sounds like you – then you are a young carer.

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Can I get support as a carer?

You don’t have to do it all yourself, but it can be hard to know what support is available and how to get it. There are lots of different kinds of support and you may find some more useful than others.

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Supporting a child when someone is dying

Even young children can pick up on how people around them are feeling and changes in routine, whether you have told them what is happening or not. These changes can feel very worrying and frightening, but there are ways that you can help them to cope.

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What needs to be done after a loved one dies?

Although this is likely to be a very emotional time, there are still some formal things that need to happen. Although it can feel overwhelming, remember that you do not need to do everything yourself. This is often the time when friends and family can help you by doing some of the practical tasks.

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Who do I need to tell about the death?

Sharing the news that your friend or relative has died is one of the most difficult and immediate responsibilities. If the person who has died has nominated you as executor, you will be responsible for sorting out their property, and carrying out the instructions in their will. This includes notifying friends and family, as well as formally notifying a number of people and organisations.

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Supporting young people with grief

Young people are already coping with lots of stresses in their life, such as their changing hormones and important exams - so dealing with the death of someone they love can be particularly hard. It's important to make sure that they're getting the support they need.