Bereavement Advice Centre is a free helpline and web-based information service provided by Co-op Legal Services.
We give practical information and advice and signposting on the many issues and procedures that face us after the death of someone close. If we do not know the answer to a concern or query we will research it and call back within an agreed period of time or signpost to another organisation which can give the information required.
We welcome calls from bereaved people and the professionals and volunteers who support them. Bereavement Advice Centre helps many people every day and aims to give straightforward, useful advice when you need it.
Our aim is to identify and respond to areas of need rather than duplicate existing services. This is why we focus on practical concerns and signpost to other types of help.
Bereavement Advice Centre was formally launched at the House of Commons in 2007 and is provided by Co-op Legal Services.
Co-op Legal Services is committed to providing Bereavement Advice Centre as a free at the point of access service. We take considerable care to be transparent about this relationship to all callers. Bereavement Advice Centre does not receive any funding from government or charities.
How do we get our information?
The information on this site is sourced from government and other professional websites and publications and experienced staff within Bereavement Advice Centre. It is reviewed and updated regularly. Information on these pages is of a general nature and we would encourage you to telephone us so we can give information and advice that applies to your specific circumstances.
We aim to provide an easy to use site.
A note about the language on this website
We understand that to you, the person who has died was an important unique individual. However, in organisations that exist to support bereaved people, writing or saying 'the person who has died' too frequently can seem awkward and so you will find that professionals often refer to 'the deceased' and we do this too. This does not imply any disrespect - it is the usual term in this situation.
In some situations there are important differences legally and in the benefit entitlements of bereaved people who are widowed or were in a civil partnership and those who were living together as a couple (regardless of gender) without any legal ceremony. On this website partner refers to anyone who is bereaved who was living with the person who has died, in a stable relationship. Spouse, widow(er) and civil partner refers to those who had a legally contracted relationship.
His/her, she/he are used interchangeably unless it is clear from the context that a specific gender is intended.