What to do when someone dies…
Our advice to all families, is that when a death does occur they contact us immediately. In many cases now when people pass away in hospital, it is not necessary for us to attend immediately, but our staff can give the helpful advice needed to put your mind at ease, and to ensure that the family are aware of everything which needs to be done.
Registering a death
In most cases you will need to register the death within five days and it is best to visit the register office in the area in which the person died. This will help avoid delays getting the necessary documents. The following people can register a death:
- Any relative of the person who has died
- Any person present at the death
- A person who lives in the house where the person died
- The person arranging the funeral, but not a funeral director.
To register the death you need to have a simple interview with the registrar at the register office. You will need to give the registrar:
- The full name of the person who has died
- Their full address
- Their date and place of birth
- Details of where and when the person died
- Their occupation (if any).
- If the person who has died is a married woman, you will need to give her maiden name and her husband’s full name and occupation.
Documents & Certification
You will need to give the registrar:
- Certificate of Cause of Death (signed by a doctor).
You should also bring the following documents where applicable:
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificates
- NHS Medical Card.
At the register office the registrar will issue you with:
- A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (known as a green form), which you should give to your funeral director as soon as possible
- A Certificate of Registration of Death, which you should fill in and send to the social security office for the area where the person died.
You can buy copies of the Death Certificate (sometimes known as the Entry of Death form) from the registrar for a small fee, which varies from region to region. You will need these for official purposes such as closing bank accounts and pension schemes.
Under certain circumstances the death must be reported by the doctor, hospital or registrar to the coroner (England and Wales) or procurator fiscal (Scotland).This means that there may need to be a post mortem or inquest and you may have to delay your plans for the funeral.In this case there will be no Cause of Death Certificate. The death will be registered once the coroner has made a decision. The time this takes will vary.
Care of the deceased
At the earliest convenience the deceased will be moved into our care where we will take care of them with the utmost respect and sensitivity. They will rest with us until the day of the funeral or, if you prefer, they can rest at home or in church. Our funeral directors will carry out your wishes carefully and respectfully.
Viewing the deceased
Some people find it helps to see the person who has died and like to bring a small gift or photograph to put in the coffin. Others find it upsetting to see someone they loved who is now dead. It’s a personal choice and we can talk this through with you.
You may want to put an announcement in a local or national newspaper to tell people about the death and the details of the funeral. We can help you with drafting and sending a death announcement to a newspaper.
After the funeral you can also place a thank you message in a newspaper to thank those who attended and sent donations or flowers.