When Death Occurs

WHEN DEATH OCCURS

HELP AND ADVICE WHEN YOU NEED IT

We are always happy to help you with any queries. For support 24 hours a day, please contact us. In the event of a loss, please see our useful information pages relating to different scenarios. For instance, an expected death at home, in a nursing home or hospital, or a sudden death. There are 3 things you must do in the first few days after someone dies.

  1. Get a ‘Medical Cause of Death Certificate’ from a GP or hospital doctor. Once you have this certificate in hand you will be able to make an appointment with the registrar.
  2. Register the death within 5 days (8 days in Scotland). You’ll be sent a Green Certificate that you will need to provide to ourselves for the funeral.
  3. Arrange the funeral. If you wish to see us before you have either the Medical Cause of Death or the Green Certificate, you are very welcome to.

CONTACT US to make an appointment. You don’t need to deal with the will, money and property straight away.


When Death Occurs at Home

AT HOME

WHEN DEATH OCCURS

If the death was expected, the GP will be able to complete the Medical Cause of Death Certificate. The Registrar will require this certificate when you or a nominated representative register the death.

If you know at the time that the funeral is to be a cremation, it would be helpful to notify the GP. If you require a cremation, the doctor will need to complete a separate form for the crematorium and arrange for a second doctor to complete another. For this service, doctors will require a fee; which we will pay on your behalf.

If a decision has not been made at that time, don’t worry. We will notify the GP and arrange for the doctors to visit our premises to complete the cremation forms in due course. Once the GP has certified death, you should contact our office to arrange a convenient time for us to bring the deceased to our Chapel of Rest.

CONTACT US when it’s convenient for an appointment to discuss the funeral arrangements. All deaths are required by law to be registered.


When Death Occurs in a Nursing Home

IN A NURSING HOME

WHEN DEATH OCCURS

If the death occurs in a Nursing Home, the nursing staff will contact the GP. They will also contact the next of kin to inform them of the death. If this is you, they will ask if you have a preference regarding a Funeral Director.

If our services are required, the nursing staff or you should contact our office to arrange for the deceased to be taken to our Chapel of Rest. If you know at this time that the funeral is to be a cremation, please let the nursing staff know. They will inform the doctor, who will need to complete a separate form for the crematorium and arrange for a second doctor to complete another. For this service, both doctors will require a fee, which we will pay on your behalf.

In some cases, the Medical Cause of Death Certificate may be left with the nursing staff for you to collect. The Registrar will require this certificate when you or a nominated representative register the death.

CONTACT US when it’s convenient for an appointment to discuss the funeral arrangements. All deaths are required by law to be registered.


When Death Occurs in a Hospital

IN HOSPITAL

WHEN DEATH OCCURS

If the death occurs in a hospital, the nursing staff will contact the next of kin to inform them of the death. If this is you, you will be asked to visit the hospital and meet the Bereavement Officer. The Bereavement Officer will give you the Medical Cause of Death Certificate. This will be required by you or a nominated representative when the death is registered. The Bereavement Officer may also give you a Mortuary Release Form. This will be required by us when we attend the hospital to bring the deceased to our Chapel of Rest.

If you know at the time that the funeral is to be a cremation, please let the Bereavement Officer know. The Officer will then arrange for two doctors to complete additional medical forms for the crematorium. A fee is required by both doctors for this, which we will pay on your behalf.

CONTACT US when it’s convenient for an appointment to discuss the funeral arrangements. All deaths are required by law to be registered.


Sudden Death & Coroner

SUDDEN DEATH & CORONER

PROCEEDURES AND FORMALITIES

If the death occurs at home and is sudden or unexpected, contact the doctor who will visit and confirm the death. The doctor will then contact the Coroner, who will need to investigate the death and may request a post-mortem examination. A Police Officer will attend on behalf of the Coroner, and the duty Funeral Director will be called.

Please note that the duty Funeral Director will be acting on behalf of the Coroner at such a time. The final choice of a Funeral Director to carry out the funeral arrangements is yours.

CONTACT US if you would like us to carry out the funeral a to discuss the funeral arrangements.

In due course, a Coroner’s Officer will contact you to explain the Coroner’s procedures. He/she will also need to know if the funeral is to be a burial or a cremation and the name of the Funeral Director who will be making and carrying out the funeral arrangements. This will enable the Coroner to issue the correct certificates for the funeral to proceed.

If the death is due to a road traffic or other accident, the police will arrange for the deceased to be taken to the Coroner’s mortuary. The Coroner and the Police will need to investigate the death under such circumstances, and a Coroner’s Officer or Police Officer will explain the procedures and keep you informed.

Although the funeral arrangements cannot be confirmed until the coroner and/or the police have completed their initial investigations, there is nothing prohibiting you from contacting our office to start making provisional arrangements. All deaths are required by law to be registered.


Registration

REGISTRATION

GUIDING YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS

All deaths are required by law to be registered in the sub-district where they occur. The doctor who certified death will issue a Medical Cause of Death Certificate, which must be taken to the District / Sub-District Registrar by the next of kin or a nominated representative, together with the deceased’s medical card. Registration must be completed as a matter of urgency, usually within five days of the death. However, this may vary if the Coroner is involved.

The Registrar’s office must be called in advance to make an appointment. The contact details for the Registrar will usually be printed on the envelope containing the Medical Cause of Death Certificate.

CONTACT US for details of local Registrar offices and any other questions that might arrise.

Those eligible to register the death are:

  • A relative or civil partner of the deceased
  • The person responsible for paying the funeral account
  • An Executor of the Will of the deceased
  • The Matron / Governor of an institution where the deceased resided or died

At the Registrar’s office, the following information will be required:

    • Date and place of birth and death of the deceased (Birth Certificate)
    • Full name of the deceased
    • Marital status of the deceased
    • The last occupation of the deceased
    • If the deceased was female and married, her maiden name and her husband’s full name and occupation, if any
    • If the deceased was married at the time of death, the date of birth of the surviving partner (Marriage Certificate)

Certificates that may be issued by the Registrar:

    • Registrar’s Certificate for burial or cremation (a green form) which will be required by the Funeral Director (not required for Cremation if the Coroner has been involved)
    • Certified Copy of an Entry in the Register of Deaths. Additional copies may be required by each bank or insurance company. A fee is payable for each additional copy
    • Certificate of Registration (this certificate is needed to claim benefits or if the deceased is in receipt of benefits and/or a pension)

 


Registration involving the Coroner

REGISTRATION INVOLVING THE CORONER

THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE CORONER

If the Coroner is involved in investigating the death, registration cannot take place until after he/she has completed their initial investigations. There are a number of scenarios that may occur with the involvement of the Coroner, and each has a different procedure for registration:

  1. If the deceased’s GP is uncertain whether he/she can issue the Medical Cause of Death Certificate, they will contact the Coroner and explain the circumstances leading up to the death, and the Coroner will make a decision on those facts as to whether he/she needs to investigate further. If the Coroner is happy with the circumstances of the death, he/she will order the GP to proceed as normal and to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, and registration will proceed as normal. If the doctor who attends is a locum or not the deceased’s normal doctor, they may refer the death to the Coroner and the death in the initial stages will be treated as sudden or unexpected. The Coroner may later decide that the deceased’s own GP can proceed in the normal way.
  2. If the Coroner decides he/she needs to investigate the death, he/she will order a post-mortem to be performed.
  3. If the results of the post-mortem are that the death was due to natural causes, he/she will allow the deceased to be released into the care of the Funeral Director. If the funeral is to be cremation, he/she will issue the Coroner’s Certificate for Cremation, which will replace the green Registrar’s Certificate for Burial or Cremation issued by the Registrar in normal circumstances. If the funeral is to be a burial, he/she will issue a certificate direct to the Registrar and you will be required to attend and register the death in the normal way. No Medical Cause of Death Certificate is required.
  4. If, after a post-mortem, the Coroner orders an inquest, he/she will not issue any certificates until after the inquest has been opened and adjourned. After the opening of the inquest the Coroner may issue a Coroner’s Certificate for Cremation or a Coroner’s Burial Order. You will not be able to register the death until after the inquest has been heard in full. The Coroner’s Officer will explain at the time what procedure is being followed.

CONTACT US if you have any questions or for an appointment to discuss the funeral arrangements.