Knowing what to do when someone dies can help relieve stress and give some certainty at a difficult time. There are various steps that need to be completed in a timely manner – the main three things of which are:
- Obtain a medical certificate – this is required to register the death
- Register the death – this must happen within 5 days in England and Wales or 8 days in Scotland
- Make funeral arrangements
Initially, you must inform the local authority that a death has occurred. After which, you are free to advise us that you require our services.
obtaining a medical certificate
Obtaining a medical certificate is a process that is necessary in order to register a death. The circumstances in which someone dies can influence the way a medical certificate is obtained. The following list describes how the process can differ depending on the circumstances:
- death in a hospital
The body will be taken to the hospital mortuary and a doctor at the hospital will issue a medical certificate, which is needed to register the death. Once you have received the medical certificate, you can inform us that the body is ready to be transported to our funeral home.
- death at home or in a nursing home
If you were prepared for the passing, you will need to inform a doctor as soon as possible. The attending doctor will issue a medical certificate. When you have received the medical certificate, you can inform us so we can arrange transportation of the deceased to our funeral home.
sudden or unexplained death
If a death is sudden or unexpected, you should contact the emergency services by immediately dialling 999, after which the police and an ambulance will attend. If a doctor cannot issue a medical certificate then the Coroner becomes involved. The police will arrange for the body to be moved to the hospital mortuary on behalf of the coroner, who may request a post-mortem – if this happens, a medical certificate will not be issued until the cause of death has been established.
Call 999 if death is sudden or unexpected
registering a death
UK law dictates that the death of a person must be registered with the local Registration Office, in the district where the death occurred. The death must be registered within 5 days in Wales and England, or 8 days in Scotland. If there are mitigating circumstances, this must be discussed with the registry office in question.
obtaining certificate for burial or cremation
Once the death is registered, the registrar will issue a certificate to authorise burial or cremation. This form is also known as a green form. We will need this certificate to be passed to us so that the funeral arrangements can be finalised.
arranging the funeral
Once the death has been registered and we have certification to proceed with burial or cremation, the process of arranging the funeral can take place. If the deceased held a valid pre-paid funeral plan with us, the funeral will be planned according to their wishes. If no prior arrangements have been made, we will arrange a funeral planning consultation with the next of kin to discuss the funeral plans, either at our funeral home or in the comfort of your own home.
we’re here for you…
We’re here to lend a helping hand if you would like to discuss anything with us. If you would like help understanding the process when a loved one has died or with arranging a funeral, get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk you through it.