It is perfectly normal to be unsure of what to do following the loss of a loved one, which is why we’re here to support and help you through the process, and guide you through the various steps that are involved following bereavement.
We pride ourselves on being able to offer a 24-hour service, providing advice on what needs to be done and by whom. With over decades of experience, we have encountered nearly all situations, and have detailed the following information which is intended to help by guiding you step by step through a very difficult time.
When a death occurs at home
First, you will need to contact the deceased’s own G.P (or the Doctor on duty) who will certify that the death has taken place. You are more than welcome to give us a call, so we can advise you on the next steps and guide you through this difficult time.
Once the Doctor has given permission to proceed, contact us again and we will agree a suitable time with you to take the deceased into our care to our chapel of rest. During this time and whilst the deceased is in our care we will ensure that they are well looked after and treated with the utmost respect and care – ensuing that we stick to religious traditions and family requests.
You do not have to do this immediately; some families wish to wait until other family members have had an opportunity to say their goodbyes at their home.
We have private Chapels of rest at all our Funeral homes where you and other family members can come and spend time with the deceased once the death certificate has been issued and registration has taken place.
You can contact us as soon as you feel able to discuss the funeral arrangements. Arrangements can also be made before to the registration of the death.
When a death occurs in a Nursing home
If a death has occurred in a nursing home, the nursing staff will contact the doctor and arrange for them to certify the death. Many nursing homes nowadays have qualified staff that can carry out this procedure. The nursing staff will then contact the Funeral Director. We recommend that you should inform the nursing home in advance with your details, and if they are unable to contact you immediately they are aware of your wishes.
The death must be recorded with a registrar within five working days, but ideally immediately. You will then need to call your local registry office and make an appointment.
The Registrar will give you a special certificate that we will require in order to carry out the funeral, however we do not need it to make the funeral plans. You can contact us either before or after you have this certificate. You do not need to make an appointment to visit us as we can usually see you straight away. If you prefer a home visit, please telephone us and we will visit you accordingly.
We work closely with the Coroner and can attend any death in any area. A death can be referred to a Coroner if the deceased:
- Did not see their doctor within the last 14 days
- Had been admitted to hospital and died within 24 hours
- Deaths was caused by certain diseases
- Had a sudden death
- Deaths caused through accident or through suspicious circumstances.
A post mortem examination is normally carried out by the coroner as soon as possible after death, and the deceased is released, and a certificate is issued later that day. This does not normally affect the timing of the funeral, and in some instances speed things up. A coroner’s officer is assigned to each family and will liaise with them throughout the process. Once the certificates have been issued the relatives will need to register the death in the usual way.
Registering the Death
The person registering the death will be asked for the following information about the deceased:
- Date and place of death
- Full name and usual address (and maiden name if applicable)
- Date and place of birth
- The occupation (and name and occupation of her husband if applicable)
- Details of any person or allowance from public funds
- Date and place of birth of any surviving spouse
- Full name and usual address of the informant
- Qualification of the informant
A Death Certificate can then be obtained on payment of the prescribed fee. This will be needed for obtaining Probate or Letters of Administration, closing bank accounts, and making claims on insurance policies.
Unfortunately, without a Cause of Death, the Registrar cannot allow the death to be registered.
Coroners & Registrar’s Office
For details, please give us a call, on 0113 276 0077.