What to do when someone dies

It is important to know what to do when someone dies. There are various steps that need to be completed in a timely manner.  Knowing what to do when a death occurs can relieve further stress at a difficult time.  The main things you need to do when someone dies include the following:

  1. Obtain a medical certificate – this is required to register the death
  2. Register the death – this must happen within 5 days in England and Wales or 8 days in Scotland
  3. 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 which is necessary in order to register the death of a person. 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.

When the death happens in a hospital

If a person dies in a hospital, the body will be taken to the hospital mortuary.  A doctor at the hospital will issue a medical certificate which you will need 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.

When a death occurs at home or in a nursing home

If a death occurs at home or in a nursing home, and 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.

What happens in the case of a sudden or unexplained death and the coroner becomes involved?

If a death is sudden or unexpected, you should contact the emergency services by dialling 999 immediately. The police and an ambulance will attend. If a doctor cannot issue a medical certificate then HM Coroner becomes involved. The police will arrange for the body to be moved to the hospital mortuary on behalf of the coroner. The coroner may request a post-mortem and if this happens a medical certificate will not be issued until the cause of death has been established.

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, 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 then the process of arranging the funeral can take place. If the deceased held a valid a pre-paid funeral plan with us, then the funeral will be planned according to their wishes. If no prior arrangements have been made then we will arrange a funeral planning consultation with the deceased next of kin. We welcome clients to discuss the funeral plans at our funeral home in Cwmbran or the consultation can take place in the comfort of your own home.

Contact V A Peterson

For more information about what to do when someone dies, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01633 483127.