Arrange a funeral

Procedure to be followed after a death

The procedure to follow after a death will depend on the circumstances surrounding the death. A medical Certificate of the Cause of Death must be obtained from a doctor. This Certificate will enable you to register the death and obtain the necessary documents for the funeral arrangements.

When The Death Occurs at Home

Inform the family Doctor as soon as possible that the death has occurred. He or she may write out the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death upon visiting the home, or request you to attend the surgery for this purpose. Once the doctor or other professional has certified the death the deceased may be transferred to the Funeral Directors.

When the death occurs in a hospice or nursing home

The staff in the hospice or nursing home will inform you of the death and will advise you where to obtain the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death. Once the Doctor or other professional has certified the death the deceased may be transferred to the Funeral Directors.

When the death occurs in hospital

The hospital staff will inform the next of kin or named person of the death. The deceased will normally be transferred to the hospital chapel/mortuary. The hospital General or Bereavement Office will arrange for the medical certificate of death to be issued.

When the death is referred to the coroner

Sometimes the coroner will need to be informed when the Doctor cannot issue the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death. In these circumstances, the Coroners Office will arrange for a post mortem to ascertain the cause of death. Once this has been carried out the certificate will be sent to local registrars where the death can be registered and a certificate issued to the funeral directors to allow the funeral to take place.

Registering a Death

Who May Register?

If the person has passed away in a house, care home or hospital the death can be registered by:

  • The next of kin.
  • A close relative.
  • Someone present at the time of death.
  • An official from the hospital or Matron of the care home.
  • The person making the arrangements with the funeral director.

Registering by declaration

If the next of kin does not live locally, the death can be registered by Declaration at their closest Registrars Office. Most deaths are registered by a relative. The registrar would normally only allow other people to register if there are no relatives available.

Documents and Infomation You Will Need

Documents

When registering a death you will need to take the following:

  • Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (signed by a doctor)

And if available:

  • Birth certificate.
  • NHS medical card.
  • Marriage / Civil Partnership certificates.