What To Do When Someone Dies
What To Do When Someone Dies
To find out more about what you should do when someones dies, please see the below information for advice and guidance on what you need to do.
Conveying Your Loved One Into Our Care
Each and every time we are instructed to look after the funeral arrangements for a family, we take our responsibility very seriously and pride ourselves on the personal and friendly service we offer.
One of our Funeral Directors will personally attend and convey your loved one into our care with the utmost respect and dignity. Here at Edd Frost & Daughters, we have all lost a loved one and ensure that throughout we treat the deceased with same high level of care and dignity that we would expect of our own loved ones.
The Process of Registration
Medical Certificate Of Cause Of Death
If the coroner is not involved, the regular doctor of the deceased or the doctor that was looking after them during their last illness will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. The certificate will usually need to be collected from the surgery, hospital or hospice and taken with you to your appointment with the registrar.
Registering A Death
Once the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death has been issued you will then need to book an appointment with the registrar. This can usually be done via the registrars website or by telephone. It is at this appointment you will receive your certified copies of the death certificate to enable you to administer the estate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if a loved one dies at home?
Once the Doctor has given permission to proceed, you are then able contact us. A member of staff will always be available to respond sensitively and efficiently to your call. We will attend at a time convenient to you and then arrange for the deceased to be conveyed into our care. It is imperative that this emotional event is handled with care and respect, one of our Funeral Directors will attend and see to this personally. Please do not feel that the conveyance must take place immediately; some families, having informed the funeral directors, may wish to wait until other family members have had an opportunity to say their goodbyes at home. You are then welcome to visit our Chapel of Rest at a later date once an appointment has been arranged with the Funeral Director.
What should I do if a loved one dies in Hospital?
If a relative who has been a hospital in-patient dies, the doctors who have been treating the deceased will usually be able to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, although bear in mind this will not usually happen immediately.
Most hospitals will give family members the opportunity to sit with the deceased before transfer from the ward or private room. There may even be a chapel of rest at the hospital specifically for this purpose.
Each hospital has a dedicated bereavement officer who will contact you and advise you of where you will need to go to collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. They may even help you to book an appointment at the Registration office.
Once you have contacted us and instructed us to look after the arrangements, we will liaise directly with the hospital bereavement officer to arrange the necessary paperwork and the conveyance of your loved one into our care.
What should I do if a loved one dies at a Nursing Home?
It is largely the same process as when a loved one dies at home, however the Matron or nursing staff are able to verify that a death has occurred so there isn’t necessarily a need for a doctor to attend.
Once death has been verified, you or the nursing home staff, can contact us and arrange conveyance of the deceased into our care.
The nursing home staff will be able to advise on where to collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from, although this is usually from the surgery of which the deceased is registered.
What should I do if a loved one dies suddenly?
If your loved one dies suddenly, it is likely that the police will have to attend. This is completely normal and you shouldn’t be alarmed by this. The role of the police is to begin an investigation on behalf of the Coroner.
Once the police have finished their investigation, they will arrange for the coroners undertakers to attend and convey the deceased to the Coroners mortuary.
Once we have been instructed by you to look after the arrangements, we will liaise directly with the Coroner to arrange the necessary paperwork. You can contact contact us at any point for help or guidance.
Why is the Coroner involved? What happens now?
If the doctor will not issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death it is usually because the circumstances surrounding the death mean it should be referred to the Coroner for further investigation.
The doctor can only complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death if they know the cause of death having seen the deceased for this illness in the 14 days prior to death occurring.
The doctor cannot issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death if the deceased:-
- Has died a violent or an unnatural death;
- Has died a sudden death of which the cause is unknown;
- Has died in prison or in such a place or in such circumstances as to require an inquest under any other Act.
- If the deceased underwent an operation shortly before death or there is a suggestion of a possible industrial disease, then it is probable that the doctor will not complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death but refer the death to the coroner.
If the death is referred to HM Coroner their office will arrange for the deceased to be conveyed to their mortuary in order that the death can be investigated and, if necessary, an inquest opened.
Should this happen, the Coroner will keep you updated at every stage and once their investigation has concluded, issue the necessary paperwork. We will be able to help and guide you through this process if required.
What do I have to do to register the death?
When registering a death that was expected you will need to take the medical certificate showing the cause of death, which has been signed by a doctor, with you. If you have the following items available, please take them with you, but don’t worry if you don’t have them to hand:-
- birth certificate;
- Council Tax bill;
- driving licence;
- marriage or civil partnership certificate;
- NHS medical card;
- proof of address (ie utility bill).
You will need to tell the registrar:-
- the person’s full name at the time of death;
- any names previously used, ie maiden name;
- the person’s date and place of birth;
- their last address;
- their occupation;
- the full name, birth date and occupation of a surviving/late spouse/civil partner;
- whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits.
You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (ie a utility bill) but you can still register a death without them.
The informant will then sign the register, certifying that the information that has been given to the registrar is correct.
When the Coroner is involved, they will issue interim death certificates which you can use to manage the estate. If an inquest has been open and ajourned it may be that the coroner registers the death on your behalf some months later, one the inquest has been held.
What is the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death?
If the coroner is not involved, the regular doctor of the deceased or the doctor that was looking after them during their last illness will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, this tells the registrar what cause of death to put on to the death certificate.
The certificate will usually need to be collected from the surgery, hospital or hospice and taken with you to your appointment with the registrar. You will not be able to register without this.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any help or guidance on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death or indeed any other paperwork.