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What to do when a death occurs

When a death occurs in the family, whether it is at home or in hospital, there are many unfamiliar tasks that must be carried out.


At such a time, when natural grief and perhaps anxiety weigh heavily upon you, you may need to rely on the advice and guidance of professionals. We at Mother & Daughter Funeral Directors are here to guide and support you through all the different things you will need to think about, decide and do. 

Below is information to assist you through the key things you will need to do after a death.

Alternatively, you can contact us straight away and we can advise you on what to do next. We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

At home


If the person passes away at home, you should call their doctor or nursing team immediately and notify those closest to the person. The doctor will be able to sign the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death in cases where the death was expected and will be on hand to offer advice on next steps.


These days most families prefer that the deceased is conveyed to the Funeral Director's Chapel of Rest at an early stage and this can be arranged at any time of the day or night by telephone.

At a nursing or residential home

A doctor or the nursing staff will certify that the death has taken place. The Matron or Warden who will advise of the whereabouts of the death certificate.


Your chosen funeral director will liaise with the home to bring your loved one into their care.

In Hospital


If your loved one passes away whilst in hospital, the hospital bereavement office will provide a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) for you to register the death of a loved one.


Your chosen funeral director will liaise with the hospital to bring your loved one into their care. The nursing staff or the appropriate officer will advise you of when and from where to collect the death certificate.


What do I do if the death occurred overseas?

If the person passed away whilst overseas, the death will need to be registered in the country where this happened. Regulations vary from country to country so it’s important that you seek further advice from the British embassy or local police. 

The Coroner
Under certain circumstances the death must be reported by the doctor, hospital or registrar to the coroner. This means that there will be a post-mortem or inquest and you may have to delay your plans for the funeral. In this case, there will be no Cause of Death Certificate. The death will be registered once the coroner has made a decision. The time this takes will vary.
In the case of a loved one being repatriated into England or Wales; the Coroner is responsible for granting permission for the funeral to take place.
Registering the death


In all cases the Death Certificate must be taken to the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages for official record purposes. All deaths are required, by law, to be registered in the District in which they occur. We will advise you of the whereabouts of the registry office and the times the Registrar is in attendance.


Under normal circumstances the Death Certificate should be taken to the Registrar with, if possible, the deceased's Medical Card.

Who can register a death?


1. Any relative of the deceased

2. Any person present at death

3. The occupier of the house where the death occurred

4. The person arranging the funeral (NOT the Funeral Director)


What happens when I Register?


The procedure for registering a death is a simple interview with the Register who will require the following information:


1. Date and place of Birth and Death

2. The full name of the deceased

3. Home address of the deceased

4. The marital status of the deceased

5. The occupation (if any) of the deceased

6. If the deceased is female, her maiden name and her husband's full name and occupation.


The Registrar will issue a Green Certificate, which should be handed to your Funeral Director as soon as possible.


Copies of the Entry of Death (often known as Death Certificates) may be obtained from the Registrar upon payment of the appropriate fee and will be required for Insurance purposes, probate, Bank accounts, private pension schemes, National Savings Certificates, Premium Bonds etc.


A White Certificate of Death, which is required should you wish to claim any DSS benefits, will also be issued.  


Special copies will be required for Friendly Societies purposes.


Should death be notified to the Coroner and the funeral service is to be a cremation, the Registration can be completed after the funeral.

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01273 734242
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