What Should I 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 will need to rely on the advice and guidance of professionals.

AT HOME
Contact your Doctor (or the Doctor on duty) who will certify that death has taken place and, if he or she is able, issue a death certificate. 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
The above procedure is likely to have been carried out, with your permission, by the Matron or Warden who will advise of the whereabouts of the death certificate.

IN HOSPITAL
The nursing staff or the appropriate officer will advise you when and from where to collect the death certificate.

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. I will advise you of the whereabouts of the registry office and can assist with transport 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 The 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)

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.

Can I Discuss A Funeral In Advance?

It is natural to feel different about discussing funeral arrangements in advance of death. Nevertheless, it can simplify the immediate period following death if you have already made your choice of Funeral Director.

I am always willing to give advice and estimate costs, and to discuss the various arrangements that will need to be made. You will also be able to compare, if you wish,
my facilities, service and reputation, to help in your selection and appointment of a company you wish to deal with. An added advantage is that I will be known to you,
and will have prior knowledge of your precise requirements. These preliminary contacts will not place you under any obligations.

Can I Discuss My Own Funeral Arrangements In Advance?

I am always willing to discuss, and put into a confidential file, your own desires regarding your funeral. It can be of considerable benefit to bereaved relatives to know that preliminary discussion and outline arrangements have been dealt with. For instance, if one's choice of burial or cremation has not been made known in advance it may result in much additional anxiety.

If you do have the foresight to make prior arrangement with me it is, of course, advisable to inform your Executors or next of kin.

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