What to do When Someone Dies
It is perfectly normal to be unsure of what to do following the loss of a loved one, family member or close friend. That’s why we are here to support you through the process and guide you through the various steps that are involved following a bereavement.
When a Death Occurs at Home
You will need to contact the deceased’s own G.P (or the Doctors on duty) who will certify that death has taken place and if he or she is able, issue a death certificate. It is most likely that this certificate will need to be collected from the Doctor’s surgery when completed. (If the Doctor has referred the death to the Coroner then please read further on).
Once the Doctor has given permission to proceed, please contact us where someone will be available to respond sensitively and efficiently to your call. Our staff will then attend promptly and arrange for the deceased to be transferred to our Chapel of Rest. Our staff are fully trained in order to handle this difficult event with care and respect. Do not feel that this has to take place immediately; some families wish to wait until other family members have had an opportunity to say their goodbyes at home. You are always welcome to visit our Chapels of Rest at a later date once an appointment has been arranged with the Funeral Director.
It is advisable to contact your Funeral Director as soon as you feel able to discuss the funeral arrangements. Preliminary and provisional arrangements may be made, if so required, in advance of the registration of the death.
When a Death Occurs 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 you of where to collect the Certificate.
Registration of a Death
When someone dies, the doctor who was treating the deceased will issue a medical certificate of cause of death to the relatives. The person who will be registering the death must take this certificate to the Registrar’s Office.
Every death in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place within 5 days of the date of death. The person registering the death gives information for the registration to the registrar. Due to space restrictions, only one other person will be able to accompany the informant into the Registrar’s Office, unless it is essential to do so.
If it is inconvenient for the person registering the death to go to the district where the death took place, the information for the registration may be given to the Registrar in another district by declaration. Please contact the appropriate Register Office if you need to follow this route. If the declaration procedure is used it will take longer for the document allowing the funeral to proceed to be issued.
Which Deaths Need to be Reported to the Coroner?
A small number of deaths have to be reported to the Coroner before they can be registered. They are:
• Where there is no doctor who can issue a medical certificate of cause of death.
• Where the deceased was not seen by the doctor issuing the medical certificate after death nor within 14 days before death, or where the cause of death is unknown.
• Where the cause of death is believed to be unnatural or suspicious.
• Where the death occurred during an operation or before recovery from an anaesthetic.
• Where the death is due to an industrial disease or industrial poisoning.
Once the death has been reported to the Coroner, the Registrar must wait until the Coroner has decided whether any further investigation into the death is necessary, before the registration can proceed.
Who Can Register a Death?
The people who can register a death are as follows;
• A relative of the deceased, related by blood, marriage or civil partnership.
• Someone present at the death.
• The occupier of the house or hospital if he or she knew of the death.
• The person arranging the funeral.
The Registrar would normally allow one of the other listed persons to register the death only if there were no relatives available.
Information to be Supplied for the Registration of a Death
• Date and place of death.
• Name and surname of the deceased.
• Maiden surname, if the deceased was a woman who had married.
• Date and place of birth.
• Name and occupation of spouse where the deceased was married.
• Usual address.
• Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds.
• If the deceased was either married or a civil partner, the date of birth of the surviving partner will be required.
The deceased’s medical card, if available, should also be given to the Registrar.
It is important that the information entered into the register is correct. Mistakes discovered after leaving the office, can be very time-consuming for you to have altered.
You should check the details VERY CAREFULLY in the death register before you sign.
If English is not the first language of the relative or other person registering the death and assistance is needed, it would be helpful for someone else to accompany him or her to the Registrar’s Office and act as an interpreter. However, the relative or the person must register the death personally, as a helper cannot register instead of them.
When You go to the Registrar
Things to take with you:
• The Medical Certificate of the cause of death
• National Health Medical Card
• Birth Certificate
• Marriage Certificate
To take advantage of the “Tell us Once” service available at the registrar’s office, please also take with you where applicable a current driving licence, blue badge and passport.
The registrar will give you:
A Green Certificate (Certificate for Burial or Cremation).
This must be handed to the funeral director so that the funeral can take place.
A White Certificate (BD8).
An official notification for social security.
The Registrar will sell you copies of the Certified Entry of Death (Death Certificate). You may need these for:
• The Will/Solicitor
• Bank Accounts
• Any Pension Claims
• Insurance Policies
• Bank Certificates
• Premium Bonds
Local Register Offices
Riversley Park, Coton Road, Nuneaton, CV11 5HA
03005 550 255
Cheylesmore Manor House, Manor House Drive, Coventry, CV1 2ND
02476 833 129
Shire Hall, Warwick, CV34 4RL
03005 550 255
5 Bloxham Place, Rugby, CV21 3DS
03005 550 255
Town Hall, Town Hall Square, Leicester, LE1 9BG
08450 450 901
Atkins, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley, LE10 1QU
01163 055 611
Organistions to Inform
Documentation will have to be changed as you are not legally insured to drive if the policy is in the deceased name.
Social Services/District Nurses
If there is equipment belonging to either of these, it must be returned.
Hospital and/or Family Doctor
Any outstanding appointments should be cancelled.
Employer or Professional Association
Form 344/BD8 needs to be completed to cancel any direct payments into a bank account. This white certificate is provided by the Registrar
Cancel any housing/rate benefits and council tax.
Gas, electric, water, telephone and cable companies.
Arrange redirection of mail, a small charge may be made.
Credit Card Companies
Cancel cards and pay up accounts.
Banks and Building Societies
Accounts need to be closed and any joint accounts need to be amended.
Investments and Insurance Policies
Premium Bonds are not transferable. The Post Office will issue
you with a form that needs to be sent to the Bonds and Stocks Office. For further advice suggest that you consult a Financial Advisor or Accountant.
Items to Cancel
Meals on Wheels
Items to Return
You should return to:
The Passport Office, U.K. Passport Agency, 5th Floor India Building, Water Street, Liverpool
You should return to:
D.V.L.A., Swansea, SA99 lAB
Vehicle Registration Documents
To change name of ownership.
To change Policy Holder’s name or a refund may be issued.
To change name or a refund may be issued.
Season Tickets and Club Memberships Cards
A refund may be issued.
Library Books and Card
National Insurance Papers
Arranging the Funeral
When you are ready to make the arrangements please contact us and we will arrange to see you at our Attleborough offices. However if you prefer our Funeral Director will willingly make an appointment to visit you, so the funeral arrangements can be made in the comfort of your own home.
Our Funeral Directors will liaise with the cemetery/crematorium, church and ministers on behalf of the family and in all aspects of the funeral arrangements will explain the procedures and legal requirements. Whilst arranging the funeral, we will advise on costs and charges to be incurred, culminating in a full written estimate which will be given to the person responsible for the arrangements before the day of the funeral.
Our account itself is divided into two separate parts, our charges and the disbursements which are fees paid to third parties on the client’s behalf. Our charges include coffin and interior, bearers, professional fees and overhead costs, which include the provision of a 24 hour a day call rota, our professional services in making the funeral arrangements and arranging documentation and necessary personal attendances, the conveyance of the deceased to our private rest rooms, preparation of the deceased for the chapel of rest and the use of the same until the day of the funeral.
Disbursements are essentially fees that we pay out on behalf of the family. These include Doctors fees, Crematoria/Cemetery fees, Church and Ministers’ fees, Newspaper Announcements, Printing, Catering and Florist charges. Our written estimate will detail the cost of any disbursements. However, as we have no direct control over these charges, there could be slight variations from the estimate. The disbursements costs will be required to be paid prior to the funeral, however Devall & Son’s own account will be posted to the applicant following the funeral and payment will be required within 14 days. The account can be paid for by cash, cheque or credit card.
In certain circumstances the next-of-kin may receive help with the costs towards the funeral from the Social Fund. (Claims must be within three months of death.) Ask your Funeral Director for further information on Death Benefits.
On the Day
The funeral ceremony is the culmination of the work that has taken place since the death occurred. Devall & Son will be in attendance throughout the proceedings to ensure the smooth running of events. We will take on the role of master of ceremonies, carrying out the task of guiding, directing and overseeing the funeral. As well as the Funeral Director, additional members of staff will also be present. The pallbearers will be attired in smart dark blue appropriate dress and will ensure professional dignified attendance and supervision throughout the funeral. We operate blue Jaguar and Mercedes hearses and limousines, however if the family prefer an alternative fleet of vehicles, this can be organised. If you or any member of your family is unsure of what to do, tell your Funeral Director. This is what we are here for, to help and guide you through one of the hardest days of your life.