When someone dies it is often hard to know what to do.

The surgery is always available for advice but here are some practical steps that may help.

If someone dies at home

Telephone the doctor who will visit and confirm death has taken place and issue a death certificate or explain where and when it can be collected. The GP surgery will organise a Medical Certificate of cause of Death (MCCD). Usually the MCCD is collected in person from the surgery; however the certificates are now being sent electronically by the GP surgery to the Registrar’s office.

Once the death is verified, contact a funeral director at any time and explain the situation to them. They will then visit, take the deceased into their care and advise on registration procedures.

If someone dies in hospital

Contact your funeral director and let them know that their services are required
Speak to the hospital administrator regarding the death certificate and advise them whether the deceased is for burial or cremation.

When a death is sudden or as a result of a road accident

If at home, advise the doctor who will visit, confirm the death and advise the local police and/or coroner. For more information, please visit the When a death is reported to a coroner page on the website.

The police officer will contact the duty funeral director.

The duty funeral director is acting for the coroner at this stage.

You should contact the funeral director of your choice so that he can take over on your behalf. There is no need to wait for the certificate to be issued

In all cases

You need to make an appointment to take the certificate to the registrar’s office for the area in which the death took place. If possible take the deceased’s birth certificate. The registrar will issue you with a green form.

Take the green form to the funeral director or arrange for it to be collected and he will then take over responsibility for arranging the funeral.

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