What To Do When Someone Dies

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Dealing with the death of a loved one can be very distressing...

even more so if it was sudden and not expected. You may find yourself in a state of shock as well as grief, with no idea what to do next.  

We hope this guide helps you with the first steps on what to do when someone passes away. 

When someone dies at home  

If someone dies at home, their GP should be contacted. They will arrive and confirm that the death has occurred and then are able to issue a medical certificate which documents the cause of death and is needed to officially register the death. 

Once the death has been officially confirmed by a medical professional, the person who has passed away is allowed to be brought into our care if you so wish.

When someone dies in a nursing home  

A manager or member of staff will arrange for a doctor to visit and confirm the death and issue the medical certificate. Once this has been done, you can contact us, and we will arrange for the removal of the deceased into our care.  

Once you have the medical certificate, the death can be officially registered.  

When someone dies in hospital  

The attending doctor will confirm the death and will complete the medical certificate and liaise with a bereavement officer who will be able to offer you any support or advice you need about next steps and provide you with the necessary information. 

When the death is sudden  

If a death is sudden and the person was not seen by a medical professional during their final illness, died during an operation or in an unknown or suspicious way, the death will need to be investigated by a coroner. In these circumstances the coroner will be contacted by the police or doctor directly. In some cases, a postmortem may be asked for by the coroner to establish the exact cause of death. A further investigation (inquest) may be needed, and the registration of death cannot take place until the inquest is complete. Funeral arrangements can still be made during this time however, and funerals should not be delayed by postmortems. 

The coroner’s office will contact the family, usually within 48 hours of the death being reported, to explain the outcome of the investigation. Once they have come to a conclusion, the medical certificate will be provided, and the official register of death can take place. 

Even when a death is expected, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and scared about what the next steps are so we hope this information is useful to help outline the key things that will happen. 

If you have any questions about what to do when someone dies and at what stage we, as the funeral director, get involved, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help you through the entire process. 

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