When a person dies it can be reassuring to have access to information regarding what to do following the death. Immediately after the death, your loved one will be attended to by a team of professionals and the process can differ depending on where the death occurred. There are also several people and organisations that you must inform. We have put a simple guide together to help you navigate this process. If you need any further guidance or support, please contact our friendly and caring team.
When a person dies, the events immediately after can vary depending on the location of the death.
In cases where the death is expected, it usually occurs either at home or in a hospital, hospice, care home or nursing home. In these instances, a Doctor will visit to confirm the cause of death and issue the Medical Cause of Death Certificate.
If a person dies and it was unexpected, you should call the emergency services immediately. Usually, a first responder, the Police, a Doctor and an ambulance will attend the scene. If the Doctor can establish that the cause of death was due to natural causes, they will issue a Medical Cause of Death Certificate.
In cases where the death was not caused by natural causes, a Coroner may be called. The Coroner’s involvement could delay the funeral service, depending on the circumstances. This is normal, so try not to worry.
In every case, when you have the Medical Cause of Death Certificate in your possession, you are free to instruct our services.
There are several people and organisations that need to be informed following a death including personal, professional, financial and healthcare contacts.
You can also inform several government departments by using the Tell Us Once government service. Departments notified through this service include HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Passport Office.
The death must be registered with a Register Office, ideally in the area where the person died as this can make the process quicker. You must register the death within 5 days in Wales, England and Northern Ireland, and 8 days in Scotland.
In cases where a Coroner has instructed an inquest, you may not be able to register the death within the normal timescales. This is because you will not receive the Medical Cause of Death Certificate until the inquest has been closed.
If you need any more information about what to do when someone dies, please do not hesitate to contact our caring team.