What To Do When Someone Dies

Day or night, Adam & Greenwood are here to help families with their funeral arrangement requirements. It can be difficult to know what to do next when someone dies, especially if it was unexpected or away from home. On this page, we hope we can guide you through the necessary steps that will have to be made when someone close passes away.

If a death occurs in hospital

Hospital staff should contact the next of kin, asking you to go to the bereavement office. Here, you should be issued with a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, which will allow you to contact the registrar’s service to make an appointment so you can register the death. Once you have registered the death, simply bring the paperwork into ourselves and we’ll make arrangements with the hospital to bring your loved one into our care.

An ‘expected’ death at home/residential home

You will need to consult with the Doctor, who attended your loved one during their last illness, so that the death can be verified. If this occurs out of hours, then this could be an ‘On Call Doctor’. Once the doctor has attended and confirmed that your loved one can be collected, please contact Adam & Greenwood and we will make arrangements to bring your loved one into our care. The GP surgery will arrange to issue you with a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, normally in the following few days. This will allow you to contact the registrar’s service to make an appointment so you can register the death.

A sudden or unexpected death at home

It is hard to collect your thoughts following on from an unexpected death, so in the first instance contact your loved ones’ Doctor. You can also contact us to inform us, so that we can provide the support that you need. 

Should someone die suddenly or unexpectedly, the Coroner will have been informed and will contact the next of kin in the following days to instruct them on the next steps. It may not always be possible for the Doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and the Coroner may request a post-mortem, to find out the cause of death.

Once a cause of death has been established, then the Coroner will inform and instruct you on the process of registration. They will also contact us, so that we may bring your loved one into care, ready for their funeral. 

A death abroad

If your loved one passes away abroad, we can speak directly with the other Funeral Director, for a repatriation back home, to take place. We can also arrange to bring your loved one into our care, from anywhere in the UK. 

How to register a death

A death must be registered within 5 days, though rules differ if a coroner is involved. It is usual to register the death in the district in which the death occurred. The death can be registered by:

  • Any relative of the deceased
  • Any person who was present at the death
  • A person who was living in the house at the time of death
  • The person arranging the funeral (but not the Funeral Director)

Simply call the registrar to make an appointment, which is normally arranged within 24 hours. To your appointment, you will need to bring the following:

  • The name, DOB and full address of the person who has died (proof of address)
  • Details of where and when the person died
  • The medical card, if available
  • Medical certificate highlighting the cause of death
  • Confirmation of whether the deceased should be buried or cremated
  • Your own details, including your relationship with the deceased
  • If the deceased is a married woman, you will need to provide her maiden name and her husband’s full name and occupation
  • Birth or marriage certificates (if required)

You may also need to give additional information about the deceased, such as their religion or proof of your relationship to them. Enquire further when you arrange an appointment and the registrar should give you a full run-through of what is required.

Upon registering the death, the registrar should give you:

  • Registrar’s certificate for Burial or Cremation (green form). Pass this form to Adam & Greenwood as soon as possible
  • A white certificate, which allows you to make benefits claims
  • A death certificate. It is advised to purchase several copies of this certificate – this will assist you with formalities and processes in the future

If you have any more questions about the process, please contact our helpful team today.