What to do when someone dies?
Losing a loved one can be a difficult and confusing time. To help guide you through the process, there are a few steps you should follow when someone dies Our experienced and professional team will care for them until the funeral takes place.
1. Where Has The Death Occurred?
First steps when someone dies at home
Call the person’s doctor or the NHS helpline 111
A medical professional needs to come to verify the death. If the person’s doctor isn’t available, for example if someone dies at night, an on-call doctor or senior nurse can do this.
At this point, please contact us so that we can bring the deceased into our care. If you would like the deceased to remain at home for a short period, please advise us as soon as possible, and we will give you guidance on this.
A doctor will then be able to issue a medical certificate of cause of death, which you’ll need to register the death. The doctors’ surgery will contact you when this is ready to collect.
If a person dies in a care home, the staff at the home will usually contact the doctor or other medical professional to attend to confirm that the person has passed away.
If you have instructed the staff that we are your chosen funeral director, they will usually contact us on your behalf once the death has been verified so that we can bring the deceased into our care.
The doctors’ surgery will contact you when the medical certificate of cause of death is ready to collect.
If a person passes away at a hospital, the relevant doctor (or family liaison officer) will advise the next-of-kin the necessary steps involved in collecting the death certificate.
Until the paperwork has been completed, it is likely the person who has passed will remain at the premises. It is important at this point that you contact us and explain that our services will be required. We will then liaise with the hospital to make the necessary arrangements, and will help and advise you on what to do next.
Once the death certificate has been collected by the next-of-kin, an appointment must be made with the Registrar. The Registrar will issue the next-of-kin with a green certificate for burial or cremation. We will need this green form to collect the person who has passed from the hospital.
2. Call Caldecott & Sons on our 24hr Helpline
Once the death has been verified, call our number 01978 261764 and we will bring the person who has died into our care at whatever time you need us to, day or night. Our experienced and professional team will care for them until the funeral takes place.
If the death is sudden and unexpected then it is likely that the doctor will report the death to the police to act on behalf of the coroner. If death occurs at home or in a care home, the police will attend to take a statement from any persons present and will arrange for a funeral director to transfer the deceased to the local mortuary for care whilst the coroner decides if further investigation is required. You can usually tell the police if you would like us to act as your funeral director, but sometimes they will use a ‘duty’ funeral director. If this is the case, you can still contact us to make the funeral arrangements. If the death occurs in hospital, the bereavement office will inform the next-of-kin if the death has been referred to the coroner.
3. Register the death
You need to register the death within 5 days in England and Wales and within 8 days in Scotland. You can register the death by contacting the Registrar’s Office local to the person who has died.
You can start making funeral arrangements before you’ve registered the death.
The registrar will provide you with a certificate of burial or cremation, a certificate of registration of death form BD8 to hand to the Social Security Office, and the death certificate. The registrar will also assist you in notifying other government agencies needing to be informed of the recent death by using their ‘tell us once’ facility.
You can register a death in person, or if no one is available to register the death in the district where the death occurred, you may give the information for the registration to the Registrar in another district by declaration.
Anyone who is unhappy about the cause of a death can inform a coroner about it, but in most cases, a doctor or the police will report the death to a coroner. A coroner is an independent doctor or lawyer appointed by a local authority to investigate certain deaths.
The registrar will provide you with a certificate
of for burial or cremation (the ‘green form’), a certificate of registration of death form BD8 to hand to the Social Security Office and, for a payable fee, the death certificate (currently £11-00 each). The registrar will also assist you in notifying other government agencies needing to be informed of the recent death by using their ‘tell us once’ facility.
Information required 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.
Registrar will give you:
A certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) to give to your Funeral Director (Some Registrar’s email this directly to the funeral director).
A certificate of Registration of Death Form BD8 to hand to Social Security Office.
The Death Certificate (‘Certified Copy of Entry of Death’). These are £11-00 each and will be needed for banks and other organisations.
The Registrar will also help you to notify other government agencies needing to be informed of the recent death by using their ‘tell us once’ facility. Government agencies will then work out final payments of benefits for the person who’s died (including the State Pension) and tax credits; amend Income Tax; National Insurance and Council Tax; Cancel the passport and/or driving licence; make arrangements about council housing and Blue Badge schemes; make sure the person’s name is removed from the electoral register (also known as the electoral roll).
When a coroner is needed
Anyone who is unhappy about the cause of a death can inform a coroner about it, but in most cases a death will be reported to a coroner by a doctor or the police.
A coroner is a doctor or lawyer appointed by a local authority to investigate certain deaths. They’re completely independent of the authority and have a separate office and staff. A coroner can investigate a death if the body is in their district, even though the death took place somewhere else, for example, abroad.
A death must always be reported to a coroner in the following situations:
- The person’s doctor had not seen them in the 28 days before they died or immediately afterwards
- A doctor had not looked after, seen or treated the person during their last illness (in other words, death was sudden)
- The cause of death is unknown or uncertain
- The death was violent or unnatural (for example, suicide, accident or drug or alcohol overdose)
- The death was in any way suspicious
- The death took place during surgery or recovery from an anaesthetic
- The death took place in prison or police custody
- The death was caused by an industrial disease.
In some cases the coroner will need to order a post-mortem, in which case the body will be taken to hospital for this to be carried out. You do not have the right to object to a post-mortem ordered by the coroner, but should tell the coroner if you have religious or other strong objections. In cases where a death is reported to a coroner because the person had not seen a doctor in the previous 28 days the coroner will consult with the person’s GP and will usually not need to order a post-mortem.
A death reported to a coroner cannot be registered until the coroner’s investigations are complete and a certificate has been issued allowing registration to take place. This means that the funeral will usually also be delayed. Where a post-mortem has taken place the coroner must give permission for cremation.
List of People to Contact and Cancel Accounts
The following is a suggested list of people to contact.
- Car Insurance: 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
- Inland Revenue
- Social Security :Form 344/BD8 needs to be completed to cancel any direct payments into a bank account. This white certificate is provided by the Registrar of Deaths.
- Local Council: Cancel any housing/rate benefits and council tax.
- Utilities: Gas, electric, water, telephone and cable companies.
- Post Office: 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.
- Store Cards
- Season Tickets and Club Memberships Cards
- Library Books and Card
- Make provision for care of any pets
- National Insurance Papers
- Private Pension Providers
- Life Assurance
- House and Contents Insurance
- Travel Insurance
- Mobile Phone Provider
- Broadband Provider
- Mortgage Provider/ Landlord Car Insurance
- To change Policy Holder’s name or a refund may be issued.
- Television License
- Car Insurance change Policy Holder’s name or a refund may be issued.
- Television License
List of items to return:
- Passport: You should return to:
The Passport Office, U.K. Passport Agency, 5th Floor India Building, Water Street, Liverpool
- Driving License
- You should return to:
D.V.L.A., Swansea, SA99 lAB
- Vehicle Registration Documents
Additional Companies to Contact:
- Close Down Online and Social Media Accounts.