There are actions that need to be taken in the unfortunate event that a person or loved one has passed away. Certain forms and registrations for the person who has passed need to be completed within the first few days.
- Contact the GP or the hospital if the person passed away whilst admitted, and request a medical certificate as soon as you are able. This is necessary to register the death.
- Once the death certificate has been issued, the person has to be registered, ideally within 3-5 days of passing. This used to involve a visit to the nearest registry office, but due to Covid pandemic, this is generally done online now. A telephone/ in person interview will be done to officially register the passing. The necessary documents for the funeral will then be sent and the necessary funeral arrangements can be done.
Register the death
If the death has been reported to the coroner, this may occur if the passing was unexpected or happened at home or in an unexpected environment or circumstance. The coroner must give permission before registering the death.
Relative, a witness to the death, a hospital administrator or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors can register the death.
The ‘Register a Death’ page on the gov.uk website gives guidance through the process.
Arrange the funeral
The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people use a funeral director, though a funeral can also be arranged by the family.
Choose a funeral director who’s a member of one of the following:
- National Association of Funeral Directors
- National Federation of Funeral Directors
- Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
These organisations have codes of practice – they must give a price list when asked.
Arranging the funeral yourself
Contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of the local council.
Funeral costs can include:
- funeral director fees
- things the funeral director pays for on behalf of the family (called ‘disbursements’ or ‘third-party costs’), for example, crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
- local authority burial or cremation fees
Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quotes.