What To Do When Death Happens
When a loved one passes, it can be a very difficult time for all involved. Often, the majority of people won’t know what to do when a death occurs, but our team at Town and Country Funerals are here to help you through the necessary steps that should be taken after someone has died.
Contact a doctor
When a death occurs at home, you should telephone the GP of the person who has died. If the death was unexpected, the coroner may need to be involved, depending on the circumstances, to establish the cause of their death.
If someone has died in a hospital, hospice or care home, the staff will know who to subsequently contact. Often, this is done on your behalf and further advice will be given, should you wish. A doctor will then attend the death, and issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.
Depending on the circumstances, a death could be reported to the coroner by a doctor or the police. This could happen shortly after someone has died, however, it could take a short while as the relevant medical professionals need to be notified and consulted following someone’s death.
The duty of the coroner is to establish the cause of someone’s death when a doctor cannot issue a Medical Certificate of Death. Although, it should be said that the guidelines and procedures for registering a person’s death will change if the coroner is involved. Often, the coroner will inform you as to when the death can be registered. Find out more about the Coroner’s Service here or have a look through the general guide.
Inform the relevant people of their passing
Talking about the death of a loved one can be very difficult, but it’s important that their affairs are in order after they’ve passed away. This includes informing a few key people of their death:
- GP and dentist
- Employer or school
- TV Licensing
- Utility providers (gas, electric, water)
- Post office, bank or building society
- Credit card or loan companies
- Benefits agency
- Landlord or housing department
- Accountant or solicitor
- Inland Revenue
- Register the death
Deaths should be registered with the local registrar’s office within five days of someone’s passing. If a death has occurred in Surrey, it can be registered at six offices within the area:
Surrey Heath House, Knoll Road, Camberley, Surrey, GUI15 3HD
Farnham Registrars Office, Farnham Library, Vernon House, 28 West Street, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7DR
Artington House, 42 Portsmouth Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 4DZ
Reigate Registrars Office, Reigate Library, Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 7RP
Rylston, 81 Oatlands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 9LN
What you will need to register a death:
- Full name of the deceased (including a maiden name if the person who has died was a married woman)
- Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
- Date and place of death
- Their date and place of birth
- Their address
- Their medical card
- Their occupation (and the occupation of their spouse/civil partner, if applicable)
- The date of birth of the surviving significant other (if married or in a civil partnership)
- Documents that would be useful, but not imperative:
- Proof of the deceased’s address (council tax or utility bills can provide this)
- Birth certificate
- Marriage, or civil partnership certificate, if applicable
- Their passport
- Your own passport
It is highly recommended that you purchase at least five copies of the death certificate, as various people will have to be notified of their passing.
After the death has been registered, a green Certificate of Burial/Cremation will be issued, depending on the choice you have made. This needs to be handed to the funeral director before a funeral or memorial service can take place.
Make funeral preparations
The next step is to contact a qualified funeral director. Town and Country Funerals will become involved with the transportation of the deceased, taking them compassionately into our care. We’re highly experienced and respectful, providing you and your family with our complete support, advice and guidance during such trying times.
Afterwards, we’ll await your instructions to commence funeral arrangements, whereby a decision will have to be made as to whether a cremation or a burial should take place.
Town and Country Funerals are committed to providing families and friends with compassionate, respectful ceremonies. If you live in Guildford, Woking or the surrounding area, and are looking to make funeral arrangements, get in touch with us today – we’ll be proud to help.