What to do when death happens
It is hard to come to terms with death, but the family and friends who have been left behind must come together to help them with the next steps after their passing. To help you with what to do when death happens, we have put together a list of steps to make the process just that little bit easier for you.
Death outside of the home
If your loved one has passed away at a hospital or care home, the staff of the establishment will contact their GP on your behalf. Your loved one will be visited by their GP where they will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD).
Death at home
Should a loved one die at home, you will need to contact their doctor to let them know of their death. Their GP will be able to issue you with their medical certificates that you will need to take with you when registering their death. You will need to take the GP’s certificates to the local registry office.
Contacting a coroner
If medical professionals are not able to issue an MCCD for any reason, the death is reported to the coroner.
Investigating all aspects of the death, the coroner will decide whether a post mortem examination is required in order to establish the cause of death and clarify whether the coroner is able to give permission for an MCCD to be issued.
Furthermore, the coroner’s office will produce any paperwork required by the funeral director and may also, in some circumstances, register the death as well. For more information, download and read this very helpful guide by The Ministry of Justice.
Once you have obtained the MCCD
After you have obtained your loved one’s MCCD, you will need to contact your local funeral directors – Stinsons of Whitwick – who can offer you around-the-clock assistance every day of the year. We will be able to arrange careful conveyance of your loved one so that they can rest in our care whilst we plan their send-off together.
The death of a loved one should be registered within 5 days – to do this you will need to call and make an appointment with your local registrar. You may register the death if you are:
- A close relative of the deceased
- A relative in attendance during the last illness
- A relative in the district where the death occurred
- A person present at the death
- The person arranging the funeral
On the day of your appointment you will need to take the information below with you:
- Current address
- If married/in a civil partnership, the date of birth of surviving significant other
- Medical certificate stating the cause of death
- Medical card
- The date and place of birth
- Their full name (including their maiden name if they were married)
- Their occupation (including the full name and occupation of their spouse/civil partner)
- Time, date and place of death
To verify the deceased you will need:
- Birth certificate
- If applicable, marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Proof of address (council tax or utilities bills)
- Your identification
The registrar will provide you with two certificates, one green and one white. The green certificate must be handed to the funeral director in order for a funeral to take place, and the white certificate is for social security purposes.
Additionally, the registrar will provide copies of the death certificate, which may be required for:
- The will
- Bank accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Savings bank certificates
- Premium bonds
The registrar is able to report a death to most government organisations through the “Tell It Once” service, accessible only by a registrar at the point of registration.
After you have supplied the registrar with all required information, your green certificate will enable you to have your loved one buried or cremated – depending on their final wishes.
Your next step is then to speak with your chosen funeral directors, Stinsons of Whitwick, so that you can work together to plan your loved one’s funeral, memorial or burial service.