When Somebody Dies
By law, a death must be registered in the district in which it occurs. We will advise you of the whereabouts of the relevant office and can assist with transport and Registrar appointments. Under normal circumstances the death certificate should be taken to the Registrar with, if possible, the deceased's medical card.
We’ve provided answers below to some frequently asked questions:
Who can register the death?
- Any relative of the deceased
- Any person present at death
- The occupier of the house where the death occurred
- The person arranging the funeral (NOT the funeral director)
The procedure for registering a death is a simple interview with the Registrar who will require the following information:
- Date and place of birth and death
- The full name of the deceased
- Home address of the deceased
- The marital status of the deceased
- The occupation (if any) of the deceased
- If the deceased is female, her maiden name and her husband's full name and occupation.
The Registrar will issue what is known as a Green Certificate which should be handed to your funeral director as soon as possible. This is a certificate giving permission for the body to be buried. Copies of the entry of death (often known as death certificate) may be obtained from the Registrar upon payment of the appropriate fee and will be required for insurance purposes, probate, bank accounts, private pension schemes, national savings certificates, premium bonds, etc.
Death at home
Contact your doctor (or the doctor on duty) who will certify that death has taken place and, if he or she is able, issue a death certificate. These days, most families prefer that the deceased is conveyed to the funeral director's chapel of rest at an early stage, we can arrange this.
Death in hospital
The nursing staff or the appropriate officer will advise you when and from where to collect the death certificate.
In all cases, the death certificate must be taken to the Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages for official record purposes (see "Registration").
Death in a care home
The above procedure is likely to have been carried out, with your permission, by the Matron or Warden who will advise of the whereabouts of the death certificate.
Jewellery and personal effects
It’s important that any instructions left by the deceased with regard to personal effects, such as a wedding ring, are strictly observed. The family may also have specific wishes in this respect. If such items are to be removed, the Funeral Director should be instructed and the jewellery and/or clothing collected prior to the funeral taking place.
Bear in mind that other members of the family may have different views with regard to these items, and in some cases it is advisable for the jewellery to remain on the deceased.
The formal ceremony is of little value or comfort if you’re left with the feeling that something, no matter what, has been left out. Remember, there is no need to hurry anything, a hasty decision now may lead to regrets for a long time to come.
When you have time to reflect on the arrangements that you’ve made, keep a pencil and paper close at hand, because there are bound to be questions which will need an answer or points which may have been overlooked. For example, perhaps there is a special meaning shared between you and the deceased as to the use of a particular road or view, which could easily be worked into the journey to the Cemetery, Crematorium or Church. You may have a special memento or treasured item that you would like placed in the coffin, perhaps even clothing of distinctive significance which only you know about. No matter what the question or query, make sure you ask, don't be afraid or feel intimidated as we assure you that you won't be considered foolish. It is, after all, a very important occasion and everything needs to be right.
The arrangements cannot be altered after the service has taken place. They can, however, be changed in any way you like before that time. So no matter whether you want to add to the service we are providing or amend or reduce the commitment in any way, please just ask. Our service is available throughout the day or night and over weekends as well so there can be no excuse for thinking in time to come "I wish", or, "if only I had asked or arranged". Anything and everything is possible, and you shouldn't be left with such thoughts.
In the days, weeks, months and years ahead, the prospect of which at present may appear bleak, you may find you have need for friendship or advice. We will always be able to put you in touch with those who can help and support you in these difficult times.