What to do next

If the Death Occurs at Home or a Nursing Home

Take time to say your goodbyes.

If the death was expected, you should contact the doctor who attended the deceased during their final illness. If the death occurred in a Nursing Home the staff will contact the doctor. If the doctor can certify the cause of death you will be given:

A Medical Certificate that shows the cause of death (this will be in a sealed envelope, addressed to the registrar). You will need to register the death along with the birth or marriage certificate to take along to register the death, you will need an appointment to complete the registration.

In the case of a sudden or unexpected death and also if the deceased was not under a Doctor’s care within the last 14 days the death may be referred to the Coroner so collection from a private home or care home must first be carried out by a local Funeral Director to enable Doctors to carry out further checks.

(Estimate £100 – £200) We strongly recommend you consider choosing an Independent Funeral Director as the cost is likely 
to be more reasonable.

Where necessary the deceased may have to be transferred locally to the Coroner’s mortuary (the Coroner’s office)

If the Death Occurs in Hospital or hospice

If death occurs in hospital, the hospital staff will contact the person named as next of kin. This may be, but need not be, a relative. The hospital will advise whether it is possible for a doctor to issue the medical certificate and when this will be available for collection.

If a doctor who has treated the deceased is unable to issue a death certificate the death will be reported to HM Coroner for that district. The Coroner’s office will then issue the death certificate. (this will be in a sealed envelope, addressed to the registrar). You will need this to take along to register the death and you will need an appointment to complete the registration.

In any of the following circumstances the doctor may report the death to the Coroner:

Accident or injury

Industrial disease

During a surgical operation or within 12months of

If the cause of death is unknown

The death was sudden or unexplained

If the person who has died has not been seen or treated by a doctor within the last 14 days or has been admitted into hospital less than 24 hours before they died.

Registering a Death:
  • By law a death must be registered within 5 days, by the next of kin, a close relative or a friend, either in the district where the deceased died.
  • Registration requires presentation of the Medical Certificate.
  • Sometimes the Birth or Marriage certificate & Medical card can be useful

You will need to provide the Registrar with the following information concerning the deceased:

Certificates & Information required by the Registrar 
If you do not have the certificate detailed A & B above, do not worry. The death can still be registered.
They are required only for information and confirmation.

1. Full name of deceased, including maiden names (where applicable).
2. National Insurance number.
3. Age, date and place of birth.
4. Date and place of death.
5. Home address of the deceased.
.Employment History

What the Registration Staff will give you:

‘Green/Disposal’ certificate for burial or cremation
• Form BD8, must be completed if the deceased was in receipt of any government benefits. There will be
instructions on how to complete this and what to do next.

The death certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the Death Register.

Purchasing additional copies can be useful as they are often required for sorting out financial affairs such as
insurance policies, pension claims or other purposes

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