When A Death Occurs

When a
death occurs

When the unfortunate event of a death occurs, there are a number of tasks, which must be completed in order for the legal responsibilities to be fulfilled and also to enable the funeral arrangements to take place.

All of which are difficult to comprehend at a time when grief affects the emotions and actions of an individual, relatives or friends. This is when the experience and knowledge of professionals is vital and the role of the funeral director becomes essential.


If the death has occurred at home, immediately contact your GP or the doctor on call to report the death to them. The doctor will then come to your home and if he or she is able, they will issue a medical cause of death certificate. If he or she is able to issue a death certificate then you are free to contact a funeral director. The funeral director will take some initial details and then convey your loved one to their private chapel of rest. If the doctor is unable to issue a death certificate, they will contact the local coroner who will make the necessary arrangements for the deceased to be taken into their care.

In a
nursing home or residential home

If the death occurs within a nursing or residential home, the same applies as if the person has passed away at home.

In a
hospital or hospice

If the death occurs in a hospital or hospice, the nursing staff or appropriate officer will advise you when and where to collect the death certificate. You will then need to contact the funeral director; they will ask you for information such as which hospital or hospice your loved one has passed away in, the date and time they passed away and the next of kin’s contact details.

If the death occurred in a public place or as in the above, a GP or hospital are unable to issue a death certificate; the coroner is automatically involved and, in this instance, there will be no certificate for the cause of death. The coroner will advise you of the procedures involved and when you can register the death.