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When Someone Dies

When a loved one dies it can be an emotionally distressing time and potentially overwhelming should the responsibility fall on you or someone close to you to carry out their final wishes.

We can help you through this difficult time, offering caring support and advice on things you may need to think about when arranging their funeral.

There are three important things you’ll need to do after a loved one dies:

  1. Obtain the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  2. Register the death of your loved one
  3. Contact a funeral director

You can find more detailed information about these steps on our registering the death page.

When a person dies, someone has to deal with their affairs. This is called ‘administering the estate’. In addition to arranging the funeral there are other legal duties and responsibilities that fall on personal representatives (an Executor in a will or an Administrator if there is no will).

You can contact your nominated solicitor to discuss these legal duties and responsibilities. If you are unsure of how to proceed or which solicitor to choose, please get in touch and we will be glad to help.

What to do when someone dies in Hospital

If a loved one died in hospital, the doctors looking after the person who has died, will normally issue The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.

The hospital staff will advise you when and where to collect the certificate along with any belongings of your loved one that are still with them in the hospital.

A ‘release form’ may need to be signed by the Next of Kin at this point, this will release your loved one into the care of your funeral director.

You will also need to inform the hospital staff as to whether the funeral will be a burial or cremation – if it is cremation, further documents will need to be completed before your loved one can be taken into the care of your funeral director.

At this point it would be advisable to liaise with the hospital staff or funeral director regarding registration of their death, as this could prevent unnecessary journeys back to the hospital.

What to do when someone dies at home or in a nursing home?

When a loved one dies at home, the doctor should be contacted immediately. As soon as the doctor is available, they will normally make a house visit and if the death was expected, you will be issued with The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death soon after.

The doctor will give permission for you to contact your funeral director so that your loved one can be taken into their care and their last wishes followed.

If their death occurs in a nursing or residential home, a member of the nursing staff will contact your funeral director on your behalf. They will then arrange for your funeral director to convey your loved one to their resting place, acting in accordance with your wishes.