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What to do when someone dies

When you contact us, we will guide you through the process of coping with a bereavement and are on call 24-hours a day to provide advice and assistance. On initial contact we will ask for your details and details of the deceased and then arrange to meet you to discuss the funeral arrangements. We will then bring the deceased into our care.

Taking the deceased into our care

Once we have taken the deceased into our care, some families choose to provide us with the deceased’s own clothing as an alternative to a traditional white robe. An appointment can be arranged for the family to visit our chapel of rest to pay their last respects, should they wish to do so. This is an entirely personal decision – some people find it helpful to spend time with the deceased, while others would prefer to remember their loved one at their best.

Consult a solicitor

The executor should gather together the deceased’s paperwork and contact the appointed solicitor, if necessary, as soon as possible to deal with the estate (the money, property and possessions left by the deceased person). The solicitor can advise on the payment of debts and distribution of the estate to those entitled. The will should also be consulted for any instructions regarding the funeral arrangements.

Registration of the death

Once you have collected the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from the GP surgery or hospital, you will be required to register the death. There may be a delay in the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death being issued if the case has been referred to the Procurator Fiscal and a post-mortem is required.

An appointment must be made with the registrar and the death can be registered by any person who is familiar with the details of the deceased. You will need to take the following documents to your appointment:

• Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Form 11)

• Birth Certificate of the deceased

• Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate of the deceased (if applicable)

The registrar will give you the Certificate of Registration of Death (Form 14) which you should return to us immediately, as this is required for burial/cremation to take place.  There may be a delay of up to three working days if the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is randomly selected for a review.  The funeral arrangements cannot be confirmed until the funeral director receives the Form 14.

Registration of a death is free of charge and you will be issued with an abbreviated copy of the death certificate. It will cost £10 each to order any full copies of the death certificate, which you will require for any insurance policies etc. The registrar can also cancel the passport and driving licence and can contact the DWP regarding any benefits or the state pension.

Continue Reading – Making the funeral arrangements