What to do when someone dies : A step-by-step guide
We’ve put together all the relevant information you need and the procedures you must follow when someone dies. At Welham Jones, we understand how difficult this time is and we want to make things as easy and straightforward for you as possible.
Issued at the time of death or made available for collection shortly after, from the doctor’s surgery or the Bereavement Services department of the hospital. If the doctor cannot certify the cause of death, he or she will refer the death to HM Coroner (See the Coroner below).
Required by law within five working days in the district where they died. The Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths will require a number of documents or information about the deceased, including:
- Place and date of birth and death
- Full name - including maiden name
- Home address
- Marital status - and if a married woman, their spouse’s full name and occupation
Contact details of local register offices are here.
The DWP has a ‘Tell us once’ service that ensures any benefit entitlements are dealt with once you register the death. Call 0845 606 0265, or send back the form BD8 that the Registrar will give you.
Please see our Bury or Cremate section for more guidance in making this difficult decision, particularly when the deceased left no instructions, or indication, of their wishes.
Once we have taken the deceased into our care, we will contact you to offer advice, answer any questions and begin the process of arranging the funeral.
The Registrar will give you the ‘Certificate for Burial or Cremation’, which is a green coloured form and which you should pass to us as soon as possible. This allows us to bring the deceased into our care and continue the process of arranging the funeral and preparing the deceased.
In addition, you will need a number of certified copies of the ‘Entry of Death’. These are required for probate or to close bank accounts and notify pension schemes etc. whether you are doing it yourself or you have appointed a solicitor. There is a fee per copy for these, which is payable to the Registrar when registering. You can ask for as many copies as you like but usually four will suffice as they can be re-used when notifying banks or other institutions of the death.
When HM Coroner becomes involved
There are a number of reasons for HM Coroner to become involved in a death. If this happens to you, don’t panic, the procedures will be fully explained by the Coroner’s officer.
What you need to know:
As the introduction of new technology is allowing registration to take place in expanded areas, please ask us for up-to-date procedures, telephone numbers and assistance both in making and attending any appointments.