What To Do When Death Happens

You may be wondering what to do when someone dies as when a family member or friend passes on, it is a difficult time for everyone involved. Staying busy is often a big comfort for those in grief, and there are a few steps that need to be taken in order to provide the conclusion to your loved one’s life.

Steps will be different depending on the circumstances of the passing, but there are steps that need to be put into action. Many people don’t know what to do when a death occurs, so we’ve created this step-by-step guide to make the process as easy as possible.

1. Firstly, if the death occurs within the home you must alert your local doctor, or out of hours doctors service who will be able to issue the appropriate medical certificates to register the death. If the death occurs in a hospital, a care home, or hospice, then it is likely the staff will do this for you.

2. It is then suitable to inform the local funeral director of your choosing, so they can arrange the transportation of your loved one to the chapel of rest while we help you decide on funeral arrangements.

3. Registering the death at the registrar’s office requires the creation of a few legal documents. The person who does this will have to answer all questions related to the person who has passed on.

The information needed when registering a death:

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • Date and place of death
  • Full name of the deceased (as well as their maiden name)
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Their occupation (also, the full name and occupation of their legal partner)
  • Their medical card
  • Their address
  • If married/in a civil partnership, the date of birth of surviving significant other

Documents that can legally verify the deceased

  • Their passport, as well as your own
  • Proof of address, achieved through council tax or utility bills
  • When applicable, marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Birth certificate

We recommend having multiple copies of the death certificate, as other people may need copies as proof of passing. After the death has been registered, you’ll be given a green coloured certificate to prove the registration has taken place, and this is to be given to your funeral director in order for the ceremony to take place. There are a few other key people who need to be informed after the passing of a loved one (given that all the relatives have been informed first), including:

  • Insurance companies
  • Landlords
  • Employers
  • Schools, colleges or universities
  • Bank society
  • Inland revenue
  • Credit card companies
  • GP, dentists and other medical professionals
  • Gas and electric providers
  • Benefits agency

West Berkshire Funeral Directors will help guide and support you to ensure you have covered all bases. We pride ourselves in providing a fully comprehensive service to all our customers, including helping and advising on all funeral preparation formalities.