What To Do Next

If someone has died and you need to arrange a funeral, our friendly team is here to help guide you through the process. Learn more about the steps you need to take below, or find your nearest funeral home to discuss it with our care team.

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What to do when someone dies

What you need to do when someone dies can vary depending on where they died. Below, we’ve provided details of what you should do next for a variety of circumstances.

You can also download our Bereavement Check List

Where did the death happen?

At Home

  1. Call the person’s doctor or NHS 111

    In some cases, the death may have been expected, in which case your first step should be to call 111, the family doctor and any close relatives you wish to notify. The doctor will be able to issue a medical certificate of the cause of death to allow the death to then be registered.

    Once you feel ready to do so you may then begin to contact a funeral director and begin making the necessary arrangements.

    Unexpected Deaths

    In the instance of an unexpected death, you must first call 111 and ask for advice, they will be able to guide you through the process of what should be done. An unexpected death may need to be reported to a coroner so that an inquest or post-mortem can be done to find out the cause of death.

    This process can often take some time, so a funeral may be delayed slightly, however funeral directors will be there to offer all of the support and guidance you may need in this difficult time.

  2. Arrange for the person to be taken into our care

    Once the death has been verified the next step is to contact your chosen funeral home to arrange for the person to be taken into their care. Should you choose us, our team of professional funeral directors will be available day or night to arrange a convenient time for us to bring them into our care. We will then ensure they are looked after, dressed according to any wishes and you will have the opportunity to visit them in the lead up to the funeral.

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  3. Register the death

    You need to register the death within five days in England and Wales and within eight days in Scotland.

    To register the death you will need to contact the local registrar office. They will require the cause of death certificate from your doctor along with other personal details such as the deceased’s birth certificate, proof of address, marriage certificate (if applicable) and passport.

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  4. Arrange The Funeral

    A meeting with one of our funeral directors will take place to discuss what wishes you have for the funeral. We will listen to you to find out more about the person who has died to make sure the funeral we are arranging is right for you and for them. We will discuss all of the necessary decisions that need to be made and support you through the process.

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In A Care Home

The process for arranging a funeral when the person has passed away in a care home is similar to the ‘At Home’ process detailed above. However, the difference is that the care home will be responsible for contacting the doctor to verify the death.

Once you have been informed of the death and the doctor has been notified, the doctor will then issue a death certificate which you will then need to register. The final step is to contact a local funeral director and discuss arrangements for the funeral.

Unexpected Deaths in a Care Home

If someone dies unexpectedly at a care home, the emergency services must be contacted. They will contact the coroner who will then investigate the cause of death. The coroner will also arrange for a local funeral director to collect the deceased and take them to the hospital mortuary.

They will be kept in the hospital mortuary until the investigation into the death has concluded and then you may make arrangements to have them taken to your chosen funeral home.

At Hospital

When someone dies in hospital and the death was expected, the doctor will issue the medical certificate of the cause of death. You may then call your local funeral director to start making the necessary arrangements. The hospital may ask you what funeral director you are choosing and will also require you to register the death before the deceased can be taken into the care of a funeral home.

The person who died will be kept at the hospital until the funeral home is ready to bring them into their care. The rest of the process is the same as it would be in the case of an ‘At Home’ death or a death in a care home, details of which can be found above.


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Talk to an Expert

Contact your local funeral home

If you are confused about what to do and need some extra-support during this hard time, talk to your local funeral care team to help you understand what steps to take next. We are here to try and make things as easy as possible for you and your family.

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