What to do next when a loved one passes away
The practicalities that must be carried out when someone close passes away are often, quite naturally, the last things on the minds of bereaved friends and family.
We assume as much responsibility for such duties, as soon as possible, when we are made aware of the death. Therefore, we ask that you contact us as soon as you are able.
We will take care of things like conveying the deceased to the funeral home, and can advise you on certain duties that relatives must address before funeral preparations can proceed.
We may not always need to visit – if the death occurred at hospital, for example – but we still recommend that you call, so we can start to provide the crucial support that families need at times of such devastating loss, and to put your mind at ease that the funeral ceremony will be handled professionally and to your wishes.
Below, we have detailed what your first considerations should be when death occurs.
At home or at a nursing home:
- First, notify the GP who cared for the deceased. The death will be confirmed and certified, officially warranting us to assume responsibility for the care of the deceased.
- Contact us to arrange that we transfer the deceased to the funeral home. At this time we will be able to respond to any initial queries you have regarding the funeral arrangements.
- Get in touch without delay, so we can advise you about what happens next and start to make funeral preparations.
- The hospital will provide you with the Certificate of Death, which you should present at the Registrar’s Office, local to where the death took place. We recommend that other documents relating to the deceased should be taken to the Registrar too, such as birth, health and marriage certificates.
- The Registrar will issue you with a green certificate that warrants us to take responsibility for the funeral arrangements. Please pass this to us, as soon as possible, so we can start the preparations and, importantly, advise you about any state benefit to which you are entitled.
- We will contact you to discuss options for the funeral and start to make the necessary preparations.
Suddenly or unexpectedly:
- Contact us as soon as possible and we can explain the process and liaise with the Coroner’s office.
- It is common for the Coroner to become involved in sudden and unexpected deaths for a lot of reasons, such as the deceased will not have been under the care of a doctor recently.
Abroad or away from home:
- Contact us when your loved one has died abroad or away from home. We will make all the necessary arrangements for you.
When you bring your loved one into our care we will ask you to decide where you would like them to rest before the funeral – either at home or within our funeral home. If you choose to have them at home, we would ask that you allow us to bring them into our care first, and then we can make the required preparations before bringing them home to you.
Upon the death of your loved one the Registrar will issue a green certificate for burial or cremation, which we will require prior to the funeral. If the death has been referred to the Coroner, the process may vary but we will advise you accordingly. Certified copies of the entry of death can be obtained for a small charge if you need these for any legal or financial purpose.
Affairs of the person who has passed away:
There are a number of things that you will want to consider, such as:
- Accounts with banks, building societies, Post Office, premium bonds and Co-Operative Societies.
- Payments for insurance policies, rental or HP agreements, standing orders and credit cards.
- Change of name for the responsibility for gas and electricity, car and home insurance, car, telephone and TV licence etc.
- When your loved one dies your financial circumstances will have now changed and there are various grants and allowances that may be available from the state – e.g. help towards funeral expenses, rent/council tax rebates, widow’s pension etc. For more information speak to your local Town Hall, Citizen’s Advice Bureau or DWP office.