What to Do After a Death

Step by step guide

Although there are many things to consider after the death of a beloved member of family or friend, the following information details some of the more specific areas for consideration.

Should you feel you need any further clarification, assistance in any aspect of the funeral arrangements or indeed answers to any general questions you may have just give us a call and we’ll help in every way that we can.

The first thing you must do when you think someone has died at home is to contact the medical services - either ambulance service or the deceased's GP. They will confirm the death and make sure the appropriate Death Certification will be drawn up.

If the person has died in hospital, the medical staff will certify the death and tell you where and when to collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. Ring the Registrar office for an appointment to register the death, the local number is: Newcastle 0191 2787878

Please contact W.S. Taylor & Sons Funeral Directors as soon as possible. We will help to guide you through this process.

Registering a Death

Who Can Register The Death?

  •  A close relative (e.g. spouse, child, brother, sister, parent, guardian)
  • A relative in attendance during the last illness
  • A relative living in the district where the death occurred
  • A person present at death
  • The person responsible for arranging the funeral

How Do I Register The Death?

The death must be registered in the Registry Office for the district where the death happened. Our Funeral Director will advise you on which office you should go to.


What Documents Do I Need To Take To The Registrar?

  • The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Normally Issued by the GP or Hospital Doctor) is absolutely necessary
  • If you have them readily available, it is also worth taking the deceased's Medical Card and Birth Certificate
  • You Also Need To Give The Registrar The Following Information:
    • Date And Place Of Death
    • Full name of the deceased (maiden name if married woman)
    • Home address
    • Date and place of birth
    • National Insurance number (this is needed for the tell us once service)
    • Occupation, if married, full name of surviving spouse

The Registrar Will Then Give You:

  • A Green Certificate which should be given to the funeral director as soon as possible
  • A White Certificate (BD8) for the Department of Work and Pensions.
  • This is to stop any benefits and pensions from the DWP and should be handed in at the local office or sent in the envelope provided
  • Certified copies of the death certificate for insurance companies, banks, building societies and solicitors.

These are currently £4.00 each and you can purchase as many as you need.

When Can I Arrange the Funeral?

Setting a funeral date

There are lots of things that will need to be sorted out before the funeral can be held.

Call W.S. Taylor & Sons Funeral Directors as soon as you are able. There is no need to wait until after you have registered the death. We can start to discuss arrangements with you to find out the style of funeral you want and liaise with all the people who help the funeral take place.

At this point we will be able to give you some options for the date of the funeral.

What Happens If The Death Is Referred To The Coroner?

Why The Coroner Is Involved - There are certain situations where the coroner needs to be informed.

Usually the GP or hospital doctor will refer the case to the Coroner. Occasionally the registrar may refer the case to the Coroner if they are not satisfied with the cause of death. When The Coroner Might Be Informed:

  • When the deceased was not attended by a doctor during the last illness
  • Or the doctor had not seen them within 14 days before death
  • If the death was violent, unnatural
  • Or occurred under suspicious circumstances
  • If the cause of death is unknown or uncertain
  • If the death occurred while the patient was undergoing an operation
  • Or did not recover from an anaesthetic
  • If the death was caused by an industrial disease
  • If the death occurred in prison or police custody
  • What The Coroner Does:

Once reported, the Coroner's Officer or a police officer will usually take a statement from the next of kin or close relative and you may need to identify the deceased.  The facts will then be presented to the Coroner who will decide if a post mortem needs to be carried out.

Proceeding With The Funeral

We will liaise with the Coroner's Officer and keep you informed. Normally, the forms that we require for the funeral to take place will be issued by the coroner and either delivered to the crematorium or must be collected from the Registrar.

Formally Registering The Death

You will need to register the death at some stage to obtain certified copies of the Death Certificate for insurance companies, banks, building societies and solicitors. These are currently £4.00 each and you can purchase as many as you need.

If an inquest is to take place, you cannot register the death until the full inquest is over, but you can obtain an interim certificate from the Coroner to sort out financial matters.

Get in touch

We serve families throughout the North East of England, please contact us to discuss how we may be of assistance.

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