What To Do When Someones Dies

What To Do When Someone Dies

A death can be a difficult and challenging time, but there are a number of important official things that you will need to do.

Inform a doctor

When someone dies at home, their doctor should be informed as soon as possible. Depending on circumstances, if the death is unexpected, a coroner may need to be contacted so that a cause of death can be established. If someone dies in a hospital, care home or hospice, the staff there will know what to do and will give you any help and advice you might need. The doctor who attends the death will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.

H.M. Coroner

If a doctor cannot determine the cause of death, he or she will not be able to issue a certificate and the matter will need to be referred to a coroner. When a coroner has to get involved, then the procedures needed to register a death differ. Should this be the case, we will offer additional advice and information as necessary.

Contact a funeral director

At this point, you will need to contact a qualified funeral director. At P & S Gallagher, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to offer support and advice. Once you have chosen to engage our services, we will organise receipt of the deceased into our care and await your instructions regarding the funeral, such as whether there will be a cremation or a burial.

Registration of death

You will need to register the death at the local registrar’s office, and this needs to be done by appointment within five days of the death. There are a few local offices and we are happy to advise which you will need to contact.

Brighton and Hove Registration District – The Town Hall, Bartholomews, Brighton, BN1 1JA

Lewes Registration District – Southover Grange, Southover Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1TP

Haywards Heath Registration District – Haywards Heath Library, Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1BN

To register the death you will need the following:

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • Full name of the deceased (including maiden name if deceased was a married woman)
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Their address
  • Date and place of death
  • Their occupation (and, if applicable, full name and occupation of spouse/civil partner)
  • If married or in a civil partnership, the date of birth of surviving partner
  • Their medical card

The following documents are not essential but will be useful:

  • Passport
  • Proof of address (council tax or utilities bills)
  • If applicable, marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Bringing along your own current passport would also be useful

It is a good idea to purchase about five copies of the death certificate as various people will have to be notified of the death. Once the death has been registered, a green Certificate for Burial/Cremation will be issued, depending on choice. This should be delivered to the funeral director to enable the funeral or memorial service to take place.