What To Do When Someone Dies

We know it can be a very difficult and devastating time when someone you love dies; this is why we’re here to help you every step of the way. We will guide and support you through the important steps to take following the death of your loved one, right up until, and even after the funeral.

Below you will find the steps to take following the loss of your loved one. Alternatively, please contact your local funeral home and we will advise and guide you through the next steps.

Please note, procedures may vary depending on your area. Your Personal Funeral Advisor will advise you accordingly.

Find Your Local Branch

When someone dies at home, the first contact should be with the person's doctor. Once the doctor is satisfied with the cause of death, they will issue the Medical Certificate of Death. In some cases, you may be asked to collect the certificate from the surgery. In the case of a nursing home death, their staff should liaise with the doctor.

Contact us: After informing the doctor, you should contact us so that we can agree a suitable time, day or night, to bring your loved one into our care.

The Nursing, Bereavement or Admin team (depending on local practice) will talk to you when someone dies in hospital.They will arrange for a doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Death, which you will need to collect along with any belongings of your loved one.  If the funeral is to be a cremation, please advise the hospital staff to enable them to make arrangements for any additional documentation that is needed.

Contact us: Contact your local funeral home, we will then arrange a suitable time, day or night, to visit you to discuss the funeral arrangements and bringing your loved one into our care.

When someone dies unexpectedly, it is normal for the Coroner (England and Wales) or Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) to be involved. There are many reasons why this can happen, for example the Coroner/Procurator Fiscal is automatically involved in most sudden or unexpected deaths, especially if your loved one has not been under a doctor’s care on a regular basis. The emergency doctors, or any police involved, will inform the relevant Coroner’s office or the Procurator Fiscal.

Contact us: Contact our funeral home as soon as possible. We can advise on the procedures involved and liaise with the Coroner’s/Procurator Fiscal’s office.

When a death takes place some distance away from home, either within the UK or anywhere abroad, contact us and we can make all the necessary arrangements. We will arrange a repatriation to and from anywhere in the world, assisting with the international, legal and administrative processes.


1. Obtain Cause Of Death Medical Certificate


Whether someone dies at home, in a nursing home or in a hospital, you will need to arrange for a doctor to issue a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death.

You will need this certificate to register the death of your loved one.

Things are a little different if your loved one has died abroad, or unexpectedly, as a Coroner may need to be notified. In these cases, it can take longer for the certificate to be issued.

2. Register The Death


Once you have obtained the death certificate you will need to register the death.

Registration in most cases should take place prior to the funeral and a relative of the deceased usually registers the death. If no relative is available then the duty may be performed by any person present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death took place, or the person who is accepting responsibility for arranging the funeral. It is now usual that you must arrange an appointment with the Registrar.

If you feel you would like support, we can accompany you to the Registrar’s Office.  

3. Bring Your Loved One Into Our Care


We will ask you where you would like your loved one to rest before the funeral.

This can be at our funeral home or at home if it is safe to return them there.

If you wish for your loved one to return hume, we recommend that you allow us to bring them into our care, to be returned home at a later time when all necessary preparations have been completed.

We always use the very best of our local facilities and expertise. This means that your loved one may be prepared and cared for at another location before resting in your chosen funeral home.