When a person dies there are several steps to be completed before you can plan their funeral. They include:
If the person died at home and the cause of death is clear and did not occur under suspicious circumstances, the attending doctor will be able to issue the medical certificate.
If a person dies suddenly and the death was not expected, the doctor may need to report the death to the coroner.
If the death occurred under suspicious circumstances, the doctor will be obliged to report the death to the coroner and the police will also become involved.
When the coroner is notified of the death, they will arrange for the deceased to be taken to the hospital mortuary. This is so the cause of death can be established. If the circumstances warrant an investigation into the death, the coroner will order an inquest. Once the cause of death has been established the medical certificate will be issued.
You can register a death once you are in possession of the medical certificate. To register the death, you can visit the registry office in the local authority where the death occurred or any other registry office in England or Wales. In England and Wales, the law states that the death must be registered within 5 days. If you live in Scotland, then the death must be registered within the following 8 days.
If the coroner has become involved, you may not be able to obtain the medical certificate within the time frame stated above. When this happens, we recommend that you notify the registry office as soon as possible outlining the reason why you cannot register the death within in the normal timescale. As soon as the coroner issues the death certificate you can arrange to register the death.
Contact Arthur Peake & Sons for professional advice relating to what to do when someone dies. Our caring team are here to offer guidance and support when you need it. Call 01633 482291.