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Guidance through this difficult time

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What To Do When Someone Dies / FAQs

It can be difficult to know what to do when someone dies, especially if it was unexpected. We’ve put together this simple guide of FAQs to give you some direction at this upsetting time, and of course, you can always discuss your situation with our caring professionals for further clarity.

  • A death in hospital

Generally, when somebody dies in the hospital, the staff will contact the next of kin who may or may not be a relative. The doctor who has treated your loved one may be able to provide the death certificate, or the district coroner may have to issue this. 

  • A death at home/nursing home

In the case of expected deaths, the doctor who has treated your loved one during their illness should be able to issue the death certificate, which includes a medical certificate that displays the cause of death, and a formal notice that outlines how to register the death. If the death was unexpected, a coroner should be informed. 

  • How and when to contact a funeral director? 

Here at Church View Funeral Services, we can be involved as soon as you wish. We can support families even prior to registering a death, helping you to navigate this process with care and professionalism. 

  • How to register a death

All deaths must be registered within 5 days of a death, and in the district that the death took place in. To register a death, you must have: 

  • The death certificate 
  • Date and place of the death
  • Name, surname, and maiden surname of deceased
  • DOB and occupation (also the name and occupation of husband if deceased was a woman)
  • Address 
  • Any medical cards, birth certificates and marriage certificates, if available 

Please enquire with your local registrar for a full list of required information and documentation.

  • Who can register a death? 

In most cases, a death is registered by a relative of the deceased, but exceptions can be made in certain circumstances. For further details, enquire with us, the doctor or the registrar. 

  • What certificates will be issued? 

The following certificates should be issued: death certificate, certificate for burial or cremation (which should be passed to us), and certificate for applicable social security benefits. 

  • Which deaths need to be reported to the coroner? 

In some cases, a death will need to be reported to a coroner before a funeral can go ahead. Usually this is in cases where the cause of death is unknown, unnatural, or if the deceased cannot be issued with a medical certificate or cause of death certificate for any reason. The coroner will decide whether any further investigation is required before the death can be registered. 

  • What will you need to think about? 

The next step is to make funeral arrangements, and this is where our funeral directors can support you to create a funeral that pays tribute to your loved one’s memory. You’ll need to opt for burial or cremation, and also decide other key details such as whether the service will be religious or not, who you would like to officiate, and whether you have any preference for the date and time. We can guide you every step of the way, and we aim to make the process as painless as we can. 

  • Cremation

You will need to select a crematorium for the cremation, and we can help with making this choice, along with helping arrange any personal touches to the service. 

  • Burial 

If you have a family grave in mind, we’ll need some details such as the grave number. If you’re looking to purchase a plot, we can arrange this for you. 

  • Floral tributes, donations, obituaries 

Most mourners will pay their respect to the deceased through floral tributes and charitable donations, and we can help make your choice using our selection books. We can also arrange for announcements to be placed in the local newspaper, offering advice on wording if you require. 

Our Funeral Choices

Frequently Asked Questions

My relative was collected by a funeral director on behalf of the coroner; do we have to use their services for the funeral?

No, as coroners generally use the services of a local funeral home, and are employed simply for the task of removing the deceased and transferring them. The family of the departed are not obliged to use the same funeral company for any other arrangements. 

Do we need to have a religious service?

It isn’t a legal requirement to have a religious service, or indeed, to have a service at all. Regardless of your family’s religion, or lack thereof, we can arrange a service in line with your wishes. We can put you in contact with The British Humanist Association who provide officiants for non-religious services.

Can family and friends carry the coffin?

Although we provide funeral bearers to carry a coffin, any members of the family or friends can assist with this – indeed, in some cultures, this is a high honour. We will enquire with the cemetery ahead of time to ensure this will be allowed, or if any disclaimers need to be signed.

Why do we have to pay doctor fees for a cremation but not a burial?

This is purely in the interest of safeguarding in the eventuality of, for example, any doubts over the cause of death. A buried body can be exhumed in this highly unlikely eventuality, whereas this cannot happen in the case of cremation – which is why a second independent doctor will need to check any answers that the first doctor has completed in their form.

Is the body removed before cremation?

No, only floral decorations are removed. 

Is it possible to have the funeral at the weekend?

Yes, this is possible. We must highlight that there are limitations to weekend services, but our professional funeral directors are happy to make enquiries on your behalf. 

Why Choose Us

Professional, Sympathetic Advice

As an independent company, our sole focus is you. Our aim is to ease the worry of funeral arrangement, guiding you step-by-step with a listening ear and a professional attitude.

Our Funeral Choices
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British Institute of Funeral Directors
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