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What to do when someone dies

We are here for you, all day, every day. In the event of a death the amount of information can be overwhelming in an already difficult situation. We have made a simple 'what to do' to try and answer some initial questions.

Medical Certificate of cause of death

When a person dies at home, in a hospital or in a nursing home, you will need to arrange for a doctor to issue a ‘medical certificate of cause of death'. This certificate is needed to register the death, however, if someone dies unexpectedly or abroad then the coroner may need to be notified. When this occurs it can take longer for the certificate to be issued. Should you require any assistance, call us at Haynan Funeral Service any time, any day.

When a person dies at home or in a nursing home

In the case of an expected death and once a medical professional has ‘verified death’ you can then contact us. We will then collect your loved one from their home or the nursing/care home and bring them into our care.

When a person dies in hospital

In the case of an expected death occurring in a hospital, the doctor will issue the ‘medical certificate of cause of death’. You will need to register the death before your loved one is able to be collected by us. In the case of an unexpected death occurring, the hospital may seek permission from the next of kin to perform a post mortem examination to determine the cause of death. If the hospital cannot establish a cause of death, the doctor will contact the Coroners Office to conduct an investigation.

When a person dies abroad

When a person dies abroad you will need to contact the local British Embassy in the country of which the person has died. They will guide you through the next steps including how to register the death and advise on repatriation.

What is a coroner?

The Coroner, also known as the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland, will investigate the cause of death if a person has died suddenly or unexpectedly. The emergency doctor or the police will contact the coroner to start the investigation process. A post mortem may be required to identify the cause of death. The Coroner does not need to ask permission from the next of kin for this to occur. Once the cause of death has been established, we can then bring person who has died into our care. If the cause of death cannot be identified, was violent, happened in prison or in police custody, an inquest must legally be heard. Find out more about the Coroners and their process here:

How to register a death

Registration of the death has to occur within 5 days in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with it being 8 days in Scotland. You can register the death by visiting your local Registrars. The Registrar will require you to have certain information about the person who has passed and will also need to see relevant documentation. The person who registers the death is usually a family member or next of kin but there are other options available if this is not possible. Find out more about registering a death here:

Should you have any more questions, please contact us and we will assist you as soon as possible. Alternatively, see also our general funeral director FAQs: