When someone dies, it can be a very stressful time for the
whole family friends and colleagues. Many questions come to mind – what do we
need to do now? Who do we need to inform? What do we need to do next? Who do we
need to contact? What documents do we need? Is there somebody we can phone to
help us? What is a post-mortem? Below, we have tried to put together essential material to help you
know what to do if a loved one has passed away.
need to get the death certificate.
If the patient died at home or in the community and it was
an expected death then the GP should be able to issue a Death Certificate.
Contact the practice and speak to the receptionist who should be able to give
you some indication of when the certificate will be ready. If the death
certificate is needed urgently then please speak to the receptionist and inform
them so that the doctors can be alerted and ensure this is done in a timely
fashion and there is no unnecessary delay.
If the patient died in a hospital then you will need to
speak to the nurse on the ward who should be able to provide you with relevant
information on the procedures to be followed. Remember to collect your relative
/ friend’s belongings. You will need to write a letter if you have nominated another person to attend on your
behalf to collect the belongings. This must be signed by the next of kin.
If the death is unexpected or the cause of death is not
known or it was as a result of an accident or injury, an industrial disease, during a surgical operation or before recovery from an anaesthetic then your loved one will need to be transferred to the hospital mortuary
and may need to be reported to the Coroner who may arrange a post-mortem examination. Your doctor should be able to advise
you if you are unsure what to do. In such cases an interim certificate as to the fact of death will be issued direct to you but only in inquest cases from the Coroner's Office and the relatives must then go to the Registrar's office to register the death. The Coroner can be contacted on 0161 474 3993 for further details.
need to register the death next
The death must be registered within 5 days (unless the death
has been reported to the Coroner). A relative of the deceased, or the person
arranging the funeral (not the undertaker) can register the death. If there are no relatives the death may
also be registered by the occupier of the building where the death occurred or
the person accepting responsibility for making the funeral arrangements and
paying for the funeral.
The Register Office for Tameside is located at:
The Register Office
0161 342 5032
Click here to send a secure message.
You will need to provide the following information about the
- Full name, surname
- Date and Place of Birth (if known)
- Occupation or last occupation if retired (if known)
- Maiden surname, if applicable
- If the person who has died was married, widowed or in a
Civil Partnership the full names and occupation of the spouse / partner
- Remember to bring the Medical Certificate of the Cause of
Death Certificate. The coroner’s office will tell you what to do if the death
has been referred to them.
receive the following from the Registrar
- Certificate of Burial or Cremation (usually green in colour
and is required by the Funeral Director)
- Social Security Certificate (Form BD8): this may need to be
sent to the Social Security Office and is provided free of charge.
- The Death Certificate: this is the copy of the entry in the
Death Register. Each copy costs £3.50. After 3 months time, the charge is £7.00
instead. The Registrar will be able to help you to decide how many copies you
If you decide to arrange a Cremation
The doctor for the Deceased will complete a Part A for the Cremation form. Another independent doctor has to complete the Part B of the Cremation form. As part of this process, the independent doctor may contact the next of kin to ask if they have any concerns about the death and any further information you may be able to provide to help them complete the form. This is routine practice and gives the next of kin the opportunity to raise any issues if they so wish with an independent doctor.
Here are a list of some local Funeral Directors
Dowse Catterall Funeral Service, 30 Ashworth St, Denton, M34 3LJ, 0161-336-6023
Frank Massey & Son, 49 Mottram Road, Hyde, SK14 2NN, 0161-3682565
Robinsons Funeral Service Ltd, 230 Market St, Hyde, SK14 1HB, 0161-3682441
S P Astley Independent Funeral Directors, 127 Hyde Road, Denton, M34 3BB, 0161-3203
Oldham Muslim Funeral Services - Jarvis street, Jarvis House, Goldwick, Oldham, OL4 1DT 0161-6210200 Emergency: 07976-7424021
This is not an exhaustive list and Haughton Thornley Medical Centres does not provide any guarantees for the quality of the service provided.
Contact your chosen Funeral Director when you are ready but
do not make final arrangements until you are sure the death does not have to be
referred to the Coroner.
Check if there is a Will which may contain details of the
If you arrange for a funeral, you are responsible for its
payment. If you receive Income Support, Family Credit, Housing Benefit or
Council Tax Benefit, you may be able to get help from the Social Fund (FS200).
death is referred to the Coroner
If the doctor is unable to certify the cause of death then the
death is referred to the Coroner. The Coroner will then decide if a post-mortem
is required or not. If the results are satisfactory then the Death Certificate can be issued taking into account the post-mortem findings by the doctors involved. You can then make an appointment to register the death
at the Register Office. Sometimes an inquest has to be held but the Coroner can
usually issue an interim certificate as to the fact of death so that burial or cremation can take place
before the inquest.
Sometimes the medical staff will seek your permission to
carry out a post-mortem examination in order to improve their understanding of
the disease and to help to improve the care delivered to other patients in the
future. This should not delay funeral arrangements and the hospital will issue
the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death.
Donating organs such as hearts, livers and kidneys can save
people’s lives and transform other patients’ lives and that of their families.
Tissues can also be donated up to 24 hours after death. Here are some great myth busters and find out more about what your religion has to say about donation.
things to do
After a death it is necessary to return the following items
belonging to the deceased with a covering note to the following authority as
- Benefit and Pension Books (Benefits agency)
- Passport (Passport Office)
- Driving License (DVLA)
- Registration documents of car, to change ownership (DVLA)
- Check if car insurance is still valid for you
- National Insurance (local office)
- NHS Equipment
- Library tickets (local library) / Season tickets
The following services may need to know about the death.
(Some organisations may need to know the National Insurance number too)
- Bank, Building Society, Insurance Company etc
- Social Services
- Inland Revenue & Benefits Offices
- Employers and Trade Unions
- Schools, College, University attended
- Any hospital the person was attending
- Local Gas / Electric / Telephone / TV License / Water
- Local Council (eg Council Tax)
- Professional Organisations
We hope you find this information we have provided useful. We would like to thank Central Manchester University Hospitals for providing some information which we have used as a basis of the information provided on this web page. If you have any further information that you would like to know about or have come across useful information that you think others should know about too then please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to other useful websites
Cruse Bereavement Care's Youth Involvement Project: click here
The Money Advice Service - what to do when someone dies
Organising a Funeral - everything in one place: Click here