What to do on a Death
If The Death Occurs at Home
When death takes place at home there may be relatives, friends or neighbours to assist and support you. You should telephone the doctor as soon as possible to let them know. The doctor may write out the medical certificate of death when he visits the house, or may ask you visit the surgery for this purpose.
When Death Occurs in Hospital
When death happens in hospital the procedure is very similar. Ask the hospital for the medical certificate of death.
The Coroner may be involved when a death has happened suddenly, or where the Deceased has not seen a doctor in the last fourteen days. It is the Coroner's job to establish the cause of death. The coroner's procedure usually only takes a few days. The funeral director will keep the relatives informed of the situation. No doctor will issue a medical certificate of death. This will be sent by the coroner to the Registrar's office in the district where the death occurred, after contact has been made with the coroners office. The funeral director will then be told when the family can register the death.
When death is unexpected, or may be due to unnatural causes, an Inquest is necessary to find out what happened. The Coroner will open the Inquest and adjourn to a later date. After the Inquest the coroner will then release the deceased to enable the funeral to take place. The coroner will issue an interim certificate, which can be used for bank or insurance purposes. When the coroner completes the inquest the death can then be registered.