To help you through this difficult time, we have outlined below a list of key things that you should think about following the death of a loved one.
Register the death
Deaths should be registered within 5 days unless a coroner’s report is required in which case the death cannot be registered until the perquisite paperwork is received from the coroner’s office.
If no coroner’s report is required you must take the medical certificate showing the cause of death, signed by a doctor. Deaths can, in theory be registered at any registry office, however if you use the registry office in the area where the deceased died, you will normally get all the documents you need on the day. If you use another office, it may take a few days for the papers to come through and this will delay the funeral.
Deaths can be registered by a relative, someone present at the death, an administrator from the hospital, or the person making the funeral arrangement.
Supporting documentation for the deceased should be taken to the coroner's office, this will likely include their birth certificate, driving licence and a proof of address such as a council tax bill. This ensures that the correct person is being registered.
You will receive the 'Green form' which is the certificate that gives you permission for burial or cremation and a death certificate. It is advisable to obtain a number of copies as this will be useful in administrating the estate.
The family will usually make the funeral arrangements. You should check the will or any other documentation to identify any special requests relating to the funeral. It is normal for Buddhists and Hindus to be cremated, Muslims and orthodox Jews buried, some Christians prefer burial others cremation.
You will need to get permission from the coroner to move a body outside of England or Wales for burial or cremation.
The death of a loved one can be devastating and affects people in different ways. It is important that help is sought for those that are grieving, especially close family and minors. You can contact local bereavement services by contacting your local hospice, the national cruse helpline on 0808 808 1677 or you should speak to your GP.