Who to contact in the event of a death


Monday, March 6, 2017

The death of a loved one is among life’s most traumatic experiences.

Besides the inevitable heartbreak associated with losing our nearest and dearest, most of us would freely admit to perhaps not even knowing what needs to be done to arrange the funeral and to take care of the affairs of the deceased.

Over the next few weeks Darryl Smith, General Manager of the local Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Funeral Division, which operates a network of 13 funeral homes in Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire under The Co-operative Funeralcare brand, will answer some of the most common questions put to his highly experienced staff.

What do I need to do in the event of a death in the family, or of a close friend?

When a loved one dies there are three essential actions to carry out in the following hours and days:

  1. Inform the doctor
  2. Register the death
  3. Make the funeral arrangements

The process varies depending on where the person has passed away, the circumstances of the death and whether it was sudden or unexpected.

If a person passes away at home the first call is to their GP. In a hospice, nursing home or hospital the staff will usually organise for a doctor on the family’s behalf.

In normal cases the doctor will issue a medical certificate stating the cause of death. This is an important document which allows the next of kin to then proceed to register the death – a procedure which must be completed within five days, unless the police or the coroner are involved.

Once the doctor has issued the certificate, or if the police have instructed the coroner’s involvement, the deceased will be taken into the professional care of a funeral director or – in cases where a post mortem is required – normally to a hospital mortuary.

It is usually at this stage – or once the post mortem investigations are over – the family can meet with the registrar who will hand over three documents.

The death certificate enables the family to take care of the affairs of the deceased, including insurance policies, bank accounts, other financial matters and the will.

The ‘green form’ or ‘certificate for burial or cremation’ should be handed to the funeral director and is essential to allow the funeral arrangements to go ahead.

The ‘certificate for the Department for Work and Pensions benefits’ is essential to deal with any pensions or benefits associated with the deceased person.

Darryl Smith, General Manager of the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Funeral Division, commented: “The death of a loved one is a deeply sensitive time for anybody and professional assistance can be really helpful this emotional time. There is a lot to remember but the stress associated with the painful loss of those closest to us can be reduced with professional help at all stages of this saddest of life’s experiences.”

NOTE: To find out more log on to https://heartofengland.coop/funeralcare or contact any one of our branches.