The next steps when a loved one passes away
There are various legal duties that must be taken care of when someone passes away – a number of which can only be dealt with by a relative of that person.
We can guide you through your various responsibilities, helping you quickly arrive at a position where we can assume full responsibility for subsequent funeral arrangements, thus allowing you more time to come to terms with the loss of your loved one.
Please get in touch as soon as possible, so we can advise and assist you, and expedite the funeral preparations. It’s not always necessary for us to attend – if death takes place in hospital, for example – but out early input can put your mind at rest that the correct procedures are being followed and the arrangements handled professionally.
Below we have detailed the things that should be your immediate concerns when death occurs.
At home or at a nursing home:
- You should, at first, contact the GP who cared for your loved one. They will attend to confirm that death has taken place and complete a Certificate of Death, officially permitting us to take responsibility for the care of the deceased.
- Get in touch with us so we can answer any questions you might have about the funeral arrangements.
- In this circumstance, you should contact us straight away. We’ll guide you through the next steps and start initial preparations for the funeral.
- The Certificate of Death, which in this case will be issued by the hospital, should be submitted to the Registrar’s office for the area in which the death occurred. We also advise that you take along other official documentation pertaining to the deceased, such as their medical, birth and marriage certificates.
- Next, we need official permission to assume responsibility for the funeral arrangements. This comes in the form of a green certificate, presented to you by the Registrar, which also gives details of your entitlement to any applicable state benefits. Pass this to us at your earliest convenience, in order that we can expedite arrangements and advise you on claiming state assistance with costs.
- We will take you through the various options for the funeral and start to make the necessary arrangements.
Unexpectedly or suddenly:
- If your loved one has passed away unexpectedly and suddenly contact us as soon as possible.
- We will take you through the process and liaise with the Coroner’s office. It is standard practice that the Coroner will be involved in death of this nature.
- This is for many reasons, such as the fact that person who has died has not been under the care of a doctor.
Overseas or away from home:
- If your loved one has died either overseas or some distance away from home, contact us as soon as possible so that we can take over the arrangements.
Bringing your loved one into our care:
- We will ask you where you would like your loved one to rest before the funeral takes place. If you choose to have them at home rather than our funeral home, we will ask that you allow us to bring them into our care first, so that we can take care of the necessary preparations before we return them to your home.
- We will require the green certificate that the Registrar will issue for cremation or burial. For death’s that have been referred to the Coroner, the process may differ but we are here to go through this with you.
- If you require certified copies of the entry of death for financial or legal reasons, these can be issued for a small charge.
Your loved ones affairs:
- There are a number of things you will need to consider when a loved one passes:
- Bank accounts, building society accounts, Post Office accounts, premium bonds and accounts with the Co-Operative Society.
- Payments being made for insurance policies, rental or HP agreements, standing orders and credit cards.
- Changing the name for the responsibility for gas and electric, car and home insurance, telephone and TV licence etc.
- Notification of circumstances – the remaining family’s financial circumstances will now have altered. Speak to your local Town Hall, Citizen’s Advice Bureau or DWP office about grants and allowances that may be available from the state to help with funeral costs, rent/council tax rebates and widow’s pension etc.