What to do?
What needs to be done when someone dies…
There are 3 things you must do in the first few days after someone dies.
1. Get a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. From the Doctor or at the hospital, as you will need this to register the death.
2. Register the Death. You need to do this to be able to arrange the Funeral.
3. Arrange the Funeral. Your chosen Funeral Director will help you with this.
Please contact their Doctor first, who will then confirm that death has taken place and if the Doctor is able, they will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. You will then be able to request us to remove your loved one to our Chapel of Rest. This can be arranged at any time of the day or night by telephone.
…in a Nursing Home or Care Home?
Although professional nursing staff are normally in attendance at all times within the Home, a Doctor will be required to confirm the death before we can remove the deceased. On most occasions, the Duty Officer would on behalf of the family, arrange for us to remove the deceased to our Chapel of Rest.
We are fully aware of the need to be discreet and respectful at all times when removing the deceased, and we will endeavour to be there within an hour of receiving a call in the locality.
…in a Hospital?
The medical staff will take care of immediate arrangements and have the deceased taken to the hospital mortuary. The family would then be requested to attend the Hospital Bereavement Office to collect the necessary forms and personal effects.
How to Register a Death
When to Register a Death
The death must be notified within 5 days and registered within 14 days, by a near relative or Executor.
Registrar’s address & phone number.
Please phone to make an appointment. You can go to any Registry Office but it is best to use the one in the area where the person died – otherwise the process can take longer.
Exeter Registration Office:
Larkbeare House, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4NG.
Teignbridge Registration Office:
Old Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX.
Tavistock Registration Office:
West Devon Borough Council Offices, Kilworthy Park, Tavistock, PL19 0BZ.
Mid Devon Registration Office:
The Great House, 1 St. Peters Street, Tiverton, EX16 6NE.
Exmouth Registration Office:
Town Hall, St. Andrews Road, Exmouth, EX8 1AW.
Okehampton Registration Office:
Town Hall Offices, Fore Street, Okehampton, EX20 1AA.
East Devon Registration Office:
East Devon Business Centre, Heathpark Way, Heathpark, Honiton, EX14 1SF.
Who can Register a Death
You can register the death if you are:
- A close relative
- Someone present at the death
- An Administrator from the Hospital
- The person making arrangements with the Funeral Directors
What do you need to do?
You will need to take the following:
- The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (signed by a Doctor).
- The Birth Certificate, Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate.
You will also need to tell the Registrar:
- The person’s full name at the time of death
- Any names previously used, (eg. maiden name)
- The person’s date and place of birth
- Their last address and occupation
- The full name, date of birth and occupation of their Spouse or Civil Partner (late or surviving)
- If they were receiving a State Pension or any other benefits
The ‘Tell us once’ Service
In most areas of England and Wales, the ‘Tell us once’ service allows you to report a death to several Government Departments, Agencies and the Local Authority in one contact. The Registrar will take you through the ‘Tell us once’ service and explain how it works.
If you wish this can be completed at a later date on-line using the reference number given by the Registrar.
Find out more about ‘Tell us once’ at: www.gov.uk/tell-us-once
The Coroner’s Procedure
When will the Coroner be involved?
Her Majesty’s Coroners are Judicial Officers (usually Solicitors or Doctors) who are independent of Local or Central Government.
They will establish the cause of death when a Doctor is unable to issue a death certificate which may be due to either of the following:
- The Doctor had not seen the person within 14 days
- Death occurred during an operation
- Death was sudden and unexplained
- An accident or under suspicious circumstances
- It is usually necessary for the Coroner to order a Post Mortem examination to establish accurately the cause of death.
If the Coroner is satisfied that death was due to natural causes, the correct documentation will be issued to register the death. This will normally be posted direct to the appropriate Registrar.
If however, the Coroner does not feel a Post Mortem examination is necessary, a Certificate will be issued so that registration can take place in the normal way.
Will there be an Inquest?
If the Coroner decides to hold an Inquest
A Coroner must hold an inquest if the cause of death is still unknown, or if the person:
- Possibly died a violent or unnatural death
- Died in prison or police custody
You will not be able to register the death until the Inquest has been concluded. The Coroner will send a form to the Registrars or an Interim Death Certificate my be issued prior to the conclusion of the inquest.
For professional 24 hour help & support 01392 255535