There are various things you’ll need to do when someone dies – some of which will vary depending on where and how they died. Whilst the list may look daunting at an already difficult time, you may be able to get other family members and friends to help out with some things. In addition, we’ll provide as much support and guidance as we can to make things as simple as possible.
When someone dies at home
When someone dies at home you’ll need to contact their family doctor, GP, who will come to the house as soon as they can. Once they have established a cause of death they’ll issue a Medical Certificate (Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, Form 11) – they may not be able to give you this right away, so you might have to collect it from their surgery later.
When someone dies suddenly or unexpectedly
Sometimes a report may need to go to the Procurator Fiscal – please don’t worry if this happens, it is quite common when someone dies suddenly. There are many reasons why a report is sent to the Procurator Fiscal – such as it has been a long time since they had been seen by their GP. Sometimes the Police may also be brought in, whilst this can be upsetting it is nothing to worry about, it is simply a part of normal procedures.
When someone dies in hospital or in a nursing home
The sister in charge will normally deal with certain things when this happens – for example, they’ll arrange for the Medical Certificate to be issued and let you know when and where to collect it. If you already know that your relative is going to be cremated, let the hospital or home know now so that they can prepare additional paperwork for you to help you avoid delays when arranging the funeral.
Contact your Funeral Director
You should try to contact your Funeral Director as soon as you can – we can be contacted at any time of the day or night, so as soon as you feel able to call us, please do.
When you get in touch with us, we’ll ask you a few questions about you, about the person who has died and where they died. You do not need to have the Medical Certificate to get in touch with us.
Contact the Registrar
Once you have the Medical Certificate you will need to register the death. You cannot hold the funeral until the death has been registered.
Organisations you need to contact
You should try to contact the person’s solicitors as soon as you can to find out if they have a will (this may have instructions about how they would like their funeral to be organised). You’ll also need to contact various other companies and organisations – many of which will ask for a copy of the Death Certificate.
Some of the companies you’ll need to get in touch with:
- Their employers
- Their bank or building society
- Their insurance company
- Their utility suppliers
- Their credit card company
- Their pension providers
- The Inland Revenue
- The company that supplies their phone and broadband services
- Their landlord or mortgage company
- Their dentist
- The council they pay their Council Tax to
- The DWP
- TV Licensing
You’ll also need to get in touch with any clubs or organisations they were members of, any companies who provided them with services (home helps, carers etc) and any company they may owe money to or have hired equipment from.
You’ll also need to cancel any holidays or trips that they had booked.
Letting family and friends know
As well as phoning those closest to you, you may also want to let their friends and workmates know about the funeral arrangements. A death notice or obituary is an easy way to do this and we can arrange this for you.
To help you can download our Guide to Arranging a Funeral