What to Do When Someone Passes Away

Grief is an upsetting part of life. When a friend or family member passes away, it can be overwhelming finding out what to do next. There are essential steps that you need to take to hold a funeral for the deceased legally.

Register the death within five days

When a friend or family member passes away, someone must register the death within five days. This period includes weekends and bank holidays.

If the death is reported to a coroner

The documents you need to register the death may be different when a coroner investigates a death. The coroner will decide whether the cause of death is clear, or that a post-mortem is necessary. They may even instigate an inquest, if necessary. The coroner may rule that the cause of death is clear. In that case, a doctor will sign a medical certificate, and the medical certificate will be needed to register the death with a registrar. The coroner will issue a certificate stating that a post-mortem is not required.

If a post-mortem is needed

A post-mortem occurs when the cause of death is not immediately clear. You cannot stop a post-mortem from happening, but the coroner must provide you with the details of where the examination will happen. After a post-mortem, a funeral can take place. If the post-mortem was inconclusive, or the death was violent, unnatural, or they died in prison or police custody, there will be an inquest to determine the cause of death.

Arrange the funeral

A funeral can only take place after the death of an individual is legally registered. Check if the deceased made any plans for their funeral before you begin with planning; they may have already organised a prepaid funeral plan. The deceased might have also taken out life insurance which can help with funeral costs.

Most people choose to arrange a funeral using an experienced funeral director. However, it is possible to organise a funeral yourself. If you are looking to have an affordable funeral that is truly meaningful, a Funerals on a Budget Simple Funeral might be the best option. The Simple Funeral package includes expert guidance and support from industry experts, the transfer of your loved one, the legal paperwork, and more. A Simple Funeral allows friends and family of the deceased to say their final goodbyes to their loved one in a carefully organised service.

If you are looking to plan an affordable funeral, fill in our contact form.  A member of our experienced team will contact you to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Notify the government about the death

The UK government operates a service called Tell Us Once. The service allows you to report a death to several governmental organisations in one go. In some cases, the registrar that you registered the death with may complete the Tell Us Once service with you. If not, they will give you a unique reference number to enable you to use the service either online or by phone. To use the service in the first instance, you will need to provide the date of birth, National Insurance Number, driving license number, vehicle registration number, and passport number of the deceased.

It is a distressing experience when a loved one passes away. There are services available to those who are grieving and need support. Cruse Bereavement Care offers help and advice to those grieving in the form of online advice articles and a phone helpline.


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