What happens when someone dies?

What's the first thing to do when someone dies?

Our aim is to offer you support and guidance every step of the way, so whether the person has passed away at home, hospital, care home or abroad, we can guide you through each step of the journey.

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Where the person has passed away

At home.

1. Call the person’s doctor or call the NHS helpline on 111

A medical professional needs to come to verify the death. If the person’s doctor is not available, then on-call doctor or a senior nurse can do this. They will then issue a medical certificate of cause of death, which you’ll need to register the death.

2. Call Our Team

Once the death has been verified, call our Funeral Director who will arrange to bring the person who has died into our care. Our friendly, experienced, and professional team are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will then continue to care for the person until the funeral takes place.

3. Register the death

The death has to be registered within 5 days in Wales, you can do this by contacting the Registrar’s Office local to the person who has died.

You can start making funeral arrangements before you’ve registered the death by calling our team on 01443 401881.

4. Start arranging the funeral

When you meet with your funeral director, the first thing they will do is sit down with you and listen to find out more about you and the person who has passed away.

This is to make sure the funeral is right for your family. They will guide you through the process every step of the way, and answer any questions which you may have. This can take place at our funeral home or the Funeral Director can make home visits if that’s easier for you.

Unexpected deaths at home
If someone dies unexpectedly at home the emergency services will be involved. They will contact the coroner, who will investigate into the cause of death.

The coroner will arrange for a local funeral director to collect the person who has died to bring them to the hospital mortuary. You can still choose not to use this funeral director, even if the person has been taken to their funeral home after the investigation is finished.

The coroner will issue a medical certificate of cause of death when their investigation is complete, but you can still start arranging the funeral in the meantime, by contacting a member of our team on 01443 401881.

If the death has been reported to a coroner, you can get in touch with us and begin the funeral arrangements, even if the person who has died is currently resting with another funeral director.

Even though we can start the funeral arrangements, a funeral date cannot be obtained without contacting the coroner. Our funeral director will help you with everything you need to do and be there every step of the way.

At Hospital.

When someone passes away at hospital and it was an expected death, the doctor will issue the medical certificate of cause of death.

1. Call Our Team.

Once the death has been verified, call our Funeral Director who will arrange to bring the person who has died into our care. Our friendly, experienced, and professional team are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will then continue to care for the person until the funeral takes place.

2. Register the death

The death has to be registered within 5 days in Wales, you can do this by contacting the Registrar’s Office local to the person who has died.

You can start making funeral arrangements before you’ve registered the death by calling our team on 01443 401881.

3. Start arranging the funeral

When you meet with your funeral director, the first thing they will do is sit down with you and listen to find out more about you and the person who has passed away.

This is to make sure the funeral is right for your family. They will guide you through the process every step of the way, and answer any questions which you may have. This can take place at our funeral home or the Funeral Director can make home visits if that’s easier for you.

When someone passes away at hospital and it was an unexpected death.
The hospital may need to do a post mortem examination of the person to determine the cause of death. If they are not able to find out the cause, the doctor will contact the coroners office who will investigate further into the death.

Upon completion of their investigation the coroner will issue a medical certificate of cause of death. Once you have this medical certificate and have registered the death, our team can then begin the preparations to bring the person who has passed away into our care. This will arranged directly with the hospital, and you do not need to be present on this occasion.

We will be in contact with you to let you know once we have them in our care and we will then be at the stage to begin the funeral arrangements.

In a care home.

First steps of when someone passes away at a care home

When someone passes away and they were living at a care home, the doctor will be contacted in order to verify the death. The doctor will then issue a medical certificate which you will need in order to register the death. The doctors’ surgery will be in contact with yourself when this is ready for you to collect.

1. Call Our Team.

Once the death has been verified, call our Funeral Director who will arrange to bring the person who has died into our care. Our friendly, experienced, and professional team are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will then continue to care for the person until the funeral takes place.

2. Register the death

The death has to be registered within 5 days in Wales, you can do this by contacting the Registrar’s Office local to the person who has died.

You can start making funeral arrangements before you’ve registered the death by calling our team on 01443 401881.

3. Start arranging the funeral

When you meet with your funeral director, the first thing they will do is sit down with you and listen to find out more about you and the person who has passed away.

This is to make sure the funeral is right for your family. They will guide you through the process every step of the way, and answer any questions which you may have. This can take place at our funeral home or the Funeral Director can make home visits if that’s easier for you.

If they pass away at a care home and the death was unexpected.
If someone passes away at a care home and the death was unexpected the involvement of the emergency services will be necessary. They will contact the coroner to investigate into the cause of death.

The coroner will arrange for a local funeral director to collect the person who has died to bring them to the hospital mortuary. You can still choose not to use this funeral director, even if the person has been taken to their funeral home after the investigation is finished.

The coroner will issue a medical certificate of cause of death when their investigation is complete, but you can still start arranging the funeral in the meantime, by contacting a member of our team on 01443 401881.

If the death has been reported to a coroner, you can get in touch with us and begin the funeral arrangements, even if the person who has died is currently resting with another funeral director.

Even though we can start the funeral arrangements, a funeral date cannot be obtained without contacting the coroner. Our funeral director will help you with everything you need to do and be there every step of the way.

When someone passes away abroad.

1. Contact the relevant authorities

Whom you need to get in contact with will depend on whether you are also abroad or in the UK. If you’re in the UK, you need to get in touch with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

If you are abroad and with the person who has passed away, then you will need to get in contact with your local British Embassy. The relevant authorities will guide you through what you may need to do next.

2. Register the death

The country in which the person passed away is where the death must be registered. The death will need to be registered with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, however, The British Consulate will be able to guide you with this process.

If the person is being brought back to the UK, you’ll need to register the death at the registrar’s office closest to where the funeral will be taken place.

3. Bringing the person back to the UK (repatriation)

If the person is being brought back to the UK, you will need the following:
* an embalming certificate – you will receive this once the person who has passed away has been embalmed.
* the death certificate
* written permission in order to remove the body from the country of death
The British Consulate can help guide you through this process.

We offer repatriation services, we can support and guide you through the process. For more information about repatriation please contact our team on 01443401881.

4. When the person who has passed away is back in the UK

Once the person who has passed away has been brought back to the UK, you will need to:
* Inform the coroner about the death, they will then decide if any further investigation is needed.
* register the death at the registrar’s office closest to where you want the funeral to be taking place.
* arrange for a Home Office cremation order, if the person is to be cremated
Our team at Craig M. Thomas Funeral Directors can help you with all of this and guide you through the process.

5. Start arranging the funeral

When you meet with your funeral director, the first thing they will do is sit down with you and listen to find out more about you and the person who has passed away.

This is to make sure the funeral is right for your family. They will guide you through the process every step of the way, and answer any questions which you may have. This can take place at our funeral home or the Funeral Director can make home visits if that’s easier for you.

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