What To Do When Someone Dies in the UK

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Losing a family member or friend can be emotionally draining. It’s never an easy process. It takes time and in some cases it can be difficult to make arrangements under certain circumstances.

This is why I’ve put together this post, to give you practical help when dealing with bereavement.

When someone dies in the UK, there are 3 basic steps that must be done:

11193726_s1. Get a medical certificate from a hospital doctor or general practitioner;
2. Register the death within 5 days;
3. Arrange the funeral.

Register the death

To register an individual’s death, it must be done within 5 days at any register office but preferably in the area of the person’s place of death.

You must bring with you the medical certificate stating the person’s cause of death, as well as the following documents as needed: the person’s birth certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate, and an NHS medical card or number.

The following information will be required:

>the deceased full name
>the place and date of birth of the deceased
>the place and date of death
>home address
>most recent occupation
>whether or not they were receiving benefits such as State Pension

Once the documents are completed, the registrar will provide you with the following:

>certificate for burial or cremation
>registration of death certificate
>bereavement benefits leaflets
>death certificate (you may buy extra copies to use for claims such as pension or savings)

When the Death Must be Reported to a Coroner

A coroner represents a lawyer or doctor in charge of investigating deaths that are unexpected. They have the right to call for an investigative post-mortem or inquest.

The death must be reported to a coroner for the following cases:

>when cause of death is unknown
>when cause of death is sudden and unexplained
>when cause of death is violent or unnatural
>when the death occurred in the middle of an operation or before coming out of anaesthetic
>when the person who died was not visited by a doctor or medical practitioner during his/her final illness
>when a medical certificate is not available
>when cause of death suggests an industrial disease or poisoning
>when the person was not seen by the doctor who took charge of the medical certificate within 14 days prior to the death

When the coroner announces the clear cause of death, the following can be done:

>the doctor signs the medical certificate
>you proceed to the register office to register the death
>the coroner issues a certificate stating a post-mortem is not required

Post-Mortems are administered in a hospital or mortuary. After the inquest, the body is then released for funeral rights.

Dealing with Probate

Probate is the single biggest hurdle most people face when someone dies, mainly because people don’t really understand what is probate. If the deceased left a will, the person responsible for sorting out the estate is called an executor and the right to carry out this task is called a “probate.” A legal document is needed that gives you the authority to do so, which is a grant of representation, and it can be acquired from your local Probate Registry.

You may choose not to carry out the task of executing the will if you do not wish to do so.

Arranging the Funeral

Most people hire the services of a funeral director who oversees every aspect of the funeral and burial. However, you can also arrange the funeral by yourself.

Make sure the funeral director is a member of any of the following organisations:

>National Association of Funeral Directors
>Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
>National Federation of Funeral Directors

The funeral fees typically include the director’s fees, the costs of transferring the deceased body’s from place of death, as well as their care before the funeral, and all other necessary documents and paperwork.

When choosing to do it yourself, you may contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department in your local council to arrange the funeral rights.

Paying for the funeral can be made through family members or friends, paid for from a financial scheme such as a prepaid funeral plan, or from money from the deceased estate.

Source of information http://bereavementsupport.co.uk