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What You Need to Know At Times Of Bereavement
If the death occurs at home
When death takes place at home there is usually a nurse, kind friend, neighbour or relative available to attend duties in the sick room.
Inform the Doctor
As soon as possible inform the doctor that the death has occurred. He/she may write out the Medical Certificate of Death when they visit the house, or if it is a locum doctor you have to collect it from your surgery after the GP has been informed.
When death occurs in Hospital
When death happens in hospital the procedure is very similar. Apply to the hospital for the Medical Certificate of Death and not your family doctor.
In cases where the death has been reported to the Coroner the procedure is somewhat different. The Coroners and their officers are working in your interest. No doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Death. The Coroner will send this to the Registrar’s Office in the district where the death occurred.
How To Register A Death
As your funeral director we will assist with the contact telephone numbers and addresses.
Usually a death should be registered in area where death occurred, however, there may be exceptions to this.
Who can Register
Close relative of deceased
Relative in attendance during last illness
A relative living in the district where death occurred
A person present at death
Medical Certificate of Death
Medical card if available
Birth Certificate or information regarding date of birth
Marriage certificate if applicable
Information required to Register
Date and place of death
Full name of deceased (maiden name if applicable)
Date and place of birth
Occupation and home address
If married, full name and occupation of surviving spouse
1. Disposal Certificate for the funeral director.
2. Social Security Certificate to be handed in at the DSS Offices
with any pension books.
3. Copies of Entry of Death for the bank, insurances. solicitors
Arranging The Funeral
We would then ask, at a time and place to suit the family, that they contact the funeral director to arrange the funeral to a standard and procedure that meets the needs and requirements of those concerned.
These will include whether the service will be religious or non-religious; which crematoria or places for burial are available, including green burial sites. In all aspects of the funeral arrangements we will point out the procedures and legal requirements.
Whilst arranging the funeral we will advise on costs and charges, culminating in a full written estimate that complies with the funeral details you have arranged.
Hearse and Limousines
A choice of Hearse is available for the funeral, together with the appropriate number of bearers and attendants.
This is an essential part of our service to you, especially when you have requested to go into a church or place of worship.
Limousines are charged separately. This ensures that the family do not pay for something that they do not require. The fee for the limousine is fully inclusive to cover transport from the starting address through to the final destination, within a limited distance. Each limousine is chauffeur driven and will normally carry up to six mourners.
Care of the Deceased
Hygienic treatment and care of the deceased are considered very important to us. This means that relatives and friends, with the permission of the next of kin, are able to pay their last respects to the deceased before the day of the funeral. The last time that they saw their loved one may have been a distressing experience, perhaps in a hospital or for the purposes of identification. In any event, in asking us to look after the deceased, you may be confident that we have provided the best possible care for your relative or friend, regardless of whether you wish to visit the deceased or not.
Costs and Charges
The funeral account is divided into two separate parts – The Funeral Directors charges and the Disbursements.
The Funeral Directors charges contain our professional fees and overhead costs.
These include the provision of our professional services for making the funeral arrangements; the conveyance of the deceased to one of our Private Chapels of Rest and the use of the same until the day of the funeral; preparing the deceased ready for all confirmed viewings; the hearse and limousine/s with bearers and attendants; arranging and collating the documentation; provision of 24 hour on call service and necessary personal attendances.
The Disbursements are essentially fees that we pay out on behalf of the family
i.e. Doctor’s Fees where appropriate, Crematorium/Cemetery Fees and Parochial Fees etc.
Our written estimate will detail the approximate cost of all disbursements.
However you will appreciate that we have no direct control over these charges and they could be subject to slight variations. These Disbursement Costs are required to be paid to us prior to the funeral.
All other costs are invoiced after the funeral has taken place.
Doctors Fees for Cremation Papers
No one can be cremated until the cause of death is established.
There are two cremation certificates (forms B & C), each signed by a different doctor.
These certificates are chargeable and listed under disbursements on the estimate and account. The cremation certificates are not required when the death is referred to the coroner.
Help with Funeral Costs
The following information can only be treated as general guidance. We are not able to guarantee the availability of help but the Department of Social Services can be approached if any of the following applies.
Who is entitled for Help
You may receive help if you or your partner is responsible for arranging the funeral and have insufficient money to pay for the funeral or are receiving any of the following benefits: Income Support; Housing Benefit; Family Credit or Council Tax Benefit
Check what Funds are available from:
The estate of the person who has died
e.g. any insurance policies; lump sum payments from a pension scheme.
Any savings you have in a bank; a building society;
in National Savings – including certificates or Premium Bonds.
These savings may be in your name or the name of your partner.
The Widows Payment does not count as savings.
The Social Fund may make a contribution towards the cost of a simple funeral in the U.K.
This simple funeral could include:
Returning the deceased to their home within the U.K.
A standard Coffin and Hearse, with bearers and attendants
A contribution towards the fees of the funeral director
Minister or Priest etc and Organist fees
Cemetery or Crematorium Fees
Doctors Fees for cremation
Other Things You May Need to Know
As your funeral director we may be able to help you with any of the following:
The way of informing friends and colleagues of the death and the details of the funeral
- Floral Tributes
The gentle beauty of flowers express your personal remembrance and bring comfort to the bereaved
When donations to a charity or fund are requested, we will accept and list the donations on your behalf and forward them in due course to the charity of your choice
- Orders of Service
The details of the service and tributes to the deceased
- Memorial Cards
A lasting memory of the deceased
- Condolence Books
Those attending the funeral can record their thoughts for the family to keep
Release one or more doves at the end of the service as a peaceful farewell
These can be placed approximately one year after the burial has taken place.
Initially you are usually able to have a marker cross placed, with the permission of the cemetery/churchyard. The memorial stone has to adhere to strict rules and regulations. These can be obtained by the funeral director or directly by the family from the cemetery.
See main heading of memorials.
Consult a Solicitor
It is important to ascertain if the deceased had consulted a solicitor regarding a will. If so, it is advisable to make contact without delay so that any instructions about the funeral may be followed precisely. A Will could also have been lodged with a bank for safekeeping.
In some circumstances it could be advisable to consult a solicitor. This may relieve you of some concerns and take control of wills, deal with problems of intestacy and outstanding debts, grants and letters of administration. A solicitor may save you time, trouble and save you money.