Independent Funeral Directors covering Chelmsford and Essex

What To Do When Someone Dies

Death at Home

  1. Contact the person’s doctor or the out of hours service
  2. The Doctor will visit to confirm death and will be responsible for issuing a Medical Certificate that states the cause of death
  3. Once the Doctor has visited, contact Secure Haven Funeral Directors and make arrangements for the deceased to be taken to their Chapel of Rest

 

If the Doctor is unable to certify as to the cause of Death i.e. a sudden death they will advise the Coroner.  The deceased will be taken to a local hospital mortuary in case a post mortem examination needs to take place.

The Doctor will issue the necessary documentation:

  • A Medical Certificate Cause of Death
  • A Formal Notice which states that the Doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and information regarding registration

 

Death at a Care Home, Hospice or Hospice

Staff at a Care Home, Hospice or Hospital will arrange for a Doctor to certify death on your behalf.  You will need to advise the manager/bereavement office of Secure Haven’s details to arrange for the deceased to be taken to their Chapel of Rest and also notify them if the funeral service will be a burial or cremation. If cremation, Medical forms will be ordered and completed by two doctors before the deceased is clear for removal to Secure Haven from the hospital mortuary or hospice.

 

Coroners

A death is now referred to the Coroner’s office if:

 

  1. Person who died was not seen by the doctor who signed the medical certificate within 14 days before death or after they died
  2. Person who died was not seen by a medical practitioner during their final illness
  3. Cause of death is unknown, unnatural or violent
  4. Death was sudden and unexplained
  5. Death occurred within 24 hours of being admitted to A & E in Hospital
  6. Death occurred during an operation or before the person came off the of the anaesthetic
  7. Medical Certificate cause of death suggests death by caused by industrial poisoning or disease

 

The Coroner may decide that the cause of death is clear. In this case:

 

  1. The doctor signs a medical certificate.
  2. You take the medical certificate to the registrar.
  3. The Coroner issues a certificate to the registrar stating a post-mortem isn’t needed.

 

Post-mortems

The Coroner may decide a post-mortem examination is necessary to establish the cause of death. This is a medical examination of the body and is carried out in a hospital mortuary.  You can’t object to a coroner’s post-mortem – but if you’ve asked, the coroner must tell you (and the person’s GP) when and where the examination will take place.

After the post-mortem

  1. The coroner will release the body for a funeral once they have completed the post-mortem examination and no further examination is required.
  2. If the body is released with no inquest, the coroner will send a form (‘Pink Form – form 100B’) to the registrar stating the cause of death.
  3. The coroner will also send a ‘Certificate of Coroner – form Cremation 6’ if the body is to be cremated.
  4. The Registrar will then be in contact with the next of kin to arrange a registration of death appointment and will issue the Death Certificate.

 

Download a Guide to Coroner Services booklet here

Download Coroner Investigations – a short guide leaflet here

 

Registration

Registration of a death in the district in which it has occurred is legally required within 5 days and are by appointments only.  The doctor who has certified death will issue you with a Medical Certificate Cause of Death – you must take this certificate with you to the Registrar.  Also bring the Medical Card and Birth Certificate if possible. Please contact the Registrar’s central booking system on 0345 603 7632 to make an appointment at any of their offices.

 

Who can register the Death?

  • A Relative
  • A person present at the death
  • The occupier of the premises where death occurred
  • The person arranging the funeral

 

The Registrar will require the following information about the deceased from you:

 

  • Full name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date and place of death
  • Marital status
  • Home address
  • Last occupation (even if retired)
  • If married at date of death – date of birth of surviving partner
  • If female and married/widowed, maiden name and husband’s full name and occupation

 

The Registrar will issue you with a Death Certificate – more copies available at this point if required and charged at £4.50 per copy.

The Registrar will also issue the Green Certificate which is the only certificate Secure Haven Funeral Directors will require from you before the funeral service takes place.

 

Bereavement Allowance

  1. A Bereavement Allowance is a weekly taxable benefit paid for up to 52 weeks after the death of civil partner, husband or wife if you meet the following criteria:
  2. You are aged 45 years or over when your civil partner, husband or wife died
  3. You are under state pension age – currently 65 years
  4. You are not bringing up children

 

What does the Secure Haven Funeral Director do

  • Collection and transfer of the deceased from home, hospital or care home into our care
  • Dignified dressing and preparation of the deceased
  • Arranges private viewing within our large Chapel of Rest
  • Give advice, guidance; options and costs on all aspects of the funeral arrangements and requirements from vehicle transportation; provision of a suitable coffin to newspaper notices, flowers etc.,
  • Liaises with Doctors; Ministers; Crematorium staff; Burial authorities on your behalf
  • Completes all the necessary administration work required in order for the funeral to take place
  • Funeral Conductor and pall bearers in attendance on the funeral day
  • Collects the ashes and provides dignified storage in a secure Niche at Secure Haven’s facility in The Essex Barn

 

How long before the funeral can take place?

It usually takes approximately 7 days for all the necessary documentation and administrative procedures to be completed. Various cultures or urgent circumstances may mean the funeral service needs to be held sooner and these will always be accommodated.

It is always important to Secure Haven that the family has been given enough time to have the opportunity to personalise the funeral service to reflect the life of the deceased.

 

Things To Consider

  • Do you want a religious, spiritual or non-religious service?
  • Do you want the religious service held in a place of worship or at the crematorium?
  • Any special requests for particular piece of music or favourite hymns?
  • Where do you wish to start the funeral from i.e:  home address or meet at the church/crematorium?
  • Do you wish to use your own cars or travel in Limousines?
  • Do you want the curtains at the crematorium closed or to remain open at the committal part of the service?
  • Will any of the family members wish to act as pall bearers on the day?
  • If family flowers only do you require charitable donations to be collected?
  • Do you wish for a minister; civil celebrant or humanist to take the service?
  • Do you want the deceased dressed in their own clothes or the gown that is supplied with the coffin?
  • Can I get help with the cost of the Funeral?
  • Do you require a death notice in the local newspaper?
  • Do you know what your options are regarding the ashes once collected?