Otter Valley Funerals
What to do when someone dies

What to do when someone dies

The death of a family member whether sudden or expected can be difficult to deal with and upsetting for obvious reasons. 

Please find guidance below on what to do depending on the circumstances. If you have questions or find this overwhelming please call us for advice.

When someone dies at home

If the death was expected then call the doctor (the GP) of the person who has died. They will send a doctor to confirm the death and issue a Medical Certificate of Death. If the surgery is closed they will still visit but you will normally get the certificate the next day.

If the death was unexpected or the person has not seen their GP for 28 days

Call an ambulance on 999

The ambulance operator will advise you on what to do. If the cause of death is uncertain then the body will be taken to the coroners so that a post-mortem can be completed. This is an investigation into the death. Once complete the Coroner will issue the medical certificate of death.

What to do if someone dies in hospital

The hospital will provide the medical certificate and look after the body until you instruct a funeral director to collect them 

In all cases register the death

By law you must register the death within 5 days. See list of register offices or consult the government website.