Arranging the Funeral

We know that the funeral of a loved one is the final dedication of their life. That’s why our service to you begins from the first time you contact us. We can provide all the advice and guidance you need to make the funeral service the best it can be, at a difficult time.

On the first contact we will ask for preliminary details only. We would then make an appointment for the funeral director to meet with you to arrange the funeral service, either at our office or in the comfort of your own home if that is more convenient. We will offer advice to help you decide the type of funeral you want for your loved one - low cost direct cremation, a traditional funeral  or woodland burial.

Advice to families who have suffered a bereavement.

What to do when somebody dies in hospital, at home, in a nursing home or suddenly

Bereavement is one of life’s most challenging experiences and we appreciate that it can be a difficult time to make decisions on the funeral arrangements in this early stage of the bereavement. There are certain practical matters that have to be taken care of. We hope the information given below will be informative and useful. Please remember this is purely a guide and we will answer any questions that might arise, so do not hesitate to contact us 

on  :  01782 636338 (Staffordshire)  01270 588980 (Cheshire) or freephone 08081788832 (24 Hrs)

In Hospital

In Hospital

If the death occurs in hospital, the hospital nursing staff will contact the person named by the deceased as their next of kin.

The next of kin will then need to make contact with the hospital Bereavement Office, who will advise whether it is possible for a doctor to issue the medical certificate, allowing the death to be registered and, if so, when the medical certificate will be made available for collection.

If the doctor who has been treating the deceased is unable to issue a medical certificate as to cause of death, then the death will then have to be reported to the Coroners Officer for the district in which the death occurred. This is normally done on your behalf. You can collect the medical certificate from the doctor's surgery or the hospital general office. Please also be aware that the hospital Bereavement Offices are usually only open during normal working weekdays.

We can advise and guide you through the procedure for registering a death and the procedures if the coroner is involved.

At Home or in a Nursing Home

At Home or in a Nursing Home

If the death was expected you should make contact with the doctor whom attended the deceased during their final illness. If the death occurred at a Nursing Home, the staff will make contact with the doctor for you. If the doctor can certify the cause of death, you will be given:

A Medical Certificate that shows the cause of death (this will be in a sealed envelope, addressed to the Registrar).

A Formal Notice which states that the doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and tells you how to register the death.

You will need to collect these from the doctor's surgery, probably the next day.

If a death is confirmed by an Out of Hours G.P., then the death may still need to be reported to the Coroner’s Office as the Out of Hours G.P has no access to the patients’ medical records. However the deceased can still be recovered to our chapel of rest and we will liaise with the coroner on your behalf.

If at this stage  the doctor cannot issue a medical certificate as to cause of death then this  will be treated as an uncertified death, (please see below, Suddenly). The only exception to this is if the Out of Hours service are made aware of an expected death by the patients normal G.P. surgery, and a "Statement of Intent" is issued by the patients normal G.P. These statements have to be renewed on a 14 day cycle to keep them current and valid.

If the death is referred to the Coroner’s Office in this instance, then we will make contact with the patient’s own doctor’s surgery. If the law enables them, they will issue the medical certificate as to cause of death to allow you to register the death.


If A Death Occurs Suddenly

In the case where a death occurs suddenly,  call 999 for the ambulance service. The protocol that will follow in such a situation is the Coroner’s Office will then be informed about the death. It will  be the Coroner's duty to establish the medical cause of death.

When it is required for the Coroner's Office to be informed, it is normal practice  for a Police Officer to attend to prepare a report  for submission to the Coroner's Officer.

The Police will then request that the Coroners contracted Funeral Director attend the premises. They will take the deceased to the relevant hospital to subsequently ascertain the medical cause of death. At this stage, they will be attending at the Coroner's request, just to take the deceased into the care of the Coroner, NOT to make funeral arrangements with you.This would be in contradiction to the terms of their contact which is simply to transport the deceased person to hospital. You are still free to use whichever funeral director you wish for the funeral arrangements.

Once the police and coroners team have left the premises, you should then make contact with us on  01270 588980 (Cheshire) 01782 636338 (Staffordshire)  or freephone 08081788832

You do not need to wait for the medial cause of death to be found before contacting your Funeral Directors, and our advice would be to make contact as soon as you can so that we can advise you what will happen next..

If there is any reason to suspect that the death was not due to natural causes, do not touch or remove anything. The death will be referred to the Coroner and the Police may also need to carry out further checks.

Coroner is Involved

The Coroner is involved

In any of the following circumstances, a doctor MUST report the death to the Coroner.

  • An accident or injury.
  • An industrial disease.
  • During a surgical operation.
  • Before recovering from an anaesthetic.
  • If the cause of death is unknown.
  • The death was sudden and unexplained.

If the person who has died has not been seen by their doctor WITHIN THE LAST 14 DAYS, or has been admitted into hospital less than 24 hours before they died, the death MUST then be reported to the Coroner.

Advice after the bereavement.


There are practical matters which need to be addressed for the funeral to take place.  You will need to register the death at the Registrar's office by appointment or you may be able to do this at the hospital when collecting the Medical Certificate. You can arrange to register the death by telephoning

Cheshire East area 01270 375210

North Staffs area 01782 235260


Registering a Death

A death should normally be registered within 5 days. You will first need to contact the deceased’s GP or the Bereavement Office at the hospital for an appointment to collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. You will then be able to contact the Register Office in the district where death occurred to make an appointment to register the death.

Who should register a death?

Wherever possible a close relative should register a death. If no relative is available then someone who was present at the death can register. If no such person is available the person making the funeral arrangements may register.

Registration of a death where the death occurs at home, in residential care or in a small community hospital

If the death occurs while the person is in their home, in residential care or in a small community hospital the doctor from the practice with whom the deceased is registered must prepare the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. The doctor must have seen the deceased within the last 14 days and be aware of the cause of death. If this is not the case the doctor will need to discuss the death with the coroner.

If the coroner decides that the certificate cannot be issued then the death will be investigated and a post mortem examination may take place. We will liaise with the coroner on your behalf and advise you of the next steps. If however the Medical Certificate as to Cause of Death has been provided  you can make an appointment to register the death in the district where death occurred.

Registration of a death where the death occurs in a hospital

The larger hospitals, namely Leighton Hospital or North Staffs Hospital  have Bereavement Services who will arrange the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. The Bereavement Services will arrange for a convenient time for you to collect the certificate and can arrange for an appointment afterwards with a registrar on site at the hospital itself.

Information required by the Registrar

  • The full name and usual address of the deceased.
  • Place and date of birth of the deceased.
  • Place and date of death of the deceased.
  • The occupation of the deceased.
  • Whether the person who has died was in receipt of pensions from public funds.
  • Your full name and address and your relationship to the deceased.

Documents you will receive after registering a death

  • The Certificate for Burial or Cremation (green) which is required by the funeral director. This form is not issued for cases referred to the Coroner and we will advise you of the procedure in such circumstances.
  • The Registration or Notification of Death (white) that is required by the DWP.
  • Certified Copies of Death Certificates required by banks, insurance companies, solicitors, etc. £4 per copy when purchased on day of registration but £10 if purchased later..

People to Inform

People to Inform

Many Register Offices offer the ‘Tell Us Once’ service and can help you pass on this information to the Department of Work and Pensions and other government departments and local services. Many register offices offer the ‘Tell Us Once’ service and can help you to pass on this information to the Department of Work and Pensions and other government departments and local services on your behalf.

Information required by the Registrar

  • National Insurance number.
  • Driving Licence number – please take Driving Licence with you.
  • Passport number – please take Passport with you.
  • Details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting e.g. State Pension.
  • Details of any local council services they were getting e.g. Blue Badge.
  • Name and address of their next of kin.
  • Name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate, known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’.

Organisations ‘Tell Us Once’ will contact

  • HMRC – to deal with tax and cancel benefits.
  • DWP – to cancel benefits e.g. income support.
  • DVLA – to cancel a driving licence.
  • Passport Office – to cancel a passport.
  • Local Council – to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Blue Badge, to inform council housing services and remove the deceased from the electoral register.

Please use the following checklist to see which benefits, credits or services the deceased received, paid or used and which departments are to be contacted.

  • State Pension.
  • Pension Credits.
  • Disability Living Allowance.
  • Carer’s Allowance.
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Employment & Support Allowance.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Council Tax Benefit.
  • Child Benefit.
  • Child Tax Credits.
  • Working Tax Credits.
  • Personal Taxation e.g. PAYE.
  • War Pensions Scheme.
  • Council Tax.
  • Library Services.
  • Electoral Services.
  • Adult Social Services.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Blue Badge.
  • Overseas Health.

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