What to do following a bereavement

Your First Point of Contact - Edward John Funerals (24 Hours a Day)

01902 338888

Whatever the circumstance, whatever time, day or night, the team at Edward John Funerals are there as your first point of contact. You are not alone - contact them anytime at your convenience for their help, advice and support through the next steps following a bereavement.

What to do following a death in a Private Residence

When a loved one dies at Home, you must make contact with someone qualified to Verify or Certify the Death. Usually this will be an Ambulance Technician or your loved ones GP / Palliative Care Nurse. Once the Death has been Verified, Edward John Funerals can attend to convey your loved one from Home into the care of the Funeral Home. You can contact the team anytime, 24 Hours a Day to instruct them to collect your loved one.

What to do following a death in a Care or Nursing Home

When a loved one dies in a Nursing Home, the on-site Nurses will Verify the Death and may contact the Doctor to visit and Certify the Death. Once the Death has been Verified, Edward John Funerals can attend to convey your loved one from the Nursing Home into the care of the Funeral Home. You or the Nursing Home can contact the team anytime, 24 Hours a Day to instruct them to collect your loved one.

What to do following a death in a Hospital or Hospice

When a loved one dies in Hospital or Hospice, the Nurses will verify the Death. The Bereavement Office at the Hospital or Nurses at the Hospice will arrange for the Doctor who last treated your loved one to certify the Death. In most circumstances, the Hospital or Hospice will have on-site Mortuary facilities in which to care for your loved one following their death until you have instructed a Funeral Director.

What to do following a death away from Home

If your loved one has died away from Home, be it in England, the UK or abroad, Edward John Funerals can make the necessary arrangements to convey them back to their Home Town. Contact the team anytime, 24 Hours a Day for their help and advice in this matter.

For further independent advice please follow this link Funeral Advice.

Obtaining the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

When someone dies, the Doctor who last treated the deceased must issue a 'Medical Certificate of Death'. This certificate confirms the Cause of Death and will enable the relatives of the deceased to Legally Register the Death at the Register Office. In some circumstances, the Doctor may be unable to issue a MCCD, as they are unable to confirm the exact Cause of Death, or haven't treated the deceased in the last 14 days. If this is the case, the Doctor must refer the Death to H.M. Coroner.

Involvement of H.M. Coroner

In circumstances such as Sudden Death, or when a Doctor is unable to issue a MCCD, the Death must be referred to H.M. Coroner. The job of the Coroner is to investigate the Death to ascertain a Cause of Death. The Coroner will liaise with the Doctor of the Deceased, looking into Medical Records and discussing their Medical History. In cases where a Cause of Death is obvious, the Coroner will allow the Doctor to issue a MCCD. If they are unable to find a certain Cause of Death, they will carry out a Post-Mortem Examination and Toxicology Tests.

If the Post-Mortem examination is inconclusive, the Coroner will hold an inquest into the Death pending Toxicology results and release the Body of the Deceased to the family to proceed with Funeral Arrangements, although the family will not be able to Register the Death until a Cause of Death is ascertained. If the Post-Mortem examination is able to ascertain a Cause of Death, the Coroner will enable the family to Register the Death and will release the Body of the Deceased to enable the family to proceed with Funeral Arrangements.

Legal Registration of Death

Legally, a Death of a loved one must be Registered at a Register Office within 5 days unless you are unable to obtain the MCCD and / or H.M. Coroner is involved. You can Register the Death at the Register Office within the District in which the deceased died and will be able to take away with you the documents issued. Alternatively you can Register the Death by Declaration, at a Register Office more convenient to you, but will have to wait for the Register Office in the District where the death occurred to issue the documentation and send back to your local Register Office in the post, for you to collect at a later date.

When you Register the Death, you will be issued with copies of the Death Certificate - we advise you to obtain 5 copies as these will be required to close Bank Accounts and Insurance Policies etc. If you were issued with an MCCD from the Doctor, or if the Coroner has allowed you to Register the Death and your loved one is to be Buried, you will also be issued with a Disposal Certificate (Green Form).

Registering the death

Who can register the death

The following persons are designated by the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 as qualified to give information concerning a death:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an administrator from the hospital/care nursing home
  • the person making arrangements with the funeral directors

Information Required to Register a Death

Take the Medical Cause of Death Certificate (signed by a doctor) with you.

If available (but don’t worry if not), also take the person’s:

☐ Birth certificate ☐ Council Tax bill
☐ Driving licence ☐ Marriage Certificate
☐ NHS medical card ☐ Civil Partnership Certificate
☐ Proof of address (eg utility bill) ☐ Passport

 

You’ll need to tell the registrar:

  • the person’s full name at the time of death
  • any names previously used, eg maiden name
  • the person’s date and place of birth
  • their last address
  • their occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
  • whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits

You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (eg a utility bill) but you can still register a death without them.

Documents you’ll get

When you register a death you’ll get:

  • a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) – gives permission for burial or an application for cremation. We as the funeral director require this as soon as we can
  • a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a pre-paid envelope so you know where to send it)
  • Certified Copy of Entry of Death (The Death Certificate)

Booking an appointment to Register the Death

The Death Must Be Registered In District Which It Took Place In.

Wolverhampton City Council Registrars
The Register Office, 
Civic Centre, St Peters Square, Wolverhampton  WV1 1LY
Tel: 01902 551234

Walsall City Council Registrars
The Register Office
Civic Centre, Hatherton Road, Walsall WS1 1TN
Tel: 0300 555 2847

Dudley Borough Register Offices
Priory Hall, Priory Park, Dudley DY1 4EU
Council Plus, Castle Street, Dudley DY1 1LQ
Stourbridge Building, Cemetery Road, Lye DY9 8AN
Tel for all: 0300 555 2345