When someone dies


Here is some brief information on what to do when someone dies, it is not an exhaustive list and we would advise the use of the links provided for further information relating to your own area. Feel free to print it off, it contains a condensed version of the information here and has a useful checklist section that you can use to help you get things sorted. Many have found this very helpful.


If the death occurs at home


  • When death takes place at home there are usually relatives, friends or neighbours on hand to provide help. As soon as possible inform the doctor that the death has occurred. The doctor may write out the medical certificate of death when she or he visits the house, or may ask you to attend the surgery for this.


When death occurs in hospital


  • In hospital the procedure is very similar. Apply to the hospital for the medical certificate of death, not your family doctor.


Deaths referred to HM coroner Non-inquest cases


  • When a death is reported to H.M. Coroner, it is usually a sudden or unexpected death, where the doctor cannot state the cause of death or issue a certificate due to various factors. The doctor informs the Coroner’s Office, and arrangements are made to obtain particulars about the deceased. The Coroner may also ask for a formal identification of the deceased. When a death of this nature happens in a place other than a hospital, the deceased will be removed to a hospital mortuary designated by the Coroner. To discover the cause of death a post-mortem examination is performed at the hospital, by a Pathologist in the presence of the Coroner’s Officer. If the death was due to natural causes, the Coroner’s Officer will inform the relatives of the deceased when the death can be registered, and at which Registrar’s Office. The funeral arrangements can then be completed in the normal way by the relatives and the funeral director.


Deaths referred to HM coroner Inquest cases


  • If the Coroner’s Office states that there will be an inquest, the relatives will need to attend at the time and date given by the Coroner’s Office. Please note that when an inquest is opened for identification, and adjourned to be resumed at a later date, copies of the death certificate cannot be obtained until after the full inquest is held. However the Coroner will issue an interim Certificate on request.


Who needs to be told about the death?


As well as letting family, friends, and neighbours know of the death, you will need to tell other people and organisations including:


  • Family Doctor
  • Social Services
  • Schools, Colleges, Universities attended
  • Place of work


On a more practical note, the following organisations will need to be informed, however our specialist legal service providers can provide you with a separate complimentary consultation to guide you through the requirements and implications in this area:


  • Banks and Building Societies
  • Credit Card and loan companies
  • Insurance companies
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Utility Companies
  • Department of Work and Pensions
  • Pension and Annuity providers
  • DVLA
  • HM Passport Office


Things that will need to be returned:


  • NHS or Hospice loan equipment
  • Drugs and medication to your pharmacy or hospital


Who can I talk to?


Our staff at R Banks & Son will be on hand for you every step of the way to offer caring support at this difficult time, however if you feel like you need additional support then you can visit any of the links below to seek extra help and advice.



Registering the death of a loved one

Help in choosing the right type of funeral

For information on how to contact us

Contact us:

R Banks & Son (Funerals) Ltd

Halliwell House, 758 768 Ormskirk Road

Pemberton, Wigan, Lancashire, WN5 8BB

01942 222156


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