Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if a relative dies at home?
When a death that has been expected occurs at home or at a nursing home, the Doctor who has been treating the deceased should be contacted. The Doctor or a colleague will either attend to confirm that death has occurred, or will give permission for the deceased to be transferred to a Funeral Director's premises, if this is your wish.You can then contact the Funeral Director of your choice, who will attend to transfer the deceased to their premises.
The doctor says he won't issue the Medical Certificate. Why is this?
The doctor can only issue the Certificate if he knows the cause of death, and has been treating the deceased for this illness in the last 14 days. If this is not the case, or if there are other circumstances involved (such as a recent operation, or a possible industrial disease), the Doctor will have to refer the death to the Coroner. If the death has occurred at home, the Coroner will arrange for the deceased to be taken into his custody, in order that the death can be investigated.
Why do I have to register the death?
All deaths have to be registered, and the people closest to the deceased have a legal obligation to do this. Deaths in England and Wales or Northern Ireland should be registered within 5 days - if this is not going to be possible, you should inform the Registrar. In Scotland, deaths must be registered within 8 days.