What to Do When Someone Dies

Dealing with bereavement is challenging, no matter whether the death was expected or unexpected. As such, it is both common and completely normal to not know what to do when someone dies. We have produced some advice on what to do in various circumstances to guide you through this difficult period. Not to mention, you are always free to contact a member of staff for additional support and guidance.

When Someone Dies At Home

When someone dies at home, and the passing was expected, you should first call the deceased’s GP or GP practice. In these circumstances, a doctor should be able to certify the cause of death immediately. Following this, your Funeral Director will collect the deceased into care, and help with registering the death and funeral planning.

Meanwhile, if the cause of death is not known, you should call 999 straight away. There may then be an inquest to determine the causation before a death certificate can be provided. Your funeral director will support you through this process and keep you informed.

When Someone Dies In Hospital

Medical staff are fully trained in what to do when someone dies in hospital. Next of kin will be notified if not present at the time of passing. Also, a doctor will be able to confirm the cause of death. If the cause of death is unknown, then they may request consent to conduct a post-mortem. They may also consult the Coroner in the event of sudden or unnatural deaths. The Funeral Director will liaise with hospital staff directly in order to take the deceased into their care. All parties involved will provide you with ongoing support and communication so that you know what is going on at all times.

When Someone Dies In a Care Home

As with hospitals, when someone dies in a care home the staff will be trained in what to do. The doctor will be contacted along with the next of kin and Funeral Director as required. You will be kept fully informed and consulted throughout, as well as involved in all decision making, such as whether a post-mortem can be conducted or if the deceased is a registered organ donor.

When Someone Dies Abroad

When someone dies abroad you will need to get in touch with the local British Embassy as well as informing the British authorities. The death will also need to be registered in the Country in which they passed away. Your tour operator or travel agent should be able to provide guidance and advice and your travel insurance company should also be consulted. Additionally, if you wish to hold a funeral in the UK you will need to arrange repatriation, which will require:

  • The death certificate, issued in the country where the deceased passed away.
  • Consent to deport your loved one out of the country.
  • An embalming certificate, essential for repatriation.

Unexpected or Sudden Death

When there is an unexpected or sudden death, whether in an accident, as a result of crime, or due to sudden illness, it can be particularly challenging. Not only will emotions be sudden and raw due to the lack of preparation, but there may also need to be an investigation into the cause of death. If this is the case, then a Coroner will be informed. The authorities or medical professionals in attendance, or the Funeral Director, will notify the Coroner and a funeral will not be able to take place until any investigations are completed.

Contact Us

Contact Piper Funeral Services

For more advice and support on what to do when someone dies contact our supportive and professional staff at Piper Funeral Services today.
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