When Someone Dies

What to do when someone dies...

First Steps

When death occurs, the emotions can feel overwhelming, we are here to offer help and guidance throughout. We are able to do most things on your behalf, however, the one thing we cannot do is register the death. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, this will determine the steps to follow. Below is a brief explanation as to what happens immediately after death.

Home (expected)

When a person passes away at home, the first steps would be to contact the family doctor or out of hours G.P. who will attend and verify the death. The doctor will issue the medical certificate stating the cause of death. Depending upon the circumstances, a district nurse is also able to verify the death. Once the doctor or nurse has given permission for your loved one to be brought into our care, you can call us any time, day or night when you are ready to do so.


If death occurs in hospital, the hospital staff will contact the person named as the next of kin. The hospital doctor will issue the medical certificate which states the cause of death. The medical certificate will be sent to the registrars in preparation for you to register the death. Once we have permission from the hospital, we will take your loved one into our care.

Nursing Home

In the event that the death occurs in a nursing home, the nursing home staff will contact you and inform the doctor. The doctor will issue the medical death certificate with the cause of death. The nursing staff would then contact us on your behalf, for us to take your loved one into our care.

Unexpected or Sudden Death

If the death is sudden or unexpected, you should contact a doctor or emergency services immediately. Depending upon the circumstances, the police may also need to be informed, and acting for the coroner, they may arrange for the deceased to be moved by a funeral director to the funeral home or local hospital. If the coroner is involved, this could cause a delay in a date being set for the funeral.

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