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What To Do When A Death Occurs

When someone dies it comes as a great shock. Some times the death may be expected, but nothing prepares you for the emotional shock of losing someone close.

What To Do When a Death Occurs

The following information may help you:-

If The Death Occurs at Home

When death takes place at home there is usually relatives, friends or neighbour's to assist. Inform the doctor as soon as possible that the death has occurred. He/she may write out the medical certificate of death when he/she visits the house, or may request you attend the surgery for this purpose.

When Death Occurs in Hospital

When death happens in hospital the procedure is very similar. Apply to the hospital for the medical certificate of death and not your family doctor.

The Coroner

In cases where the death as been reported to the coroner, if the deceased has not been attended by his/her doctor within 14 days or death occurs suddenly then the death will be reported to the coroner for area where the death took place. The coroner will have to establish the cause of death; this is normally done by a post mortem. The deceased will remain under the coroner's jurisdiction until the cause of death has been established and only then will the coroner release the deceased for the funeral to take place. The coroner's procedure usually only takes a few days. The funeral director will keep the relatives informed of the situation. The funeral directors will then be told when the family can register the death. The coroner's court will issue the death certificate.


When a death occurs and is due to unnatural causes a coroner's inquest is necessary. The coroner will open and adjourn to a later date. The coroner will then release the deceased to enable the funeral to take place. The coroner will issue an interim certificate, which can be used for bank or insurance purposes.
When the coroner completes the inquest the death can then be registered.


When a Death Occurs By Law It Must be Registered:-

How to Register a Death

Who Can Register?

  • Close relative of deceased
  • Relative in attendance during last illness
  • A relative living in the district where death occurred
  • A person present at death
  • The person causing the disposal

Documents Required

  • Medical certificate of death
  • Medical card if available
  • Birth certificate & information regarding date of birth

Information Required to Register

  • Day and place of death
  • Full name of deceased (maiden name if applicable)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation and home address
  • If married, full name and occupation of surviving spouse

List of Local Registrars (with contact details) & Probate Registry



What is probate?

When someone dies charge will be taken of their estate, (money, property and other possessions left) by collecting all the money, paying any debts and distributing the estate to those entitled.

The Probate Registry issues a document named Grant of Representation.

There are Three Types of Grant:-

1. Probate issued to one or more of the executors named in the will.
2. Letters of administration (with will) issued when there is a will, but no executor named or unable to deal with the estate.
3. Letters of administration issued when the deceased has not made a will or it is not valid.

Why is this grant necessary?

Organisations holding money in the deceased's name need to whom the money is to be paid. The distribution of the estate is the responsibility of the person named on the deed.

Is this grant always needed?

A grant is sometimes not needed if the deceased's money will be released without the holder seeing a grant, when the amount held is small and there are no complications.

List of Local Registrars (with contact details) & Probate Registry

Our services to you start when you contact us, whether by telephone or by calling personally and extend often way beyond the day of the funeral.

On initial contact we will ask for preliminary details, where upon if the deceased has died at home or in a private nursing home we will advise the conveyance of the deceased to our private chapel of repose.

We would then ask, a time and place to suit the family, for the funeral director to call and arrange the funeral.

Guidance to Probate