When death occurs at home

If the death takes place at home you should call your GP first. Depending on the nature and time of death, your GP will either help or you may be directed to the out of hours service in your area or to the ambulance service.

In any event, a doctor will come to your house to formally confirm the death.

If the person did not have a GP, you should call the out of hours doctor service in your area or the ambulance service. As a last resort you should call the police.

Medical certificate of cause of death

Where the cause of death is obvious and expected, the person’s usual GP should be able to issue a medical certificate of cause of death. This certificate is issued free of charge and will be placed in a sealed envelope addressed to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Formal notice

You will also receive a formal notice which confirms that the doctor has signed the death certificate and gives details about registering the death.

If the body is to be cremated

If the body is to be cremated, the doctor must also complete a form called the cremation certificate. The doctor will arrange for a second doctor to sign part 2 of the certificate. There is a charge for the cremation certificate and this will usually be collected by your funeral director.

Deciding between cremation and burial

For help in deciding between cremation and burial please see the separate Book internment section.

Notify the executors and appoint a funeral director

You should then notify the executors and appoint a funeral director.

Please note

The information which we provide through Lasting Post is in outline for information or educational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser. We cannot guarantee that information provided by Lasting Post will meet your individual needs, as this will very much depend on your individual circumstances. You should therefore use the information only as a starting point for your enquiries.