When death occurs in hospital or nursing home

If the death was expected and has been confirmed by a doctor or a suitably trained member of the nursing team, arrangements will be made to issue the medical certificate of cause of death. 

Medical certificate of cause of death

The medical certificate of cause of death is issued free of charge and will be placed in a sealed envelope addressed to the registrar of births, deaths and marriages.

Formal notice

A formal notice will also be issued which confirms that the doctor has signed the death certificate and gives details about registering the death.

If the body is to be cremated

You will also need to advise the nursing staff if the body is to be cremated so that they can arrange for a second doctor to sign the cremation certificate. 

There is a charge for the cremation certificate and this will usually be collected by your funeral director. 

You will need to collect these documents from the hospital or nursing home along with any belongings.

Deciding between cremation and burial

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

If death was sudden or unexpected

In the event of sudden or unexpected death or where the regular doctor looking after the person is unable to issue the medical certificate, it may be necessary to report the death to the coroner. For further information please see the section on Sudden or unexpected death below.

Notify the executors and appoint a funeral director

You should then notify the executors and appoint a funeral director. The body will be kept in the hospital or nursing home mortuary until arrangements are made for a funeral director to collect it.

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.