What to do when somebody dies
Although different areas of the UK may not follow exactly the same procedures, the information located in this section should give you a good guide on what you should do in various scenarios.
If a friend or loved one has died and you are tasked with handling the next steps you are likely to feel quite lost and confused. It can be difficult to know what to do first, but we will help guide you through this difficult time.
What to do if someone dies in hospital
If your relative or friend has passed away while in hospital the nursing staff there will arrange for a Medical Certificate of Death. This will be issued by one of the hospital’s doctors and you will need to collect it as well as the personal effects of your loved one from the hospital.
If it was their wish to be cremated you will need to inform the nursing staff of this, as additional documentation may be required. For any more information on what to do when someone dies in hospital you can contact the Midcounties Co-Operative here.
What to do if someone dies at home
If you have been caring for your friend or relative at their home, at the time of their death you should contact their doctor. They will be able to issue a Medical Certificate of Death if they are satisfied with the cause of death. You might be called into the doctor’s surgery to collect the certificate.
What to do if someone dies in a nursing home
If someone passes away while living in a nursing home the nursing home staff will get in contact with the deceased’s doctor.
What to do if someone dies unexpectedly
If the death of your friend or relative has come unexpectedly, a Coroner (England) or Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) will need to be involved in order to ascertain the cause of death. If the deceased was not under the care of a GP’s office the emergency doctor or police officers that have been called in will take charge of informing the appropriate office.
What to do when someone dies away from home or overseas
It is important you get in contact with a funeral company as soon as possible as they can begin making the appropriate arrangements.