The First Steps

The First Steps

Following the death of a family member or friend, here is a guide to the steps that should be taken.

Contacting the Doctor

In the case of a death occurring at home and the death was expected you should contact the Doctor who attended the deceased during their final illness. If the doctor is able to certify the cause of the death they will give you a Death Certificate showing the cause of death. This will be required by the Registrar.

Contacting the Funeral Director

As soon as the Doctor has attended, you may contact Oxley’s who will make arrangements for the deceased to be brought into our care at our Chapel of Rest. If you would like our staff to attend immediately, then please do not hesitate to call our office.

Unexpected Death

If the death is sudden or unexpected you should contact the following people (Please refer to contacts for telephone numbers):

  • Family Doctor
  • Police
  • Coroner

Registration of a Death

It is a legal requirement in England and Wales that the Registrar from the area where the death has occurred registers a death, appointments are usually required. (Refer to contacts for details of Registrars within Cheshire). There are certain items of documentation you will need to take with you including:

  • A death certificate, which provides information regarding the cause of death. This can be obtained from the Doctor treating the person before they died.
  • A copy of the deceased’s birth certificate and medical card

You will also be required to furnish the Registrar with the following information:

  • Date and place of death
  • The deceased’s address
  • Their full name and, if applicable, a female’s maiden name
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Their occupation and the occupation of any spouse
  • If they are receiving any pension or allowance from public funds
  • If married, the date of birth of the surviving Widow or Widower

Whilst a birth certificate or marriage certificate will help to provide the above information, no formal proof is required and the Registrar will accept the word of the informant on any information provided.

Informants are:

  • A relative of the deceased present at the time of death.
  • A relative of the deceased in attendance during the last illness
  • A relative of the deceased residing in the same locality.
  • Any person present at the time of death.
  • The occupier (e.g. Matron or Officer in Charge of a Nursing Home).
  • An executor, solicitor or friend making the funeral arrangements in the absence of any relatives.

Please note: The Registrar will not accept the Funeral Director as the informant.

Following Registration the Registrar will provide you with a certificate of burial or cremation, known as the GREEN certificate, which is also required by our office, and a certificate of registration of death known as the WHITE certificate, which can be used for social security purposes.

The Death certificates are required for pension claims, closing bank/building society accounts and in respect of a Will.

If your loved one passes away in a different part of the country i.e. on holiday we can assist you in making a declaration to your local Registrar who obtain the death certificate from the Registrar where the deceased passed away. Please note this can take up to one week to process.

Remember: assess how many when copies of the death certificates you require whilst registering – copies requested at a later date will incur a higher charge. Banks, pension companies etc often require an original copy.

The Coroner

Any death of which the cause is not immediately known has by law, to be reported to the Coroner. When the death was unexpected, violent or unnatural, the Coroner will decide whether to hold a post-mortem and, if necessary, an inquest. A Coroner will be engaged if any of the following circumstances are relevant:

  • The deceased had not been attended to by a Doctor during their last illness
  • The deceased had not seen a Doctor with 14 days prior to their death
  • The death was violent or unnatural
  • The death occurred during an operation
  • The death occurred in prison or police custody
  • The death may have resulted in respect of the deceased’s work for example an industrial illness.

Following the Coroner’s investigation into the cause of death, the deceased’s body may be released into our care.

Any questions about funerals?
Please contact us for more information and advice