WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE DIES

The first week of bereavement is usually a time of deep grief and sometimes of shock.  This is a natural and normal part of coming to terms with losing someone close.  It is also a time when a number of matters must be dealt with.

REGISTERING THE DEATH

Sometimes a death has to be reported to the Coroner who may be responsible for issuing the medical certificate.  In these circumstances contact: – H.M Coroner

The death must to be registered within 5 days and in the registration sub district in which the death took place.

You will need to make an appointment to do this

By phone (see links)
In person (see links)

To do this you must have your death certificate sometimes a birth certificate, NHS card, and marriage certificate will also help.

The information required is as follows:

· Date and place of death
· Full name and surname (maiden name) of deceased
· The date and place of birth of the deceased
· Occupation of the deceased
· Whether the deceased was in receipt of pension or allowance from public funds

If deceased is married the date of birth of surviving partner.

The registrar will provide you with 3 documents, as follows:

1. A copy of the death certificate for which they will be a small charge, normally £3.50 per copy. Photocopies may be taken, although insurance companies and some banks and building societies prefer an original copy.

2. A form, which you will need to enclose with any Benefit books belonging to the deceased. These must be returned to the local Benefits Agency. You will also need to inform the Benefits Agency if payments are paid into bank accounts or similar.

3. A green form, which you will need to hand over to the Funeral Director. This form gives them the authority to remove the deceased from the hospital.

ARRANGING THE FUNERAL

It is important that you contact a Funeral Director as soon as possible. This may be done before collecting the medical certificate or seeing the registrar.

The Funeral Director will be prepared to visit your home and will advise you on the necessary arrangements.

Listed below are some of the things you will have to decide:

· Where you would like the funeral to take place, crematorium or local church.

Who will be conducting the service, local vicar, priest, minister or religious leader

· Whether you would like a burial or cremation,

· When the funeral will take place.

· The funeral Director will ask whether you would like an obituary in the local newspaper.

· You can let the funeral directors arrange flowers for the funeral or you can do this yourself with a chosen florist.

· You can decide whether you would like the deceased to be dressed in their own clothes.

· To decide which hymns or favourite music to be played at the funeral.

· Decide where you would like the funeral to leave from i.e. home or a close relatives house or even the Funeral Directors

· How many cars, who will be travelling in the cars

· After the service what would you like to happen , have people back to your home or sometimes family and friends will gather at the local pub for refreshments.

Sometimes a person may have expressed their wish about their own funeral service, whether they prefer a burial or cremation. Others close to them may know this or wishes may be written in a will.

PAYING FOR THE FUNERAL

Some people find the expense of the funeral very difficult to meet, and are embarrassed about telling the funeral director.  In fact the funeral director should find out whether or not there is a problem about money and advise the client of the ways in which help may be provided.  Anyone on a low income who has great difficulty in meeting financial costs may be able to obtain help from the benefits agency, in form of a grant.

The applicant or their partner must be receiving one or more benefits, income support, job seekers allowance, housing/council tax benefit, working family tax credit or disability working allowance.

THINGS TO SEND BACK

You should return the following, with a note of explanation and the date of the death with each of these documents

· Order books, payable orders, or giro cheques to the social security office, which issued the payments. Orders should not be cashed after the death of a person. It may be helpful to keep a record of pension book numbers or social security numbers before sending anything back.

· The deceased passport to the UK Passport Agency, Globe House, 89 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PN.

· The registration documents of a car, for the change ownership to be recorded

· Membership cards of clubs and associations. Claim any refund due.

· Library books or tickets

· Any national insurance papers to the relevant office.

· Any NHS equipment such as wheelchairs, hearing aids etc.

PEOPLE TO TELL

You should tell:

· The local social services department of the council if any person was getting meals wheels on meals, home help or day centre care.
· Any hospital the person was attending
· The family doctor
· The Inland Revenue
· The Social Security office if benefit was being paid directly into the deceased bank or building society.
· Any employer
· The deceased gas, electricity and telephone suppliers
· The local council housing department if the person who has died was living in a council house
· The deceased bank, building society, insurance companies etc
· The post office so they can re direct the deceased mail

The person who deals with everything owned by the person who died is known as the personal representative or executor if they are named as such in a will.

If you are a personal representative you may have to apply to prove the will or if there is no will, apply for letters of administration. This will give you permission to pay the bills and deal with the estate. For more information on how to obtain probate, contact the probate and inheritance help line on 0845 30 20 900.

When you inform the deceased banks and building societies to access their monies you would need copies of the death certificate.

National Numbers

THE SAMARITANS

Tel: 116 123

Confidential help/counselling over the telephone

CRUSE BEREAVEMENT CARE

Tel: 084477 9400/0161 236 81034

Young Person Helpline

free phone 0808-808-1677

Confidential help and support for the bereaved

BACUP CANCER

Free phone 0808 800 1234

Information, practical advice and emotional support

LOCAL HOSPICE

Have a social work team who will offer support and advice

BEREAVEMENT TRUST

Free phone 0800-435-455

6pm –10pm daily

SUPPORTING BEREAVED PARENTS & THEIR FAMILIES

0845 123 2304

10AM – 6PM & 7PM – 10PM

Regional Numbers

Hull

Council – www.hullcc.gov.uk-contact-us 01482 300300

Coroners – www.humberside.co.uk/coronorsoffice 01482 613009

Cruse – www.crusehumberside.org.uk/

Funeral Directors – www.yell.com/s/funeral+directors-hull.html

Luton

Council – www.luton.gov.uk-contact-us-lutonbc 01582 546000

Coroners – www.galaxy.bedford.gov.uk 0300 300 6557/6558

Cruse – www.crusebedfordshire.org.uk/

Funeral Directors – www.yell.com/s/funeral+directors-luton-bedfordshire.html

Wigan

Council – www.wigan.gov.uk/contactus 01942 244991

Coroners – www.wigan.gov.uk/deathandbereavement 9942 705000

Cruse – www.cruselancashire.org.uk

Funeral Directors – www.yell.com/s/funeral+directors-wigan.html