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What to do when someone dies

If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, there can be lots of things you need to think about.  To help you navigate

this difficult time, we’ve put together a guide for what to do in the initial days following their death.

When someone dies at home

Please contact the deceased' Doctor or on call Doctor, district nurse, an ambulance paramedic or terminal care nurse. When one of these medical professionals has confirmed the death, you can then contact ourselves, it does not matter what the time of day it is, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There is no rush and if you wish to spend more time with your loved one at home you are welcome to do so and when you are ready we will attend (additional charges will apply).

When someone dies in hospital

You no longer need to attend the hospital to collect the medical cause of death certificate, this will be sent electronically from the hospital. The bereavement office will contact you and let you know when they have sent the medical cause of death to the registrars. Once the death has been registered and all necessary forms completed at the hospital by the doctor that is issuing the medical certificate, we will then be able to arrange to collect your loved one and bring them to our Huddersfield branch.

When someone dies in a nursing home

The staff at the nursing home may be qualified to confirm that death has taken place or alternatively the home will arrange for a doctor to visit. Once the death has been confirmed, the home or yourselves can contact us to make arrangements for bringing your loved to our Huddersfield branch, at any time day or night (additional charges will apply)  The doctor will send the medical cause of death to the registrars electronically.

When someone dies unexpectedly

If a doctor is unable to confirm the cause of death, if it is unexpected or an accident, the coroner may be involved.  The coroner will take over but will advise if your relative / friend needs to be moved.  The coroner will keep you informed as to what to do next depending on the situation.

If someone dies abroad

If someone dies on holiday, or abroad it will be necessary to make contact with the relevant British authorities locally to where they have passed away.  Deaths must be registered in the country in which they occurred.  Your travel rep, agent or insurance company will be able to offer specific advice and support relevant to your specific location.  Finally, if you wish to return the deceased to the United Kingdom in order to hold a cremation or burial, you will need to instigate the repatriation from the country of death and that funeral director will need to be aware that we are looking after the funeral arrangements of that person.

Registering A Death

In the UK it is advised that you register someone's death within 5 days if possible.  Registering the death creates a formal record in the Registrar of Births, Death and Marriages.  However, if a death has been reported to the coroner for investigation, you cannot register until the investigations are complete.  A member of the family, a near relative or someone that was present at the time of death should ideally register the death. 


You no longer need to collect the Medical cause of death certificate, this is now sent directly from the Doctor or hospital to the registrars.

All registration offices in Kirklees and Calderdale operate an appointment system.

To make an appointment to register a death within Kirklees, please click HERE or call them directly on 01484 221030

To make an appointment to register a death within Calderdale, please click HERE or call them directly on 01422 288080

Details you will need to provide

  • Medical certificate of the cause of death - signed by the doctor (this will automatically be sent to the registrar)

  • Date and place of the death

  • Full names of the deceased, including any other names which may have been used - including maiden surname if the person who died was a married woman or a widow - please bring marriage certificate, if applicable

  • Usual home address and post code

  • Date and place of birth of the deceased - please bring birth certificate, if available

  • Occupation of the deceased

  • Full name, date of birth and occupation of the spouse (for a married or widowed woman) or civil partner

  • National Health Service number, if known, or the medical card or Serco letter from the Health Authority



Documents you will receive from the Registrar

If a post-mortem is not being held:

  • A certificate for burial or cremation, (the green form), giving permission for the burial or cremation to take place (we will require this form from you)

  • A certificate of registration of death (form BD8), issued for Social Security purposes, if the deceased was on a state pension or benefits

  • Death certificates are available to purchase at the Registration at £11.00 per copy. You can purchase more after the registration, however the price does increase.

The Coroner

The main duties of the Coroner are to investigate all sudden and unexpected deaths and to give permission to remove deceased people out of England and Wales.  Once a death has been reported to the Coroner they will decide what action is necessary following initial investigations of the facts surrounding the death by his/her officers. 

This may include a post-mortem examination to establish the cause of death which may result in a delay in making the funeral arrangements.  In the case of unnatural, unexplained, violent, or workplace deaths the Coroner will hold an inquest after a post-mortem.  This will be open to the public and is to ascertain who the deceased was, how, when and where they died and the particulars legally needed to register the death.  Sometimes an inquest can be opened and adjourned to allow the funeral to take place.

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