How you respond to a death of a loved one will be very individual and personal and at this time of grief it can be very difficult to think straight. There are several things that have to be done and quite soon after the death. This page gives you some information about those practical things and we hope it will help make those early days after a death as easy as possible.

In Hospital

When someone dies in hospital the sister or staff nurse will be able to guide you on the first steps for making arrangements.

They will arrange for a Doctor to issue the medical certificate of death which will provided to your chosen funeral director. You will however will need to collect any belongings.

Advance notice of cremation

If possible, you should advise the hospital if the funeral is to be a cremation, as this will allow them time to arrange for the necessary extra documentation to be completed.

Contact your Funeral Director

Afterwards, contact your funeral director and you will both be able to organise a time to do the relevant arrangements.


You will also need to consider if any jewellery or belongings are to remain with the person who has died or if they are to be returned to you.

When someone dies suddenly

When someone dies unexpectedly, it is normal for the coroner to be involved to establish the cause of death. There is no need to be concerned by this, but the coroner will usually have particular procedures to follow.

The coroner is represented by the Coroner’s Officer, who’s role is to liase between the coroner, your funeral director and yourself. They will either be a police officer or a civilian appointed by the Coroner.

Both the Coroner’s Officer and your funeral director are there to offer advice and guidance.

Contact your funeral director as soon as possible, so they can liaise with the Coroner’s Officer on your behalf.