When someone dies, there are many things that you will need to take care of, from registering the death to notifying particular organisations. For each stage of the process, you’ll find useful information below.
Here is a breakdown of the steps to take when someone dies:
The first steps when someone dies will depend on how and where the person passed away. In most cases, the first thing you will need to do is call the deceased's GP. They should be able to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. The following information will explain what you need to straight away.
When someone dies at home
If someone dies at home, the things you will need to do will depend on whether the death was expected or unexpected, and whether it occurred in the day or at night.
When someone dies in hospital
If a loved one has unfortunately passed away in hospital, the next of kin or closest family members will be informed immediately.
When someone dies in a care home
If someone passes away whilst in a care home, the staff should contact the next of kin immediately. You should call the deceased's GP or 111 straight away, although the care home may do this on your behalf. The care home staff will usually give you some time alone with your loved one. They should also be able to professionally advise you on what to do next should you need further guidance.
When someone dies unexpectedly
If someone dies suddenly or unexpectedly, call 999 straight away to request an ambulance and the police. You will need to stay on the line and follow any instructions given to you. The emergency services will often contact a coroner, or a procurator fiscal in Scotland, to investigate the death.
When someone dies abroad
If someone dies abroad, you will need to register the death according to the regulations of the country in which your loved one has passed and get a consulate death certificate. You will also need to register the death in the UK.