When a death occurs at home the first person to contact is your doctor (or the doctor on duty) who will certify that the death has taken place and, if he or she is able, will issue a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (“Death Certificate”).
This certificate may have to be collected at a later time from the Doctor’s Surgery and you will be required to provide it to the Registrar when you register the death. However, if the death is unexpected, the doctors may refer the matter to the Coroner.
The Coroner is a doctor or a lawyer responsible for investigating an unexpected death and any death where the person had not been seen by their GP within 14 days of the date of death, and the cause of death is not immediately known. They may in some circumstances request a post mortem or inquest. This could cause the funeral to be delayed. In any event we will be able to advise you every step of the way.
When a death occurs in a hospital the nursing staff or relevant officer will inform the next of kin and they will issue the Medical Cause of Death Certificate. You will need to collect this certificate from the hospital (usually the Bereavement Office) and take this along with you to the Registrar. An appointment at the registrar’s office will need to be made in the relevant district office (the district where the death occurred) – this service is by appointment only.