The exact process following a death will depend on where and in what circumstances the person died. Click the icon that most closely matches your circumstances to get a guide to what you need to do.

What to do immediately after a death when the person... at home

  • Call the doctor

    You should contact the surgery that the person who has died is registered with. If the death has occurred outside normal hours, their phone system should guide you on how to contact somebody, but if it doesn't you can call 111 and ask for advice.

  • Wait for the doctor to attend

    The surgery or out of hours service will send a qualified GP or other medical professional to confirm the death has occurred. Please be aware that we are not permitted to move the deceased person until this has happened and at busy periods it may take some time before they can attend.

    We suggest that in the interim, you keep the room the person is in cool, and as there is very little else that can be done, take some time to take care of yourself.

  • Call us

    Once the doctor or other medical professional has attended, they will confirm that it is permissible to move the person. You can now call us.

  • We will take them into our care

    We will take some details from you and advise you of the expected timescale for our staff to be with you to bring them into our care. in hospital

  • You will receive a call

    If you are not already in attendance at the hospital, they will normally call to inform you and to explain their procedures.

  • Call us

    The hospital will look after your loved one until they can be transferred into our care. This will not usually happen until funeral arrangements have been made and certain paperwork and procedures are completed by the hospital. Call us when our offices are open and we will begin the process to make the arrangements with you.

  • We will bring them into our care

    Once the arrangements are made and everything is complete at the hospital, we will arrange to bring the person into our care. It is not unusual for the person to remain at the hospital for some time, depending on the circumstances or cause of their death or other issues. We will advise you either when we expect to be able to transfer the person, or notify you when they are with us. in a hospice or care home

  • You will receive a call

    If you are not already in attendance at the hospice/care home, they will call you.

  • Tell them to call us

    Many care homes now have records for residents which include information regarding their funeral, and which funeral director to use, however it is wise to confirm with them that you would like us to take care of the arrangements for you, especially if the death occurs outside normal working hours.

  • We will bring them into our care

    We will work with the care home or hospice to ensure that will arrange to bring them into our care.

...died suddenly or unexpectedly

  • 999

    Call the person's doctor or the police

    Speak with the GP or police to inform them of the death. They will arrange to attend.

  • Await their arrival

    At busy periods, it may take some time for them to arrive. Please do not try to move the person, as they will want to assess the circumstances of the person’s death.

  • Follow their direction

    Whether the doctor or police are in attendance, they will advise on what happens next. They will decide whether the death needs to be referred to the Coroner for further investigation, and if so, they will arrange for the deceased person to he transferred to the Coroner’s care. We regret that in these circumstances we are unable to move the deceased on your behalf, the Coroner instruct their contractors to do this. However, we will be happy to arrange the funeral for you and bring the deceased into our care when they have been released to us by the Coroner.

Less Immediate Jobs

There are other tasks that need to be completed in the days following a death, but while important to complete them, you shouldn’t worry about getting them all done straight away. You may need to have a day to take care of yourself, but even if you feel you don’t, it often helps to have a friend or relative complete these jobs either with you, or sometimes on your behalf.

Get the Medical Certificate

To be able to register the person’s death, you will need the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death – often shortened to MCCD or simply Medical Cert. This will be issued by the person’s GP practice if they died at home or in a care setting, or the Bereavement Office/Patient Affairs Office if they died in a hospital.

Register the death

When you have the medical certificate, you can begin the process of registering the death. In Dacorum, you will need to call the Hertfordshire Registrar’s Service to make an appointment to do this.

Their number is:
0300 123 4045

When you have an appointment, the Hemel Hempstead Register Office is at:
The Forum
Hemel Hempstead

Talk it over

You may want to take some time now to talk over the type of funeral you wish to arrange with other members of the family or those people particularly close to you or the deceased person.

Will it be a burial or cremation? Traditional or modern? Religious or not?

Information on all of these choices, and more, is available on our web site.

Call us to begin arranging the funeral

This is where we can begin to get the instructions from you and arrange the funeral service.

We will take some details from you over the phone so that some of the necessary paperwork can be completed in advance of your meeting, and when we meet with you, we will complete all of the statutory documentation and discuss the rest of the instructions. Our Funeral Arrangers will guide you through the process and ensure that we understand exactly what you want and deliver the funeral that your loved one deserves.


Emergency Assistance

If you have suffered a bereavement and have been advised that we can transfer the person into our care following the procedures above, please call us.
Here to help 24/7
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