What to do When Someone Dies

Even when you are somewhat prepared, the death of a loved one can be a very distressing time. To help to alleviate some of this distress, it is important to know the steps you must take when this occurs. Handling the situation in an efficient and logical manner will help the process to be less stressful. Our expert funeral directors will help you to arrange and organise the service with you. It is vital that you take immediate action to implement the processes that need to follow the death of a friend or loved one.

Our helpful guides below explains what to do in different circumstances.

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    Registering a death

    Once you have the medical cause of death certificate from the Doctors, you will be able to register the death of a loved one. The process of informing the authority must take place within 5 days in Wales or England and 8 days for those in Scotland. When HM coroner is involved in a death, you must inform the local authority because on occasion it is not possible to register the death within these required timescales. 

    In Somerset and North Somerset, please visit the Somerset.gov website to book an appointment to register. Please bear in mind that the registrar will charge you £11 for each copy of the death certificate.

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    Funeral Directors Highbridge Somerset

    When a coroner is involved

    When a coroner is involved, the processes above will change. In this instance, we will advise on the process case by case as they can differ greatly. Our funeral directors will work with you to arrange all the necessary procedures involved in this process.

    Burial and Cremation Certification

    Once the death of a loved one has been registered, the registrar will then issue a certificate. This certificate is also known as a green form. This green form is issued in order to authorise either cremation or burial. As soon as this certificate arrives, you must pass this over to us, so we can begin to organise the funeral arrangements.

    Contact Ashley Edwards

    If you require further information or help regarding what to do first when a person dies, do not hesitate to contact us on 01278 794304

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The person (or people) you need to contact first following a bereavement will vary, depending on the circumstances under which the death occurred.

    For example, if your loved one died in an end-of-life care facility, a nurse or G.P will have already verified the medical cause of death, and you can go ahead with informing friends and relatives.

    However, if the death happened unexpectedly at home, you should call emergency services immediately.

    They will attend to make sure that nothing is suspicious and arrange for the deceased to be conveyed into the care of a coroner.

    Even if you’re prepared, the death of a loved one can still be an extremely distressing time for the entire family.

    If you have any questions, concerns, or you just need someone to chat to – we’re always here.

    Give us a call, day or night, on 01278 794 304. Our expert funeral directors are more than happy to assist you.

    Coroners are independent judicial officers who investigate any deaths that are reported to them.

    They’ll make all necessary inquiries to determine why a person has passed, including a post-mortem examination, obtaining witness statements and medical records, or holding an inquest.

    They’ll need to get involved in the following circumstances:

    • A doctor didn’t treat the person during their last illness
    • The cause of death was sudden, violent, or unnatural – e.g. an accident or suicide
    • The cause of death was murder
    • A doctor didn’t see or treat the person for the condition from which they died within 28 days of death

    Usually, a funeral can only take place once the coroner is satisfied that the body is no longer required for investigation.

    They will release the body to the family’s chosen funeral director and issue a burial or cremation order.

    Even if the coroner is going to investigate the circumstances around death, the funeral can still take place if the body has been released.

    Believe it or not, it takes around 30 minutes to get a death certificate from your local register office.

    You might need to wait a few days for an appointment after getting in touch with them, but when you attend the appointment, you’ll be able to take the certificate away immediately.

    Keep in mind that a death in England needs to be registered within 5 days – so you should get in touch with them as soon as possible.

    Registering a death is free, but a copy of the certificate will cost you £11.

    If you need any advice or guidance before registering a death, get in touch with us here at Ashley Edwards.


    Here at Ashley Edwards, our funeral directors have many years of experience, and understand how distressing this time can be for you and the rest of your family.

    This is why we work directly with you to ensure that we can support you as best we can while you’re grieving.

    We offer a range of modern, traditional, and bespoke options to suit everyone that calls upon us.

    If you require more information about Ashley Edwards Funeral Directors in Highbridge, give us a call or send us a message at info@ashleyedwards.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

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