You may find some of the following information of use in the first days of your bereavement.
If the death has been expected then a Medical Certificate of Death can be issued.
In the case of a death at home you will need to contact the GP of the deceased. (If this is outside of normal surgery hours then the ‘on call’ doctor may attend). The GP’s surgery will arrange the issuing of the Death Certificate.
In a Nursing Home the staff would normally contact the GP, and they will be able to advise you on collecting the Death Certificate.
If death has occurred in a hospital, the Death Certificate is normally issued through the hospital doctors. It is possible that the hospital may seek permission for a Post Mortem to determine the exact cause. It is important to remember that there is no obligation on your behalf to have a Post Mortem (unless the Coroner is involved) and the final decision is yours.
If the funeral is going to involve a cremation and the Coroner is not involved you have a right to inspect the medical forms for cremation. If you wish to inspect these forms we can advise you.
If the death was entirely unexpected or, in other certain circumstances, a Doctor may not be able to issue a Death Certificate, the Coroner will be informed. The Coroner may feel that a Post Mortem is required, to determine the cause of death. It is also possible that the Coroner could hold an inquest after the Post Mortem. The Coroners decisions could have an impact on the registration procedures, and we can guide you accordingly.
The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Once the certificate has been issued registration should take place as soon as possible. The death would be registered with the local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the area in which the death occurred.
At Swindon Registrars you will be required to make an appointment to register. Their contact details are:-
The Civic Offices
Tel: 01793 522738
They are open Monday to Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm.
The offices will also be open till 7.30pm on Thursdays only.
If the death occured in The North Wiltshire District please call Chippenham Registrars on 01225 713007.
As well as the Death Certificate, the Registrar may also wish to see the deceased’s Birth Certificate and NHS Medical Card. If you do not have these then do not worry, inform the Registrar that you cannot locate them. The registrar would also need to know:-
1. Date and place of birth
2. Date and place of death
3. Deceased’s maiden name (if married woman)
4. Deceased’s last address
5. Deceased’s occupation – (and husbands occupation where appropriate)
6. If deceased was in receipt of pension or social benefits
7. If married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse
The Registrar operates a service called “Tell Us Once”. This service can be used by you to notify all governement departments of your loved ones passing. You can use the Tell Us Once service to cancel passports, driving licences, blue disabled badges, pensions and any benefits that they may have been claiming. If you want the registrar to cancel passports, driving lecences or disabled badges you will need to take them with you when you register. If you do not have access to these then the registrar will give you a form called a BD8, you will need to complete this and send it to the DSS as a formal notice for any pensions or benefits the deceased may have been in receipt of.
You may also request certified copies of the Death Certificate (there will be a small charge), you will need these for purposes such as, bank accounts, insurances, solicitors and the Will.
The registrar will also give you the Certificate of Burial, or Cremation (Green Certificate), you will be required to hand this certificate to your Funeral Director.
Your Funeral Director
As your Funeral Director we will guide you at every stage through this process and ensure you are fully prepared in the early stages. Once we have been instructed by you we will arrange to bring the deceased safely into our care.
You can be assured of our complete attention at all times in the dealings of your funeral arrangements.
The deceased’s bank account and assets would usually be frozen, unless the bank account is registered as a joint account. A funeral invoice can still be paid through a frozen bank account, if there are adequate funds. If you require the bank to do this you must notify them and produce a certified copy of the Death Certificate as soon as possible.
Private pension schemes, insurance companies or trade unions may pay a sum on notification of the death, if the deceased was registered with any of these.
If the deceased had instructed a solicitor with regards to a Will, you must contact them as soon as possible. If the deceased has made a Will without contacting a solicitor, or a Will cannot be found, or a solicitor is not involved, you may need to seek advice and apply for Probate. If you are unsure DO NOTHING until you have received advice. We can put you in touch with advisors who can help.
If you receive income support or government benefits, you could qualify for help from the DSS Social Fund. You can obtain application forms from either us, or The Department of Social Security, Spring Gardens House, Princes Street, Swindon, SN1 2HY. Tel: 01793 489600.