What To Do When Someone Dies

The first steps to take after someone dies are often the hardest. We are here to guide and help you as much as possible.

We are personally contactable by telephone 24-hours a day and recommend you call us as soon as you are ready. We can then help to take some of the weight off your shoulders and guide you through the next steps and funeral arrangements.

What to do when someone dies, depends on where they passed away:

If the Death Occurs at Home

If the death was expected and the deceased has seen their own doctor within 14 days, you need to contact the deceased’s doctor. The doctor (or emergency doctor if the death occurs out of surgery hours) will come out and certify the death.

After the doctor has been, contact TW Birks & Son and when you are ready, our professional and experienced staff can carry out the removal with care and dignity. We always use a smart and discreet vehicle and we will bring the deceased to our chapel of rest.

The doctor will issue a medical certificate of the cause of death. This will need to be taken to the registrars when registering the death. TW Birks & Son can collect the medical certificate from the surgery for you.

If the death was unexpected, the deceased has not seen their own doctor within 14 days, or other circumstances (such as possible industrial disease or recent operation), the death will be referred to the coroner. The police will attend to coordinate the removal of the body for further examination by the coroner to try and establish the cause of death. You are under no obligation to appoint the funeral director who has carried out the removal on behalf of the coroner.

Please telephone and we can talk you through the rest of the procedures and liaise with the Coroner’s office on your behalf.

A further Guide to Coroner Services published by the Ministry of Justice is available here.


If the Death Occurs in a Hospital or Hospice

The hospital or hospice will often have a bereavement or family liaison office who can provide support and advice on what do next.

You can contact ourselves whenever you feel ready or with any questions you may have. Although the deceased will often rest in the hospital or hospice while the paperwork is complete, preliminary funeral arrangements can be made, and we will bring the deceased to our chapel of rest as soon as possible.

The hospital or hospice will also provide you with the medical certificate of cause of death from the doctor last treating the deceased, which you will need to register the death.


If the Death Occurs in a Nursing Home

The member of staff in charge will contact the deceased’s doctor who will need to come and certify the death (if out of hours the on-call doctor will come instead). You will also need to let them know you would like to use ourselves as your funeral director.

Once the doctor has been called we can come and respectfully take the deceased into our care. We offer a full day and night service.

The medical certificate will be available from the deceased’s doctor, which you will need to take to the registrars to register the death.


If the Death Occurs Away from Home or Abroad

When death takes place some distance away from home, either within the UK or anywhere abroad, contact us and we can make all the necessary arrangements.

Further information from the Foreign and Commonwealth office about Deaths Abroad, is available here.


The Stillbirth or Death of a Baby or Child

We understand that starting to make the funeral arrangements for your baby or child is an unimaginably difficult step.

We promise to personally be there to guide and hold your hand, with the utmost care, compassion and sensitivity.

We make no charge for our professional services in these circumstances. We will always show you the different options available to allow you to arrange a special and fitting funeral.

For further information or advice just telephone Fiona our funeral director who has experience and special training in this area of our funeral service.