Fishwicks Ltd
“Independent Family Firm, delivering a professional service since 1967”
015395 63108

We have put together some information we hope you find helpful, if you have any questions please get in touch and we will do our best to help.

What to do when someone dies

When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to be made. Unfortunately these often have to be made at a time of personal distress. What needs to happen will depend on the circumstances of the death. This will also affect the type of documentation that you will need.

At home

If the death was at home and expected you should contact the deceased’s doctor who, if satisfied with the cause of death, will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. When the doctor has given permission we will be able to remove the deceased to our chapel of rest.

If the doctor is unsure about the actual cause of death even if it was clearly from the natural causes, or if the deceased died suddenly and had not been under a doctor’s care during the past 14 days, or the death is unnatural, they will contact the coroner. The coroner will arrange for the deceased to be moved to the hospital mortuary.

In hospital or hospice

If the deceased has died in hospital or hospice and you are the named next of kin, the nursing staff will inform you. Most hospitals have bereavement staff that coordinate the issue documentation and will explain the procedures to you.

In some cases the hospital staff will have to refer the death to then coroner. This means they will not be able to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and the Coroner’s office will give you further information about when you can register the death.

When the relevant certificates have been issued our staff will be able to remove the deceased to our Chapel of Rest.


If the death occurs overseas, the registration process in that county must be followed in order to obtain a death certificate.

You can arrange to have the funeral overseas if you wish. However, if you would prefer to return the deceased back to the UK please contact us and we will be able to advise you on the practicalities.

This will include obtaining necessary documents from:

If covered by an insurance policy the repatriation will be arranged directly by the insurance company.

Registration of death

A death should be registered as soon as possible, by law within 5 days. To do this you will require the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.

However, if the death is reported to the Coroner, registration cannot take place until the registrar has written permission from the Coroner.

Person qualified to register a death are:

Addresses of Local Registrars

Take to the registrar

The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (the doctors death certificate), it will be given to you in a small envelope) and also the deceased’s Medical Card – if available.

Duties of the Informant:

During registration the informant must be prepared to give to the Registrar the following particulars relating to the deceased:

Once you have registered the death you will be given copies of the death certificate (as many as you need, please note there is a fee to pay) and a GREEN certificate which you should to us as soon as possible.

Registration of a Coroner’s Case

To register a coroner’s death (non-inquest) you should telephone the registrars to make an appointment – they will have the paperwork required.

If the funeral is a cremation then you do not have to register the death before the funeral as the Coroner sends a cremation certificate directly to the Crematorium allowing the funeral to take place. You should however register the death as soon as possible.

If the funeral is a burial then you must register the death before the funeral and you will be given a Green certificate which you should give to us.

If the Coroner opens an inquest into the death then you will not be able to register the death until after the inquest has taken place. The Coroner will issue you an Interim Death Certificate and to us with either a cremation certificate or burial order to allow the funeral to take place.

Arranging a Funeral

When the time comes and funeral arrangements need to be made, we are here to help you make decisions and advise you through all the legal paperwork. Our role is to help you arrange a funeral service which is dignified and suited to your wishes and that of the deceased.

On initial contact, we will take a few details and then arrange to visit you or for you to come to our office (whichever suits you best)

Below are a few things you will need to consider:

Funeral Costs

These are dependent on what you arrange. We will provide you with an estimate of our charges and any payments we are making on your behalf.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss cost of a funeral please give us a call.