Death at home

Death at home

When a person dies at home, the next of kin or executor and the family doctor should be informed. The doctor who cared for the person during the last illness will complete a free Certificate of the Cause of Death (called the “death certificate” hereafter). If cremation is intended, this doctor will complete cremation Form B and will arrange for another doctor to complete the confirmatory Form C. The second doctor will need to view the body at some stage. These forms are provided free of charge from the administration office for the crematorium. The two doctors will require payment for completing the forms. These forms are not required if the death is taken over by the Coroner.

The death certificate must be taken to the Registrar of Births and Deaths within 28 days. In Scotland, you can visit any Registrar of Births and Deaths within eight days. Ensure you visit the correct office and check opening times, as they may operate limited hours. The doctor may send the death certificate direct to the Registrar, and not give it to you to take.

Death in hospital

If someone dies in hospital, the death certificate will be issued there. The next of kin may be requested to authorise a post-mortem. If cremation is intended, the hospital will arrange the necessary documentation.

The deceased will be transferred to a mortuary. Arrangements to deliver the death certificate to the Registrar of Births and Deaths and to register the death are as above, under “Death at Home”. The Registrar will be the one covering the Hospital area, which may be different to the home address of the deceased.

Death in Residential or Nursing Home

If the death occurs in a residential or nursing home, they may follow a similar routine as for that in hospital. In addition, they may have an arrangement with a funeral director for the removal of the body to a mortuary or a Chapel of Rest. This funeral director does not have to do the funeral for you, neither should they canvass your business. You may choose your own funeral director, or you can do the funeral without one.

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