What to do when somebody dies
When a loved one sadly passes away there are certain procedures and steps to follow.
This guide will help you through the initial process, we offer a 24 hour service 7 days a week telephone service in the event of all deaths.
We do recommend contact is made with one of our offices to inform us of the death as soon as possible. We can then start making arrangements in the background while you are waiting to register the death or if H.M. Coroner is involved.
If they have died at home
- With the death being expected we recommend you call their GP surgery immediately or the out of hour’s doctor on 111. Once in attendance a doctor will verify the death.
- With the death being sudden we recommend you call 999 immediately, and they will advise on whether they are sending a paramedic or a doctor to verify the death.
- Once the death has been verified in either of the above instances you may call us on any of the above numbers to attend the death and transfer the deceased person into our care.
- The GP will issue a Medical Cause of Death Certificate, this may be issued at the time of verifying the death or in the following days. If the death was sudden, suspicious or the deceased has not seen a GP for more than 14 days, by law the death will have to be reported to HM Coroner by the GP.
- Once the Medical Certificate is in hand you must call the registrar for the area the death has occurred in to make an appointment to register.
If they have died at a nursing or care home
- The home staff will call the GP or out of hours doctor to attend and verify the death, once this has happened the staff at the home will call us to transfer the deceased into our care, if you have already nominated a funeral director. If not, they may ask you as the family to contact one direct.
- The GP will issue a Medical Cause of Death Certificate, this may be issued at the time of verifying the death or in the following days.
- Once this is in hand you must call the registrar for the area the death has occurred in to make an appointment to register.
If they have died at a hospital or hospice
- The bereavement team at the hospital or hospice will generally contact the next of kin to inform them of the death, and advise them when the Medical Cause of Death Certificate will be ready for collection or if H.M. Coroner is involved there will be no Medical Cause of Death certificate issued and H.M. Coroner’s office will be in touch.
- Once the Medical Cause of Death Certificate is in hand, an appointment must be made to register the death at the local registrars.
For further independent advice please follow this link Funeral Advice.
Registering the death
Who can register the death
You can register the death if you’re:
- a relative
- someone present at the death
- an administrator from the hospital/care nursing home
- the person making arrangements with the funeral directors
What you need to do
Take the Medical Cause of Death Certificate (signed by a doctor) with you.
If available (but don’t worry if not), also take the person’s:
|☐ Birth certificate||☐ Council Tax bill|
|☐ Driving licence||☐ Marriage Certificate|
|☐ NHS medical card||☐ Civil Partnership Certificate|
|☐ Proof of address (eg utility bill)||☐ Passport|
You’ll need to tell the registrar:
- the person’s full name at the time of death
- any names previously used, eg maiden name
- the person’s date and place of birth
- their last address
- their occupation
- the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
- whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits
You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (eg a utility bill) but you can still register a death without them.
Documents you’ll get
When you register a death you’ll get:
- a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) – gives permission for burial or an application for cremation. We as the funeral director require this as soon as we can
- a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a pre-paid envelope so you know where to send it)
- Certified Copy of Entry of Death (The Death Certificate)
The Death Must Be Registered In District Which It Took Place In.
Dudley Borough Register Offices
Priory Hall, Priory Park, Dudley DY1 4EU
Council Plus, Castle Street, Dudley DY1 1LQ
Stourbridge Building, Cemetery Road, Lye DY9 8AN
Tel for all: 0300 555 2345
Sandwell Borough Registrars
Highfields, High Street, West Bromwich B70 8RJ
Tel: 0121 368 1188 (can book online)
Birmingham City Council Registrars
Holliday Wharf, Holliday Street, Birmingham B1 1TJ
Tel: 0121 675 1004
Wolverhampton City Council Registrars
The Register Office, Civic Centre, St Peters Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY
Tel: 01902 551234
Walsall City Council Registrars
The Register Office
Civic Centre, Hatherton Road, Walsall WS1 1TN
Tel: 0300 555 2847
Staffordshire Borough Registrars
Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, Staffordshire WV8 1PX
Cannock Chase Council Offices, Beecroft Road, Cannock WS11 1BG
Boscobel Room, 1 Staffordshire Place, Stafford ST16 2DH
Civic Centre, Gravel Hill, Wombourne WV5 9HA
Tel for all: 0300 111 8001