Albery And Redstone - Okehampton Funeral Directors

Help & Advice

What to do when someone dies

In the first instance always ring Albery & Redstone Funeral Directors where we can start gently guiding you through the necessary procedures.

IN HOSPITAL: The staff will advise you when and from where to collect the Medical Certificate of the cause of death. You will need this before you are able to register the death.

AT A RESIDENTIAL/NURSING HOME: The staff at the Home will inform you where you are able to collect the Medical Certificate of the cause of death from. This would usually be from the G.P. surgery but it may have been left at the Home. You will need this before you are able to register the death.

AT HOME: Please contact your Doctor who will certify that death has taken place and if he or she is able, they will issue the Medical Certificate of the cause of death. Once the Doctor has attended you will be able to request us to convey your loved one to the Chapel of Rest. This can be arranged at any time of the day or night by telephone.

If the death has been referred to THE CORONER please refer to the coroners section below.

THE REGISTER OFFICE: Most registrar offices now require you to make an appointment, please telephone for an appointment before attending)


Who can register a death

If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can registered by:-

  • A relative.
  • Someone present at the death.
  • An occupant of the house.
  • An official from the hospital.
  • The person making the funeral arrangements.

Deaths that occurred anywhere else can be registered by:-

  • A relative.
  • Someone present at the death.
  • The person who found the body.
  • The person in charge of the body.
  • The person making the funeral arrangements.

Most deaths are registered by a relative. The registrar would normally only allow other people if there are no relatives available.

What you will need to register a death


  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (signed by a doctor).
  • and if available:
  • Birth Certificate.
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificates.
  • N.H.S. Medical Card.


You will need to tell the registrar:

  • The person’s full name.
  • Any names previously used, including maiden surname.
  • The person’s date and place of birth (town and county if born in UK and country if born abroad).
  • Their last address.
  • Their occupation.
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner.
  • Whether they were receiving a state pension or any other state benefit.


Documents you will receive:

If the Coroner is not involved, the registrar will issue you with:

  • A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (called the “Green Form”). This must be given to your Funeral Director as soon as possible to allow the funeral to take place.

Certified copies of the Entry of Death (often called the Death Certificates) you will be able to buy one or more of the Death Certificates at this time. If there are any bank or building society accounts they will need a certificate as will any insurance and pension companies.

The registrar may also issue a Certificate of Registration or Notification of Death for you to send to the Department of Works and Pensions with any pension or allowance books.

The Coroner

In some circumstances, such as a sudden death or when the G.P. has not seen the deceased during the last 14 days, the Coroner may require an investigation. Under such circumstances different procedural requirements and registration procedures will be necessary.

If the death has been referred to a Coroner and a post-mortem examination has established that the death is due to natural causes, the Coroners Officer will arrange for the necessary forms to be at the Registrars Office before you attend. Therefore you will not need to collect any paperwork from either the G.P. or the hospital.

Should the Coroner find the death was not due to natural causes then an inquest would be held to establish:-

  • The identity of the deceased.
  • When, where and how the death occurred.
  • The cause of death.

Usually an inquest will be adjourned to allow the funeral service to take place. Once all relevant facts have been established the inquest will be reopened. During this time the coroner will issue to the funeral director the necessary forms for burial or cremation. It is normal for the Coroners office to send an interim death certificate to the family for bank and insurance purposes.

We understand that a sudden death together with the Coroners involvement can be distressing and we will on your behalf liaise with the Coroners Office at all stages to keep you informed.