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When Death Occurs

The First Steps

If the death is at home you should contact the family doctor. In many cases, the certificate will need to be collected from the surgery. If the death is in a hospital or residential home, those in charge will contact a doctor, who will normally certify that a death has taken place and issue a death certificate. If the cause of death is uncertain, it will be reported to the Coroner. It is advisable to contact us without delay. Preliminary arrangements may be made in advance of the registration of the death if required.

Bringing the Deceased into our Care

Do not feel that this has to take place immediately; some families wish to wait until other family members have arrived to say their goodbyes at home. It is normal to await the attendance of a doctor before arranging for the deceased to be collected by the Funeral Director. Our staff members are trained to remove the deceased sensitively and efficiently with the utmost respect. The deceased will usually be placed on a special stretcher-trolley and taken to our premises. A pillow and clean sheet is always used and care is taken to follow instructions regarding jewellery and other personal items. Remember you are always welcome to visit the Chapel of Rest.

Registering a Death

All deaths need to be registered by the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths in the district where the death takes place. This should be done by a near relative within five days, unless the Coroner is involved. We can tell you which Registrar you will need to visit, the times they are open, and whether you need to make an appointment. The Registrar will require the Medical Certificate of Death, the deceased’s Medical Card if available, and:

  • Full name of the deceased, and maiden name if applicable
  • The deceased’s date and place of birth and death
  • The deceased’s home address
  • If married, the date of birth of a surviving spouse
  • The deceased’s former occupation, where relevant
  • Name and address of informant
  • Informant’s qualification for registering

The Registrar will issue a green certificate, which must be handed to us as soon as possible, legally allowing burial or cremation to take place. The Registrar will also give you a special form to send to the Department of Work and Pensions, with any pension or allowance books. You may purchase copies of the “Entry of death” which would be needed to administer the estate and claim insurances or close accounts. It is possible to register the death from a distance if a visit to the local registrar is impossible, however this may mean that a couple of extra days are needed before the funeral takes place. This is known as “Registering the Death by Declaration.”

The Coroner

There are a number of reasons why a death may have to be referred to the Coroner, including unnatural or sudden deaths, regardless of how these may appear to have come about. Under such circumstances, different registration procedures will be necessary. In part, this will depend on whether there is to be a burial or a cremation, or if the Coroner has requested an inquest.

A sudden death and the Coroner’s intervention can naturally be very distressing, a post-mortem examination may well be required to establish cause of death. You will have many question to ask at this time and we are available to answer these questions and keep you well informed at each step.

Special Arrangements

We have considerable experience and back up facilities, and the following services present no difficulty:

  • International Repatriation
  • Repatriation from abroad
  • Exhumations


Arranging a Funeral

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everybody at Merstow Green Funeral Home for everything you have all done for me and the family in this sad time, we couldn’t have been happier with the service we received. Special thanks to Kevin and Luke Aston for looking after us.”
Mrs Herlihy 28th July 2020
“I just want to say Thank You for your advice, support and kindness in the arrangement of Mike’s Funeral. The service was exactly what we wanted, the staff were professional, dignified, but also showed great sympathy towards the family at such a difficult time.”
Mrs Scott 28th July 2020
“May I thank you for your compassion and professional way you handled my late wife's funeral. You made a very difficult time as easy as possible for me especially in these challenging times.”
Mr Scrimshaw 20th June 2020