What to do When Someone Dies

There are many practicalities to arrange following a death and many organisations to contact.

The first steps will include arranging for your loved one to be brought into our care, the timing of which will differ depending on the place of death.

Death occurring at home or in a care home

When a death occurs at home, the first contact should be with the deceased’s Doctor (GP).

The Doctor will usually visit the family home or care home and confirm the death, this can also be done by a qualified person such as an attending nurse.

Once the death has been confirmed the Funeral Directors can be contacted to transfer the deceased to the Funeral Home. In the case of an expected death the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death will then be issued by the GP at their earliest convenience and either left at the family home or be available for collection from the surgery.

Outside normal hours a duty Doctor will usually attend the home and give permission for the Funeral Directors to attend, however the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death will still be issued by the deceased’s GP once they have received notification from the duty Doctor.

L Tranter & Son are available to give advice on obtaining certificates and registering a death. Please call 01952 613932 for assistance.

Death occurring in hospital

Most hospitals have their own Bereavement Centres with a designated Bereavement Officer. Their tasks will include obtaining the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from the hospital Doctor who attended the deceased, and in the case of Cremation, requesting Doctors to complete the Doctor’s Part 1 and Part 2 Cremation forms.

It is usual for hospital bereavement centres to only be open during normal office hours, for this reason there may be a short delay in obtaining the necessary certificates. Once the Doctor’s have completed the paperwork the deceased’s Next of Kin can collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death along with any personal possessions and register the death.

Princess Royal Hospital Bereavement Office, 01952 641222 Ext 4741

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital Bereavement Office, 01743 261384

Death occurring in another area but in the UK

When a death occurs away from home, maybe in another county whilst on holiday, procedures will differ slightly to those at home. Firstly it may not be possible to bring your loved one home until a Doctor in that area has issued the relevant documents. Should a death certificate not be issued then the Coroner for the jurisdiction where the death occurred will be instructed to carry out his enquiries, this may include a post mortem followed by an inquest. Once documents have been issued we will collect your loved one at the earliest opportunity. It is important to note that costs will increase due to time taken and vehicle running expenses only, charges are not made for bringing a deceased across county borders as many people believe.

Her Majesty’s Coroner

In some instances the deceased’s GP or hospital Doctor is unable to sign a death certificate and will refer the death to Her Majesty’s Coroner. The Coroner has a duty to investigate all sudden, unnatural and suspicious deaths. The individual circumstances will determine the level of involvement the coroner has. In some cases very little action is required and after a discussion with the deceased’s GP, permission is given for a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death to be issued.

Some cases will merit more involvement and require a Post Mortem Examination to be carried out to establish the cause of death, and, in a small number of cases where the death is of unnatural causes an inquest will be necessary.

This inquest will be opened and immediately adjourned to allow the Funeral to go ahead, the Inquest will then be reopened at a later date when all the evidence and results are available. At all times during the coroner’s enquiries you will be kept informed of how things are progressing by a coroner’s officer.

Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire
Coroner’s Service
01743 258540

Registering the Death

Once a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (or an equivalent coroner’s certificate) has been issued the death can be registered. This should take place in the district where the death occurred within five days unless the registrar gives permission to extend this period. Person’s legally allowed to register a death include the nearest surviving relative or a family member on their behalf, a person present when the death occurred, the occupier of the premises where the death occurred or the person legally responsible for arranging the Funeral such as an executor.

The registrar will issue a certificate for Burial or Cremation (green form) this is required by ourselves as soon as is practicable, to allow the Funeral to go ahead. Certified Death Certificate’s can be purchased from the registrar at the time of registration, these will be required by solicitors, banks, building societies and insurance companies. Further certificates are available at a later date but will cost more than at the time of registration.

It is possible to register the death in any registrar’s office in England or Wales however this will require the informant to make a declaration of particulars of the death. In these cases it is important to note that the documents necessary for the Funeral to proceed will be issued by post and this will cause some delay in making Funeral arrangements and setting a date.

Arranging the Funeral

Funeral arrangements can be made with a member of our experienced team at any one of our well appointed offices.

Alternatively, a Funeral Director can visit you in the comfort of your own home. Whilst making the Funeral arrangements, all of your wishes, however small, will be carried out so that the service is a personal and fitting tribute to your loved one. All arrangements are by appointment only. 

Before you can decide what kind of Funeral ceremony you want to arrange, you need to choose between Cremation and Burial. 

Your loved one may have made their wishes known, but if not this can be a difficult decision to make. In addition we will ask whether we are arranging a traditional religious service or a non-religous civil service.  If you are unsure of which choice to make your funeral arranger will help guide you through the options.

Traditional Religious Service

Either taking place at your local Church or directly at the Crematorium, a traditional service will be conducted by a local Priest,Vicar or Licensed Lay- Reader. The service will include compulsory elements such as a Bible reading, Prayers and the Commendation but will also have time for family tributes, individual music which may be hymns and time for reflection. The minister will arrange a meeting with the family prior to the Funeral taking place so that the service can be considered and planned.

Non-Religious or Civil service.

A member of the British Humanist Association or a Civil Celebrant can be arranged to conduct the Funeral Service. Usually taking place at the Crematorium or direct to the graveside in a public cemetery the service would consist of family tributes, music for reflection and poems or readings.

With the religious content removed there will be more time available for tributes so great care should be taken to use this time wisely.

Burial or Cremation?

Burial

Cemeteries and Churchyards

It is important to note that churchyards and cemeteries have different sets of rules. Cemeteries are run by municipal or town councils and unlike churchyards offer families the right to purchase a grave for a set number of years. Generally residents from outside the district are allowed to be buried in any public cemetery, however extra charges will be made for all non-residents.

Churchyards are run by the Church of England and are generally only open to residents of that parish. Many parish churchyards are now closed for new Burials due to lack of space, resulting in Burials only being available in a public cemetery.

Reopening an existing grave, providing that there is space for a subsequent interment, is usually a simple procedure. However please note that any existing memorial will have to be removed before the day of the interment.

All cemeteries and churchyards have strict rules governing memorials placed on graves. Fees must be paid and permission granted before a memorial can be erected.

Green Burial

Woodland Burial sites now offer an alternative to a churchyard or cemetery Burial. Often located in rural parts of the countryside these sites are not limited to any faith or religion and are free from elaborate memorials. Usually only a living memorial, such as a tree, is allowed whilst only environmentally friendly coffins such as willow, bamboo, cardboard or unvarnished solid wood are permitted.

Cremation

Cremation is now the choice for over 70% of Funerals occurring in the United Kingdom. Unlike churches most towns will only have one crematorium which is a non denominational multi faith building. Whether you have strong religious beliefs or have a humanist outlook, a Cremation service can be tailored around the wishes of the deceased and their family.

Services can be conducted by a minister of faith or a layperson, and can be traditional or untraditional. There is no obligation to use the nearest crematorium to where the deceased lived, however due to practicalities this is often chosen.

The documentation required for a Cremation differs from that of Burial. Part of our service is to obtain the relevant documents and submit them to the crematorium. All crematoriums operate under strict guidelines and observe the Code of Cremation Practice.

Cremated Remains

Following a Cremation there are a multitude of options regarding the final resting place for your loved one’s cremated remains (Ashes).

The decision you make may well depend on what is available in your local area so please don’t be afraid to ask our team to inform you of the options. Each crematorium has a Garden of Remembrance where the ashes can be scattered or interred. Alternatively the ashes can be brought away from the crematorium and be buried in a local churchyard or cemetery, kept at home, scattered in a favourite place (permission may be necessary) or even transformed into diamonds.

It is important not to rush such a decision therefore if you are undecided L Tranter & Son are more than happy to retain your loved one’s ashes until you have made a decision.

Care of the Deceased

Once your loved one has been brought into our care we will look after them in our purpose built facilities until the day of the Funeral.

Once all the official documents have been completed and the Doctors have carried out their examinations our qualified team of Embalmers and Operatives will prepare your loved one so that family and friends can visit our chapels of rest should they desire.

Our preparations will include washing, embalming and dressing the deceased, either in their own clothes chosen by you or a robe supplied by ourselves.

Embalming

As part of our ‘Care of the Deceased’ we will on most occasions carry out embalming. The preservation and presentation qualities of the procedure mean that you will be able to visit your loved one right up to the day of the Funeral. Even if initially you decide not to visit our chapel of rest, you may change your mind at a later date.

All of our Embalmers are fully qualified members of The British Institute of Embalmers. Having trained for approximately two years and passed both theoretical and practicable examinations, they continue to adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Chapels of Rest

Whilst your loved one is in our care there will be an opportunity for family and friends to visit our chapels of rest to pay their respects and say a final goodbye.

Whilst this is a difficult time for all involved many of our clients gain a great deal of comfort from visiting their loved one.

For this reason we offer our clients unlimited use of our chapels (by prior appointment) during normal office hours.

Funeral Costs

Each and every Funeral carried out by L Tranter & Son is tailored to the family’s requirements, therefore it is difficult to include exact costs within this website.

Your Funeral arranger will keep you informed of the individual costs at all times and issue each and every family with an itemised estimate as soon as possible once Funeral arrangements have been confirmed.

Our estimates and final accounts will be broken down into two sections, charges made by ourselves and those made by third parties.

During the course of carrying out Funeral arrangements for our clients, it is necessary that we make substantial payments (disbursements) to third parties prior to the Funeral taking place.

These third parties include Doctors, Clergy, Cemeteries, Crematorium and many others who contribute to the occasion. Due to the spiralling costs of these disbursements, it is our policy to ask for these payments to be made before the day of the Funeral. This amount must be paid, in all cases, at the earliest opportunity, to ourselves.

Your Funeral arranger will advise you of the amount required at the conclusion of your arrangement meeting.

Should you wish to discuss Funeral costs prior to instructing L Tranter & Son please feel free to contact us on 01952 613932.

Free estimates are always available on request.