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First steps you need to take following the death of a loved one

You can contact us at any time for help and guidance and we have also made some important information available on our website to help answer some questions you may have.

If your question requires an urgent response please call us on

01803 446008

For help and advice call us on 01803 446008 or email us

When a loved one passes away it can be very hard to consider everything you will need to do

Remember there is no rush and you always have the option to call us for help and guidance

What you will need to do will differ depending on a number of factors

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What do I need to do immediately?

If the death is expected and the person is at home

Call the deceased GP and contact the nearest relative

If the death is expected, for example, due to a terminal illness, in most cases the doctor will issue a medical certificate of the cause of death to allow the death to be registered at the Register Office. A Death Certificate will then be provided


The GP practice will advise you of the next steps and will arrange for someone to verify the death such as a nurse or a doctor.  Once this has been done and when you feel ready to do so, you can contact your funeral director

If the person dies unexpectedly at home

Call 111 immediately and they will advise you on the next steps

An unexpected death may need to be reported to a coroner. A coroner is a doctor or lawyer responsible for investigating unexpected deaths


They may call for a post-mortem or inquest to find out the cause of death 

If the Coroner decides that there needs to be a post-mortem it will be the Coroners own team who will attend to take the person to the Coroner's mortuary

If the person dies in or

en-route to hospital

The Hospital Bereavement Team will keep you advised

The hospital doctor will usually issue a medical certificate and formal notice that will allow you to register the death. The Bereavement Team will support you with the next steps you need to take

The body will usually be kept in the hospital mortuary until the funeral directors until the paperwork is completed

You will need to inform the Bereavement Team of you intended funeral director

What happens when I call the Funeral Director?

Bringing the person into care at the funeral home

As shown above the timing for this differs in certain situations

There are various factors as shown above when this can happen and ultimately once we have clearance to attend and the death has been verified we would be guided by when you are ready

We will always aim to be with you within 1 1/2 hours from your phone call.  Two members of our team will attend and usually, at least one of them will be Katie or Rob

Once the person is in our care

We ensure the person is looked after and treated with dignity

We always attend to the person who has died first and ensure they are treated with care and respect

Dependant on the time of day we will call you to let you know they are safely with us at our funeral home and what you can expect in the next few days

We will give you time to gather your thoughts and decide when you would like to be contacted

Registering a death in Torbay

Registering a death is the one thing funeral directors cannot do on your behalf

Once the doctor has signed the Medical Certificate they will email this directly to the Registrar.  Once that is done you can make an appointment to register the death

Please use the button below for full information on what to expect when registering a death

For help and advice call us on 01803 446008 or email us

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