Steps to take when a loved one has died
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What To Do When Death Happens

When someone dear to us passes away, it can be an incredibly difficult and emotional time for friends and family. However, despite the overwhelming feelings that come with the passing of a loved one, there are a few things that need to be done before a funeral can be arranged for them.

Churchills Family Funeral Directors are here to guide you through the steps that should be taken after a loved one has died.

Notify a doctor

If someone has died in the comfort of their home, you should contact their GP and notify them of your loved ones passing. If their death was sudden or unexpected, the coroner may be required to get involved to establish the cause of their death, depending on the circumstances.

If a death occurs in a care home, hospice or hospital, the staff will be able to advise you on who to subsequently contact. In many cases, this is done on your behalf and you’ll then receive further guidance, should you wish. A doctor will then arrive and issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.

H.M Coroner

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one, their passing should be reported to the coroner either by a doctor or the police. Often, this is done shortly after the death has occurred, however, this could take a short while as the relevant medical professionals will need to be consulted following someone’s passing.

For more guidance, visit the Barnet London Borough Council’s website. For a more general overview, view this guide.

Informing others of their passing

We understand that talking about the death of a loved one can be difficult, however, it’s important that all of their affairs are in order following their passing. This will include notifying the relevant people of their death, including:

  • GP and dentist
  • Employer or education establishment
  • TV Licensing
  • Utility providers
  • Bank or building society
  • Post office
  • Loan or credit card companies
  • Benefits agency
  • Landlord or housing department
  • Accountant
  • Solicitor
  • Inland Revenue
  • Registrar’s office (to register the death)

Deaths should be registered within five days of someone’s passing. If the death occurred in the London borough of Barnet, you’ll be able to register it at the Barnet Register Office:

Barnet Register Office, Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4AX, 020 8359 6400

Registering a death in Barnet

What you will need to register a death:

  • Full name of the deceased (if the person who has died was a married woman, you will also need their maiden name)
  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • Place and date of birth
  • The address of the deceased
  • Their medical card
  • The occupation of the person who has died (and, if applicable, the occupation of their spouse/civil partner)
  • The date of birth of their surviving significant other (if married or in a civil partnership)

Documents that would be useful to bring to the registration, but not imperative:

  • Proof of the deceased address (utility bills or letters regarding council tax can provide this)
  • The birth certificate of the person who has died
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • The deceased’s passport
  • Your own passport

It is advised that once you’re issued with a death certificate, you purchase at least five copies of it. Various people will need to be notified of their passing, and some may require a copy of the death certificate.

Once the death of your loved one has been registered, and depending on the choice you have made, you will receive a green Certificate of Burial/Cremation. This then needs to be handed to the funeral director before a funeral service or memorial ceremony can take place.

Make preparations for the funeral

The next step is to make arrangements for your loved one’s funeral. Churchills Family Funeral Directors are able to take your loved one compassionately into our care. We also offer the families we serve our full support and guidance during such a difficult time.

We’ll then await your instructions before commencing with any funeral arrangements. This is where a decision will be made as to whether cremation or a burial should take place.

As SAIF members, Churchills Family Funeral Directors are dedicated to arranging beautifully touching, compassionate funeral services and ceremonies. If you live in Barnet, Hadley Wood, Whetstone or the surrounding areas, we’ll be proud to serve you.

Call us on 020 8440 1413 Arrange an Appointment
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Address: Churchills Family Funeral Directors, 263 East Barnet Road, Barnet, EN4 8SX
Opening Times: Mon-Thur: 09:00 - 17:00 Fri: 09:00 - 16:30 Sat - Sun: Available by appointment

COVID-19

COVID-19 Update

Funeral services are currently continuing to be held but due to the extreme seriousness of the situation we have been instructed to limit the number of mourners attending services. As these instructions are changing daily please call us for clarification. This decision has been made to enable people to keep to the government's recommended distance from each other in order to limit the risk of infection.

We will be encouraging funeral arrangements to be made by appointment with a maximum of 2 people visiting our office but with a preference for arranging as much as possible by telephone or email.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.

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