At this most stressful time it can be difficult to know what to do first, who to contact and what paperwork you’ll need.  The details below are just a brief overview, please contact me on 01234 363191 for more guidance.

At Home

The doctor or surgery who has been treating your relative should be contacted. Once the doctor has attended he will ask you to contact a funeral director to come to your home – I will come at any time of day or night. The doctor will then prepare a ‘medical certificate of cause of death’ for you to collect from the surgery.

At a Nursing Home

Simply ask the matron or staff member in charge to contact me and let me know when you are ready to discuss funeral arrangements.

In Hospital

The Bereavement Service will keep you informed at the hospital and you can call us as soon as you are ready to do so. Sudden or unexpected deaths are referred to the Coroner, who will usually request a post mortem examination is carried out. Since the Coroner will be establishing the cause of death they will keep you informed of when a “Medical certificate of cause of death” is available.

What you’ll need when you register the death

You will need to take the “Medical certificate of cause of death” with you to the Registrars and provide the full name (including maiden name for a married lady), address and date of birth. You will also need the details of where and when they died.

The Registrar will issue you with copies of the “Medical certificate of cause of death” which may be needed by relevant parties, including banks, solicitors for probate, life insurance etc. They will also issue a green “Certificate for Burial or Cremation”. This is the certificate I will need as your funeral director for completing the burial or cremation paperwork.

Registering the death

The law requires that a death must be registered within 5 days by a near relative or someone present at the time of death.

The local Bedford registrar is:

Bedfordshire Registration Service
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
MK42 9AP
Telephone: 01234 267422

They are open Monday to Friday from 9am until 4.30pm, and an appointment system is in operation.