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If Someone Dies

What To Do If Someone Dies

It is a legal requirement for a doctor to confirm that someone has passed away. There is no need to move the patient. If a doctor has recently seen the patient, a death certificate can normally be issued. However, in the event of unexpected death, the doctor will need to notify the coroner. Please be aware that when undertakers from outside of the practice area are chosen it can cause delay in issuing the cause of death certificate.  This is as the doctor must see the patient in order to issue the certificate. 

If Death Occurs At Home
  1. Telephone the doctor. They will visit to confirm death has taken place.
  2. Contact the funeral director to inform them that their services will be required. (Phone numbers can be found in Yellow Pages and the local newspapers.)
  3. Collect the doctor’s certificate from the surgery. (You will be told when this will be available for collection.) This will not be possible if it is necessary to involve the coroner.
If Death Occurs In Hospital
  1. Contact the funeral directors to inform them that their services will be required.
  2. Collect the doctor’s certificate from the hospital.


  1. Take the death certificate to the registrar’s office for the area in which the death took place. You will also need to take the deceased’s medical card if available.
  2. Take the green form to the funeral directors who will take over complete responsibility for arranging

  the funeral.

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