What happens when someone dies

Most deaths occur either in hospital, a hospice, a nursing home or at home where the deceased has been under the care of a palliative team. These account for approximately 80% of all deaths.

In these circumstances, the doctor will issue a Certificate of Cause of Death to the next of kin, who must then take this to the Registrar of Deaths in the area where the deceased person died. It is best to telephone the Registrars to see if it is necessary to make an appointment to register.

There are some instances (e.g. sudden death, a road traffic or industrial accident and certain industrially related diseases) when the death must be reported to the Coroner. The Coroner will carry out a Post-Mortem to establish the cause of death. If the cause of death cannot be established by Post-Morten then the Coroner will open and adjourn an inquest which will be heard at a later date. Once the inquest has been opened and adjourned the Coroner will release the deceased person to the family so that funeral arrangements may be made.

We can offer further advice on the above by telephone on 020 7405 4901.

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