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What to Do When Someone Dies

When Someone Dies At Home

If somebody dies at home after a period of illness, it is important that the Doctor is called as soon as possible. Following your call to the GP the doctor will attend as soon as they are able to certify that the person has died and they will then issue the family with a Medical Cause of Death Certificate. The Certificate for the Cause of Death is the principle document needed to Register the Death. You are able to call us on 01670 457 575 day or night. We are here to take your call and discuss when you would like us to attend and care for your loved one. It is not necessary to have the death certificate before contacting us. On completing our duties at the house, we will then take your loved one to our Chapel of Rest at Station Road, Ashington.


The following days are when a family are able to begin the process of making arrangements for the funeral and registering the death at the Registrars Office. Registration of the death should be carried out within 5 days of the death and on receiving the Medical Cause of Death Certificate from the GP. In this area call  0345 600 6400  (option 4 then option1) to make an appointment to register the death with your local Register Office. Please follow this link for further useful information from the Northumberland County Council web site


When Someone Dies In a Hospital or a Care Home  

If the death occurs in a hospital or within a care home, it is not the initial responsibility of the family to make calls to the doctor. This is taken care of by the Bereavement Officer at the Hospital or the senior nurse in a care home.  They will help and guide you.

When A Death is Unexpected

If the death is referred to the Coroner and a Post Mortem is required, the family will be guided by the Coroners Office. The family should be aware that the initial conveyance may be carried out by someone other than their chosen Funeral Director. This will not mean that the Funeral Director will be used for the funeral. A family has the right to choose who they wish to
make arrangements with.

Registering the Death

A death must be registered within 5 days. This period can be extended in exceptional circumstances or if the Coroner is involved. Registering a death will take about half an hour. If the death took place in Northumberland you can register at any of the Northumberland Register Offices. Call 0345 600 6400 option4 then option1 for an appointment.

They also have a ‘Tell Us Once’ service which means that at the time of registration you can also inform various Government and Council Departments of the death. If you intend to use this service you will need to take additional documents and request a double appointment. Please refer to page 15 of the online Bereavement Guide

Questions You Will Be Asked About Yourself as the Person Registering:

  • Your relationship to the deceased

  • Your full name
  • Your usual address

Who Can Register a Death?

A death can be registered by a relative, someone present at the death, an occupant of the residential home or an official of the hospital where the death took place, the person making the funeral arrangements or the person in charge of the body. Most deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. The Registrar would normally only accept another informant if no relative is available.

Documents Required When Registering a Death

To register a death, you’ll have to provide three documents. Make sure that you have everything so thing will go smoother.

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death Signed by a Doctor (Unless the Coroner Is Involved)
  • Birth Certificate of the Deceased
  • Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificates of the Deceased

Questions You Will Be Asked About the Deceased

You will be asked several questions about the deceased when you get to the Register Office. It is best that you prepare for the following questions so that everything will flow quicker.

  • Full Name of the Deceased
  • Date and Place of Death 
  • Date and Place of Their Birth
  • Their Last Occupation 

If the deceased had been married or widowed, or had formed a civil partnership, you would also be asked to provide the following information:

  • Full Name of the Spouse or Civil Partner
  • Date of Birth of a Surviving Spouse or Civil Partner
  • Their Address
  • Detail of Any Public Sector Pension

You will also be asked some questions about yourself such as:

  • Your Full Name
  • Your Usual Address 
  • Your Relationship to the Deceased

Documents Issued by the Registrar

A certificate for Burial or Cremation (sometimes referred to as the Green Form) giving permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made. If the deceased is to be buried or cremated outside of England or Wales the Coroner will issue the necessary forms.

A Certificate of Registration or Notification of Death (form BD8) issued for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)/Benefits Agency. (for advice and guidance regarding benefits and entitlements please call 0845 6060 265). Death Certificates cost £11 each and you are advised to get several copies at the time of registration.

Local Register Offices in Northumberland

Here is a list of Register offices in Northumberland. You can easily make inquiries and book an appointment by contacting them.

Ashington Register Office

Town Hall, 65 Station Road,
Ashington NE63 8RX

Phone: 0345 600 6400


Blyth Register Office

Blyth Library, Bridge Street,
Blyth NE24 1DJ

Phone: 0345 600 6400


Cramlington Register Office

Concordia Leisure Centre, Forum Way,
Cramlington NE23 6YB

Phone: 0345 600 6400


Morpeth Register Office

Morpeth Town Hall, Market Place,
Morpeth NE61 1LZ

Phone: 0345 600 6400


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