Most of us have had to deal with the death of a loved one at least once in our lives. If you have, you will understand how difficult and challenging a time it can be for everyone. But on top of the death comes the paperwork which is required to be completed. One has to take the necessary steps to register the individual's death as well as make arrangements for the funeral. But what, indeed, does it take to register a death and plan a funeral in the UK? Here's your step-by-step guide.
Registering a death
When someone passes away, their death has to be registered; there are different ways to do this. If the individual passes away at home and the person's death has been expected, you need to contact the family physician who will issue the certificate, whereupon the person's death certificate will be given to you. If the individual passes away at home and the death was unexpected or sudden, you may have to report it to the coroner. The coroner is in charge of investigating a sudden or unexpected death. If the person passes away in hospital, it will be the hospital that will issue a death certificate.
When you need to register the person's death, this can be completed at the nearest registry office, but it is usually recommended to register it at the place where the individual passed away. To register their death, you would need to have certain documents, foremost of which is the medical certificate, which will show the reason or cause of death (signed by a physician) as well as their birth certificate, their NHS number or medical card, their civil partnership or marriage certificate, their driving licence, and proof of their address.
Provide the registrar with the person’s full and complete name, their place and date of birth, their place and date of death, their usual or current address, their occupation, and if they were a recipient of any benefits such as State Pension. Once you have provided the necessary information, you will receive a certificate for cremation or burial, a form BD8 or certificate of the death registration, leaflets or flyers regarding bereavement benefits, and the death certificate.
Arranging the funeral
If your loved one issued instructions for their funeral, you can follow these; otherwise, you or other family members may have to decide on either cremation or burial and decide what kind of funeral your loved one will have.
This is where the services of a funeral director can be very convenient. They can provide you with a quote so they can arrange everything that needs arranging. The quote will often include their service fees, the coffin, the transfer of the individual from where they died as well as their care prior to the funeral, the hearse and other necessary paperwork and arrangements (data sourced from funeral directors Leeds firm Carroll & Carroll Independent Funeral Services). You may also have to settle extra charges such as the clergy, the crematorium and the physician or doctor’s fees if applicable.
The costs of a funeral can be expensive. If the individual has a pension scheme or a life insurance policy, this can help pay for it. You can also make use of the individual’s estate (assets, property, or money savings), or a pre-paid plan for a funeral if they have undertaken such a scheme.
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