When someone dies

Whether a death was expected or not, when someone dies, many people feel worried and unsure about what to do next. In what is a difficult time, those left behind have to come to terms with the loss of a family member or friend as well as contend with the immediate practicalities and contacting a Funeral Director.

These are the following steps you should take when someone dies. Please feel free to contact us on 01752 603552 for further information and speak to a member of the team who will only be too happy to talk you through the process.

When someone dies at home
First contact will be with the deceased’s Doctor or surgery (Devon Doctors when out of hours) who will determine the cause of death and issue a Medical Certificate accordingly and advise you on what to do next. (This may be the following day when the GP surgery is open). The certificate can then be taken to register the death upon appointment at the registry office. If the death is sudden or un-expected, then dial 999.

Once the Doctor has been and verified the death, they will give their consent for you to contact us (01752 603552). We can then make arrangements to bring your loved one into our care.

One of our team is available to support and guide you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – no matter the time.

We will then contact you to discuss the funeral arrangements at a place and time that is comfortable and convenient for you, e.g., your home

If the death is un-expected, sudden or suspicious
You will need to dial 999 and ask the operator for the Ambulance and Police. The operator will help and support you through the steps you may need to take such as resuscitation or preserving the scene.

It is standard practice for the death to be referred to the coroner. The Coroner will then investigate the circumstances and cause of death before releasing the deceased into our care. This may require a post mortem investigation.

A Coroner is involved when:

  • The individual had not been seen by a Doctor in the previous 14 days
  • The death was unexplained or sudden
  • Death occurred during an operation
  • An individual has died in suspicious circumstances or in an accident

An coroner can hold an inquest if the post mortem is inconclusive and death is still unknown or if the person died in police or prison custody, or if it was an unnatural or violent death. Once the inquest has been concluded, the Coroner will issue the correct documentation

The death can be registered once the coroner has made a decision and issued you with the correct documentation, or possibly issue an Interim Death Certificate prior to the conclusion of an inquest.

We can liaise with the Coroner on your behalf and keep you informed of proceedings.

When someone dies in a care or nursing home
The staff of the care / nursing home will contact the appropriate professional (Family Doctor or out of hours) to verify the death. They can then on your behalf, contact us to make the necessary arrangements to bring your loved one into our care, or contact the coroner if the death was unexpected.

You can make the care home aware in advance that you would like to use us as the Funeral Directors. The nursing / care home can then liaise with us directly regarding arrangements when the time comes. We will then contact you when your loved one is in our care.

If the death is in a hospital
  • The nursing staff on the ward / unit will notify the next of kin.
  • You will be put in contact with the hospitals bereavement office, who will talk you through what happens next and arrange a time to collect personal effects together with a Medical Certificate of Death if a coroner is not involved.
  • Nursing staff will make the necessary arrangements for the deceased to be taken to the hospital mortuary until a funeral director has been identified by the family / next of kin.
  • Call 01752 603552 and speak to one of our friendly team who will talk you through the next part of the process.

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20 Mannamead Road, Plymouth,
Devon, PL4 7AA

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Knapman Family Ltd