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What next?

This can be a confusing time.  If you have to organise the affairs of the deceased it is a good idea to make a simple check list for those days when it seems that everything needs to be done at the same time.

Have a note of the Funeral Director's / Coroner's Officer's number next to the phone.  Keep a notepad near the phone. Do not try to do it all at once and don't be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.

Try not to let the involvement of the Coroner worry you.  If there is to be an inquest then the Coroner's Officer or Clerk will be able to keep you up to date with the progress of the inquiry.  The Coroner will speak to you and discuss any problems relating to the Inquest if you wish.

Find out if the deceased made a will.  If so, an executor will have been appointed. 

Postmortems

If the Coroner orders a post-mortem examination then the Coroner's officer will organise the removal of the deceased to and from the hospital.  The Coroner's office will pay for this service.

Funerals

Most funerals are arranged by a member of the family.  If there are no relatives then anyone close to or appointed by the deceased can make the arrangements.

If there is a post mortem then there may be a delay in releasing the body of the deceased.  Be aware of this when you plan the date of the funeral - allow plenty of time.

You are not obliged to retain the services of the Funeral Director appointed by the Coroner to transport the body of the deceased to and from the hospital.  

Useful information on what is involved can be found on the Citizens Advice Bureau website

Your local Minister of Religion will also be able to help you.

You can obtain advice on a non-religious (secular) service from the British Humanist Society. Tel: 020 7079 3580   Fax: 020 7079 3588

If you are the executor, then in the weeks following a death you will need to deal with business affairs connected with the deceased.  If there is to be an Inquest you will not receive a full Death Certificate until after the full Inquest.  You will need an Interim Death Cerificate to show to the bank, building society, insurance company, pension provider, National Savings or any other body which needs official confirmation of the death. 

There will be other people to notify, if the deceased lived alone or was the bill payer then these are only some of the people you may need to notify - 

  • the Council,
  • the service providers (gas, electricity, water, telephone, internet service provider, care alarm service, TV licence authority, buildings and contents insurer), 
  • any visiting organisations eg. meals on wheels, mobile hairdresser, milkman, news agent (if papers are delivered).
  • Remember that if you organise the funeral the bill will be sent to you.  You may be entitled to bereavement benefits
  • Redirect the mail.  The Bereavement Register is a service to remove the deceased's details from direct mailing lists. Contact the Royal Mail to redirect or hold post being delivered to an empty house.