What to do when someone dies

When faced with the sudden death of a loved one, we often panic or worry about what to do next, the information below is a guide to help with details that you have to make. We are here to help and guide you throughout the whole of the funeral and beyond, in order that you have no more worry than is absolutely necessary at this difficult time.

When someone dies at home

You must Contact the deceased's Doctor. They or the duty Doctor will visit and confirm that the patient has passed away. You should then contact us (any time, day or night, we are available 24 hrs on 01787 248282) to make arrangements for bringing your loved one into our care, to our Chapel of Rest. The Doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, but this may not be available until the next day.

When someone dies at a nursing home

The staff will arrange for a doctor to visit. Once he or she has confirmed the death, the home will contact us to make arrangements for bringing your loved one back into our care to our Chapel of Rest. The Doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, but this may not be available until the next day.

When someone dies in hospital

The doctor, who attended your loved one, will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. The Hospital will advise when the certificate is available and you will need to make an appointment to collect it and any personal effects.

When someone dies unexpectedly

If a death is unexpected or the deceased has not been seen by their doctor recently, the coroner may need to be involved. The Coroner's duty is to investigate all sudden and unexpected deaths. This may include a post mortem examination to establish the cause of death and an inquest; we will guide you along with the Coroner's officer at all times through the process.

Registering a death

If following the death, the doctor can certify as to the cause of death, a death certificate will be issued. This certificate is known as 'The Medical Certificate of cause of death'. The death must be registered within 5 days. (if the death is sudden and a doctor has not seen the deceased during the last 14 days, the Coroner may need to be involved. We will advise you along with the Coroner's officer what you need to do).

You will need to make an appointment to register the death and you will need to take the following with you:

  • The medical Certificate of the cause of death.
  • The deceased's medical card, if possible.
  • The deceased's birth and marriage certificates, if available.

The registrar will ask you:

  • The deceased's first names and surname (and the maiden name, where appropriate).
  • The full postal address of the deceased.
  • The deceased's date of birth (town/county if born in the UK, country if born abroad).
  • The place and date of death.
  • The deceased's occupation and name and occupation of their spouse.
  • If the deceased was married, the date and place of birth of the surviving widow or widower.

Suffolk Registrars offer a one stop arrangement which enables the person who is registering the opportunity to cancel documents like driving licences and passports, these will have to be presented to the registrar to effect this service.

Upon registration, the Registrar will give you 1. Registrars Certificate for Burial or Cremation (otherwise known as the green form) and we require this for the cemetery or crematorium. 2. Certified Copy of an entry in the Register of Deaths (white form). This certificate is often referred to as the 'Death Certificate'  and you may need this for official purposes such as closing bank accounts, Will, pension claims, insurance policies, etc. It is advised that you obtain at least two copies of this certificate, which are currently £3.50 each. 3. Notification/registration of death BD8, you will require this for the department of work and pensions.

Contacts and Beneficial Numbers

Registrars

  • Sudbury. The Town Hall. Telephone 01787 314050 

Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs and Fri 9.30 -12.30. Mon, Tue, Wed and Fri 2.00 - 4.00pm.

  • Bury St Edmunds. St Margarets, 7 The Churchyard. Telephone 01284 352373

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00am - 4.00pm

  • Stowmarket.  Milton House, Milton Road South. Telephone 01449 612054

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am - 12.30pm.  Mon & Thurs 2.00pm - 4.00pm.

  •  Ipswich. Rope Walk. Telephone 01473 583050

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00am - 4.00pm

Coroners Office

  • Bury st Edmunds Telephone 01284 774167
  • Ipswich. Telephone 01473 613500.

For any further information or anything you think we have not covered here, please do call us 24 hours a day on 01787 248282