What to do when someone dies

At a time when you need practical support and guidance, we are here.

Tell Us Once is a useful tool to report a death to most government organisations in one go.

Please click the link below.

Tell us once

We are very aware many people may have never arranged a funeral service before and that at a time of loss most will naturally feel very vulnerable and completely out of their depth.

Our core focus is to provide caring and practical support, advice and guidance, so you and your family have the time you need to consider and decide on the type of funeral service you require for your loved one. Our role is to organise and arrange everything in line with the individual and collective wishes of each family. Having appointed us as your funeral director the first step is for us to bring the person who has died into our care, either from their home, care home, hospice, or hospital. Everyone who is brought into our care is looked after at our own premises in Keighley.

This information is for guidance only, however whatever the situation if you are unsure in any way as to what you should do next please contact us immediately (01535 690 979 – 24 hours a day) and one of our team will be able to advise and assist.

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At home

  • During working hours contact the doctor’s surgery to advise them that death has occurred. Depending on the time of day the surgery should arrange for a doctor, or suitably qualified person (e.g. registered nurse; hospice nurse; paramedic) to attend to formally confirm that life is extinct. If death occurs out of hours you will need to follow the pre-recorded instructions as given by the surgery.
  • Once permission has been given by a suitably qualified person that the person can be moved, please call us on 01535 690 979 – 24-hour service, and we will arrange for members of our team to attend to move the person into our care at the earliest opportunity, which will vary depending on the time of day.
  • Please refer to the important ‘Registering the Death’ section below, which details where, how and who can formally register the death.

In a Nursing Home or Hospice

  • If a resident dies in a nursing home a GP or qualified nurse on duty can verify death has occurred, however not all care/nursing homes have suitably qualified staff on duty.
  • Most nursing homes will record the resident’s wishes on their care plan. This will also specify the chosen Funeral Director and if they are to be cremated or buried.
  • With the family’s and doctor’s permission, the deceased can be brought into our care
  • Please refer to the important ‘Registering the Death’ section below, which details where, how and who can formally register the death.

In Hospital

  • If death occurs in a hospital, the doctors and nurses will liaise with the Hospital Bereavement Office, who will arrange the appropriate paperwork. You should notify the Hospital Bereavement Team about which funeral director you have appointed.
  • The hospital doctor will issue a Medical Cause of Death Certificate issued to the next of kin so that the death can be registered at the Registry Office.
  • Once the formalities have been completed, the hospital will notify the funeral director when it is appropriate to convey the person from the mortuary into our care.
  • Please refer to the important ‘Registering the Death’ section below, which details where, how and who can formally register the death.
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unexpected death

Unexpected, Sudden or Unexplained Death

  • If a death is unexpected, sudden, or unexplained please dial 999 and request ambulance and police immediately, explaining the circumstances. In the event of an unexpected death occurring HM appointed Coroner will become involved who may order a post-mortem to be carried out to establish an accurate cause of death. The Coroner’s officer will keep you informed should this be the case and will also liaise with us as your appointed funeral director.
  • Please note that the registration of death process in the event of an unexpected death is different to that of an expected death and therefore it is best to talk to one of our team, who will explain the different possible scenarios, depending on the individual circumstances at that time.
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Registering a death

Since national Covid restrictions were removed by the Government, with effect from 28th March 2022 the method of registering a death has reverted back to the pre-Covid system, with one exception (* see below). Please see below for guidance in making an appointment and how to register a death.

Unless a death has been referred to the Coroner, formal registration of a death should take place within 5 working days with the ‘Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages’ for the county in which the death occurred.

The deceased’s Doctor’s Surgery, or Bereavement Team in a Hospital or Hospice, will electronically send the ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’ (‘MCCD’) once produced directly to the appropriate Registry Office. (*unlike pre-Covid registration you are now NOT required to collect this document to take with you when you register).

You will need to pre book an appointment to go to the Registrar’s office to formally register a death. (Registration by telephone is no longer permitted)

Bradford District

For registration in Bradford Metropolitan District go online using the website link below taking you to the ‘Register a death’ page.

Tel: 01274 432 151

Register a death

Craven District

For registration in Craven District either telephone the number below for an appointment or go online using the website link below taking you to the ‘Registering a death’ page.

Tel: 01609 780 780

Register a death

Leeds District

For registration in Leeds District either telephone the number below for an appointment, or go online using the website link below taking you to the ‘Register a death’ page.

Tel: 0113 222 4408

Register a death

When registering the Registrar will request the following:

  1. Date and place of death
  2. Full name and surname (and maiden name if the deceased was a woman who had married).
  3. Date and place of birth
  4. Occupation of deceased
  5. Address of the usual place of deceased’s residence
  6. Information regarding if the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds.
  7. If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower.

Following registration the Registrar will email a ‘Certificate for Burial or Cremation’ (known as the ‘GREEN FORM’) direct to the Funeral Director. This form is the legal documentation required, which is ultimately submitted by your appointed funeral director to the crematorium or church/cemetery authorities, prior to the funeral service taking place.

Copies of the Death Certificate may also be purchased and provides proof of the death for legal purposes. These reasons may include accessing pension benefits, dealing with bank accounts and investments, claiming life insurance and settling an estate.

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How soon can the funeral take place?

In most cases you should allow 10-15 working days to make all the funeral arrangements and notify family and friends. Our advice is not to rush and for families to try to take time in getting everything sorted, at what is of course an incredibly difficult period in anyone’s lives.  At certain times of the year seasonal factors may also directly influence the time in which cremations, in particular, can take place, which may result in a longer than normal period before the funeral can take place. Either way, we will endeavour to work to your timescales, and we will support and advise you in your decisions right through the process.

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