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When Death Occurs at Home
To describe what needs to be done we've set out a list of procedures for you to follow.
First – call your doctor
Once the doctor satisfies legalities regarding cause of death, and identity of deceased (e.g. the deceased must have
been treated by the same doctor within the previous six months) a medical certificate, Cause of Death Certificate,
will be issued.
Second – call the funeral director
This may be done at the same time or just after the doctor being contacted as we can assist right from the very beginning. Following the issuance of the certificate, the funeral director will transport the deceased to the funeral director’s mortuary. See section below: 'When the doctor is unable to issue a death certificate.'
Third – decide funeral details
You will need to decide, at this stage, whether burial or cremation is required. If burial is requested the funeral can be carried out within 48 hours after receipt of certificate. If cremation, the doctor will issue an Attending Practitioner’s Certificate. The funeral director will help you complete the two remaining forms required by law.
Fourth – consider your requirements for the funeral
You will need to discuss with the funeral director various arrangements concerning: Newspaper notices; Type of casket; Cemetery or crematorium; Clergy; Floral tributes; Cars; etc. To help you decide on what arrangements you want, a list of services is described on the Our Services and Extra Services pages.
Fifth – set the time of the funeral
Again, details can be discussed with the funeral director regarding the time of the funeral, viewings and services
(as required). The exact time depends on cemetery or crematorium availability, but under normal conditions, the funeral can be scheduled within 48 hours.
When the doctor is unable to issue a death certificate
Under certain circumstances the attending doctor may not issue a death certificate. The doctor may not have known or attended the deceased within the past six months or the exact cause of death may need to be reviewed. In this case, certification becomes a Coroner's matter.