What Next?
What To Do When Someone Dies

If The Death Occurs at Home

When death takes place at home there are often relatives, friends or neighbour’s to assist. Inform the doctor as soon as possible that the death has occurred. The doctor may write out the medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) when they visit the house, or may request you pick the certificate up from the GP surgery at a later date.  Call us as soon as possible so that we can support you and liaise with Doctors.

When Death Occurs in Hospital

When death happens in hospital the procedure is very similar. Apply to the hospital for the medical certificate of cause of death and not your family doctor.

The Coroner

In cases where the death has been reported to the coroner, if the deceased has not been attended by their doctor within 14 days or death occurs suddenly then the death will be reported to the coroner in the area where the death took place. e.g. Tameside/South Manchester or High Peak. The coroner will have to establish the cause of death; this is normally done by a post mortem. The deceased will remain under the coroner’s jurisdiction until the cause of death has been established and only then will the coroner release the deceased for the funeral to take place. The coroner’s procedure usually only takes a few days. The coroner will speak to us at MOSS, we will keep relatives informed of the situation. We will be told when the family can register the death. The coroner’s court will issue the death certificate.


When a death occurs and is due to unnatural causes a coroner’s inquest is necessary. The coroner will open the case and adjourn to a later date. The coroner will then release the deceased to enable the funeral to take place. The coroner will issue an interim death certificate, which can be used for bank or insurance purposes. When the coroner completes the inquest the death can then be registered.

Registering a Death

You should register the death within 5 days.
You can go to any register office but if you use the one in the area where the person died you’ll be given the documents you’ll need on the day.
If you use a different register office the documents will be sent to the office in the area where the person died before they’re issued to you. This means you’ll usually wait a few days.
Registering the death will take about 30 minutes – you might need to make an appointment.

Who can register the death?

You can register the death if you’re:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an administrator from the hospital
  • the person making arrangements with the funeral directors

What you need to do:

Take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you if available, also take:

  • The Deceased’s Birth Certificate
  • Council Tax Bill
  • Driving License
  • Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate
  • NHS Medical Card

You’ll need to tell the registrar:

  • the person’s full name at the time of death any names previously used, e.g. maiden name
  • the person’s date and place of birth
  • their last address
  • their occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
  • whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits
  • You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (e.g. a utility bill).

Documents you’ll get

When you register a death you’ll get:

  • A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) – gives permission for burial or an application for cremation
  • A Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a
  • State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a pre-paid envelope so you know where to send it)

You can buy extra death certificates – these may be needed for sorting out the person’s affairs

Tameside Registrar Office 0161 342 5032
Stockport Registrar Office 0161 217 6007
Glossop Registrar Office 01629 531503

If someone has died and you need immediate assistance,
contact us on 01457 237387

It’s difficult to write a review about a sad event, the usual words don’t really work. Moss were a really lovely company to do business with at the most difficult time. Tom acted efficiently but sensitively, giving us a sense of reassurance that everything was being properly organised. Sheila acted as celebrant for my dad and created an amazingly personal and beautifully crafted ‘service’. After gentle discussion with the family, Sheila captured the essence of my dad’s life. People still comment that they were so touched by Sheila’s words and that it was just the ‘best’ funeral they’d ever attended. Not the right words I know.