Sunlight through treesWhat Happens Next?

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be an overwhelming and confusing time, so it can be helpful to know what to expect next and who will be involved.

Certifying the death (performed by a medical professional)

If the death occurred in a hospital then the staff will contact you. They will also take care of legal matters such as certifying the death. The deceased will be transferred to the hospital's mortuary to be safely retained until you can make arrangement for them to be collected.

Outside of a hospital, the doctor who attended the deceased during their final illness should be contacted to certify the death.

If the death is sudden or unexpected you should contact the next of kin, the family doctor and a minister of the deceased's religion (if any).

If you did not know the deceased well, or think there is any reason to suspect the death was not of natural causes please contact the police and do not touch or remove anything in the vicinity.

Issuing a medical certificate (performed by a doctor or the Coroner)

Following the death, a doctor will try to establish the cause of death uninvasively, but if they are unable to, or if the death was suspicious, they or the police can contact the Coroner. The Coroner may then instruct that a post-mortem examination is carried out. If your loved one is referred to the Coroner you will be informed.

Once the cause of death has been ascertained, the doctor or Coroner will issue a medical certificate which they will send to the Registrar.

Registering the death (you will need to do this in person)

A death must be registered within five days unless a Coroner is involved, but only once the medical certificate has been issued can this be done. Upon receipt of the medical certificate a Registrar should contact you to make arrangements for a face-to-face appointment.

After registering the death you will be given a Certificate of Burial or Cremation (known as a 'green form'), though in certain circumstances a form will be issued by the Coroner instead.

Arranging a funeral

Only once a death has been registered can a funeral be arranged. If you have been given a green form, your chosen Funeral Director will need it in order to make the arrangements.

Should your preference be for Rushcliffe Oaks to be the location for your loved one's cremation please let your Funeral Director know this. They will guide you through the process of organising the funeral and the various pieces of paperwork required.

After the funeral

During the arrangement process you will complete an Application for Cremation form, part of which includes giving instructions for your wishes regarding your loved one's cremated remains (their ashes). Though this is part of the statutory arrangement process you do still have opportunity to change your mind later – with time to reflect you may find your preference changes. There is no obligation to adhere to your initial instructions, so you should ensure that your Funeral Director or the Crematorium are instructed to hold onto the ashes for a time.

Should you choose to change your mind a simple written instruction will ensure that we are able to follow your updated instructions. We do recommend that you take your time with this decision as the scattering of ashes cannot be undone.

You may prefer to have your loved one's ashes returned to you to keep or to scatter in a cherished location, but there is facility at Rushcliffe Oaks for ashes to be scattered or interred within a memorialisation. If either of these options suits your wishes please take a look at the relevant pages of this site using the links above.