The first thing to be done as soon as possible following death, is to get a medical certificate or at the very least set the wheels in motion to get one. Without a medical certificate, the death cannot be registered and without the death certificate the funeral cannot take place.
Typically the medical certificate will be issued by the doctor who has been treating the deceased. It will state the cause of death and be given to you in a sealed envelope and addressed to the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. A ‘Notice to Informant’ may also be issued by the doctor, stating that the medical certificate has been signed while providing instructions on how to register the death.
If death occurred suddenly or unexpectedly the doctor(s) may wish to investigate the cause of death and will ask for permission to carry out a post-mortem examination. This is not something you need to worry about at all and does not indicate that they suspect foul play.
Under certain circumstances, for example a sudden or violent death, a coroner may be called in. A cornier is a lawyer or doctor responsible for investigating a death. In these cases, the coroner may be the only person who can confirm the cause of death. Th doctor will write on the formal notice that they have referred the death to the coroner. A report to the coroner is also necessary if the doctor treating the deceased has not seen him or her after death or during the 14 days before death. This decision may delay the issue of a medical certificate so funeral arrangements may need to be postponed.
Who’s in charge when I die
Your next of kin and your executor(s) are in charge when you die. If you have no will or no close relatives there can sometimes be complications.
Should I make a will
By making a Will you will ensure that your assets, no matter how small, are distributed in line with your wishes.
Making a Will
A will sets out how your estate (your assets) should be distributed, and names an executor(s) to take care of this task. A will is only valid if your signature has been witnessed by 2 adults who are not beneficiaries of the will in anyway.