What to do when a death occurs

At home

A death occurring at home is often the result of a long illness and although expected is still distressing.
If there are no paramedic’s present, you should telephone the deceased’s doctor’s surgery and inform them. The doctor will attend as soon as possible to confirm and certify death. If the death has occurred outside surgery hours or, if the deceased’s doctor is unavailable, it is usual for an 'on-call' doctor to attend. Once the doctor has certified death, you should contact ourselves and we will arrange to convey your loved one to our Chapel of Rest.
Later that day or the following day, the doctor will issue a medical certificate which will give the cause of death. This will usually be made available for collection from the doctor’s surgery. The medical certificate is required for the death to be registered.

If the death occurs in a nursing or residential home

The staff will make arrangements for the doctor to certify the death and contact your chosen funeral director. The medical certificate will be issued and made available for collection from either the Doctor’s surgery or the nursing / residential home.

If the death occurs in hospital

The nursing staff will notify you and the hospital doctor caring for your loved one will issue the medical certificate. This will usually be made available for you to collect from the hospital bereavement office, an appointment is normally required.

Bereavement offices:

L.G.I. : 0113 3923560

St James’: 0113 2664302

Pinderfields: 01924 212393

Pontefract: 01977 606972

Registering a death

Once the medical certificate has been issued a death must be registered at a registry office in the county where the death occurred usually within 5 working days. Registration must be made by a person deemed to be a qualified informant, this will usually be the next-of-kin or executor. The Registrar or ourselves will advise you about this and answer any questions you may have. Below are details of the local registry offices:

Leeds Town Hall Telephone: 0113 2224408 ( To register at Leeds Town Hall, Rothwell, St George’s Middleton, Garforth, Morley, Pudsey, Armley, Wetherby, Aireborough and Otley.)

Wakefield Registry Office Telephone 01924 302185

(To register at Wakefield)

Pontefract Registry Office Telephone: 01977 722670

(To register at Pontefract)

Once registration has taken place, you will receive the following items: ~ A certificate for burial or cremation. This is a green form which should be brought to ourselves as soon as possible in order for the arrangements for the funeral to be completed. This, in turn will be lodged with either the relevant crematorium or burial authority. ~ A SF200 form, This has to be completed and returned to the D.W.P. to stop any pension entitlement and /or stop any national insurance requests. ~ Certified copies of the entry. (commonly known as the death certificates) These may be needed for Insurance policies, Post office & bank accounts, Pensions, investments, etc. There is a charge for these certified copies payable in cash to the Registrar. If the death has been referred to the Coroner, registration cannot take place until his enquiries are completed. The coroners officer will keep you informed about this and the Coroner will issue his own certificates after which you will be able to register the death. If you think you may be eligible to any financial help from the Department of Work & Pensions (Social Fund) towards the cost of the funeral, a leaflet and application form should be available from the Registrar's office

Sudden deaths and the role of the coroner

If the death was sudden or unexpected the doctor or paramedic’s will contact the police who will attend and the matter will need to be referred to the Coroner.
The police attend all such cases and their attendance is simply routine and should not cause you any concern. They will file a report for the coroner which their office will then act upon. The police will contact the Funeral Director and arrangements will be made for the deceased to be conveyed to our Chapel of Rest and if instructed by the Coroner, the hospital mortuary for further investigation.
The role of the Coroner is to investigate all sudden, unexpected, unexplained and accidental deaths. Often the Coroner will be involved simply because the deceased was not seen by their doctor in the 14 days prior to death, this being a legal requirement for the doctor to be able issue the medical certificate.
When the Coroner is involved the next-of -kin will have most contact with a coroner’s officer who will have been appointed to look after them. The coroner’s officer will guide you through the investigation and answer any questions you may have.
In most cases the involvement of the Coroner will not delay the funeral.