What To Do When A Loved One Passes

If a loved one sadly passes, it can be a very upsetting time and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. We created this brief guide to ensure that every family has the correct support.

You can call us to start the arrangements at any time, we will give you all the information you require, answer any question that you may have and help guide you the this tough time.

Our local team will meet with you to complete and sign the necessary legal paperwork and forms for the cremation to proceed. There is also help available from the government DWP and if you qualify for assistance, our team will help you with all the paperwork. Call us to start the arrangements any time day or night. We’re open 24/7, 365 days a year and here to help.

When A Death Occurs At Home

If the death was expected, as the deceased had been ill for some time, it would be normal to contact their Doctor who would then visit to certify that death had occurred and determine the cause of death.

This may not happen immediately as the Doctor may be in his / her surgery, or death may happen in the middle of the night, in which case you may decide to wait until morning before calling out the Doctor or alternatively call 999 and upon the police arriving at the home they will call upon a police doctor to allow legal paperwork to be signed and then be released into the funeral directors care.

Later that day or the next, the Doctor will issue the relatives with a form called the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (form 11). This contains a list of who can register the death, known as Informants, at the local Registry Office and what information the Registrar will require.

If you are uncertain whether someone is dead then call the Doctor or dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.

If the cause of death cannot be determined then the Doctor will refer the death to The Procurator Fiscal to decide whether a post mortem will be required.

When A Death Occurs In Hospital

Unless present when death occurs, the relatives will be notified by the nursing staff as soon as possible. Arrangements can then be made with the Hospital Administrative staff to deal with any legal formalities

These will include collecting the issuing a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (issued by a Hospital Doctor) and personal possessions of the deceased.

If it is proposed to have burial service the deceased can be released into the funeral directors care immediately (within hospital mortuary opening hours).

If it is a proposed cremation the hospital will have to complete a cremation document, this involves two doctors signing this document to confirm cause of death, this is often not an immediate action, it is essential that the doctor which cared for the deceased during their last illness signs the first part of the document, however we may have to wait until the doctor is back on their shift.

When Death Occurs Elsewhere

If death occurs away from home then the initial formalities listed above will be completed by the Doctor or Hospital staff in that area.

If relatives wish to bring the body home for the funeral then the arrangements in both areas, including transport, can be taken care of by Fosters Funeral Directors.

Should death occur abroad then our staff can advise accordingly as to what options are available.

Registering A Death

How to register a death with the Registry Office in Scotland

Once the Doctor or Hospital has issued the Medical Certificate (form 11), the Next Of Kin or Applicant must register the death within 8 days at the Registry Office anywhere in Scotland, some offices may wish you to make an appointment.

The person registering the death will be asked for the following information about the deceased:

  • The date and place of death.
  • The full name and usual address. (and maiden name if applicable) The date and place of birth
  • The occupation. (and name and occupation of her husband if applicable)
  • The full name and usual address of the Next Of Kin / Applicant

A Death Certificate can then be obtained on payment of the prescribed fee. This will be needed for closing bank accounts and making claims on insurance policies.

The Registrar will issue you with a white document (form 14) required by the funeral director for Burial or Cremation. An abbreviated Death Certificate which is issued free of charge and if you require a full Death Certificate there is a charge, the current fee is £10 per document, sometimes family wish to purchase more than one, for banks, insurance companies etc. You will also be given a special document which is for Social Security purposes to cancel the payment of pensions and allowances.

Who Should I Notify About The Death?

If a loved one dies it is important that you contact certain organisations to let them know. The Tell Us Once service allows you to tell multiple organisations in one go without having to call them all individually.

Tell Us Once Online: Tell Us Once

When you register a death, they will :

  • Let you know if the service is available in your area
  • Give you the phone number
  • Give you a unique reference number to use the Tell Us Once service online or by phone

Before calling, you’ll need the following details of the person who has passed:

  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Driving licence number
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Passport number

Plus details of :

  • Benefits or entitlements they were receiving, e.g. State Pension
  • Local council services they recieved such as being a Blue Badge holder
  • Public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying in to
  • The name and address of their next of kin
  • The name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
  • The name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’

Tell Us Once service will contact all of these organisations on your behalf:

  • Pension Scheme Provider
  • Insurance Company
  • Bank and Building Society
  • Employer
  • Housing Association, Mortgage Provider or Council Housing Office
  • Utility Companies
  • GP, Dentist, Optician or anyone else providing medical care
  • Charities, organisations or magazine subscriptions that the person who died made regular payments to
  • The Bereavement Register. This removes their details from mailing lists and will stop most advertising mail.

How Much Does A Funeral Cost?

We aim to keep the costs of a funeral as low as possible. Our prices start from £750 and are significantly lower than Pure Cremation, Co-Op and other local funeral directors. Our compassionate and experience team provide the highest quality professional funeral services and choose to pass on the savings to you and your loved ones for the services within our control.

Please visit our How Much Does A Funeral Cost page for further information.

Help With Funeral Costs

If you receive benefits, we offer help to access several options for financial support for a funeral.

Social Fund – Funeral Payment

If you or your partner are getting a low-income benefit and need help towards the cost of a funeral, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment.

Please find below a list of qualifying benefits.

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit (or the Council Tax payer where you live gets a Second Adult Rebate because you are on a low income)
  • Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element
  • Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element

Social Fund – Loan

If you need financial help with the cost of a funeral you may be able to get a Loan. You will have to pay a loan back, but you will not have to pay interest. You may be able to receive a loan if you have been getting income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, pension credit or payment on account of one of these benefits or entitlements for at least 26 weeks.

Social Fund – Widows / Widowers Bereavement Payment

These bereavement payments and widowed parent’s allowance are all based on your spouse or civil partner’s national insurance (NI) contributions.
By your spouse or civil partner, we mean the person you were legally married to, or were in a civil partnership with, at the time of their death.

We hope that this guide manages to make such a confusing time, that little bit clearer. We are on hand 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you are struggling and don’t know what to do next, please call us on 0800 121 8090.