When Someone Dies at Home or in a Nursing Home

When Someone Dies at Home or in a Nursing Home

Where the death is expected, if the cause of death is quite clear and the doctor had attended the deceased during their last illness he or she will give you the following:

  • a medical certificate that shows the cause of death (this is free of charge and will be in a sealed envelope addressed to the registrar)
  • a formal notice which states that the doctor has signed the medical certificate and tells you how to get the death registered.

If the body is to be cremated, the doctor will arrange for the signature of a second doctor required to complete the cremation certificate. Doctors charge fees for providing cremation certificates.

In a few cases, the doctor may report the death to the coroner for potential further investigations.

If it was the wish of the dead person or their nearest relative that the body or organs should be donated for transplant or medical research purposes, the doctor will have to be contacted quickly. Organs cannot normally be used when death occurs at home, due to the time delay, but the body can still be donated to medical science.

If you have purchased a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan, you should now contact the person or company named on your guaranteed funeral plan certificate. They will arrange (almost) everything for you.

You may wish to contact the deceased’s minister of religion if you have not already done so. Arrangements for laying out the body to receive potential visitors is an option and organising the funeral can be made by a funeral director.