Advice for life

What to do when a loved one dies

What to do when a loved one dies

The time following the death of somebody close to you can often be very difficult.

At Hedges solicitors, we specialise in bereavement matters and have helped thousands of people through similar times.

  1. Take a breath and then a quiet moment to say your final goodbyes: there is no need to panic or rush anything.
  2. If your loved one died in hospital, their body will be removed to the hospital mortuary.
  3. If the death was at home, you’ll need to contact their GP. This can be the following morning if the death happened at night.
  4. Contact a funeral director to take your loved one into their care.
  5. Pick up the medical certificate and the ‘green form’ from the GP or the hospital staff.
  6. Arrange an appointment at the local Register Office to register the death within the next 5 days (you’ll need to take the medical certificate with you).
  7. Take the ‘green form’ to the funeral director and start to make the funeral arrangements. Do check to see if your loved one left any specific instructions on this in their will.
  8. Call the loved one’s home insurance provider to notify the death: this is essential to keep the insurance valid!
  9. Ensure your loved one’s home is kept secure and put their bank cards and valuables in a safe place.
  10. There’s no urgency to deal with your loved one's paperwork or legal affairs before the funeral but it might be helpful to start gathering together important paperwork.

To contact our specialist bereavement team, and for a free initial discussion, please call 01491 839839 or email