What to do when someone dies at home

When living with a loved one whom you expect will pass away at home or in their sleep, knowing what to do in the following instances can be especially difficult when you do not already have a plan of action in place. We always recommend preparing for the expected death at home as early as possible in order to make the funeral process run as smoothly as possible.

Unlike when someone dies in hospital or someone dies in a care home, you'll likely not have anyone around you who can provide professional advice. That's why it's important to know what you'll need to do before that happens.

On this page:

Register the death

If the death was expected and occurred in the day, you will need to contact the deceased's GP or ring the NHS helpline on 111 as soon as possible. If the death occurred at night you will need to call 111 and notify the GP the next morning. If the cause of death is known, the medical professional will issue a Medical Certificate, allowing you to register the death.

If the death was unexpected, you will need to call 999 and the operator will issue instructions on what to do next. It is important to leave the area untouched apart from in an attempt to resuscitate. Upon arrival, the medical professionals will be able to confirm the death and will likely contact a coroner to perform a post-mortem examination on the deceased. An unexpected death cannot be registered until the coroner's work has been completed. They will instructions upon completion.

Care is arranged

Next, you’ll need to make arrangements for the deceased to be cared for until you’re able to hold a funeral. If the deceased held a prepaid funeral plan, you’ll need to get in touch with the relevant funeral provider and make them aware of what’s happened. If the deceased didn’t have a prepaid funeral plan, you’ll need to instruct the services of a funeral provider of your choosing like us here at Distinct Cremations.

Whether funeral care was pre-arranged or instructed at the time of death, your funeral provider will carefully explain the next steps to you and help you to understand what to expect thereafter.

We are open 24/7 and will make all the arrangements from taking the deceased into our care to completing all the paperwork. Our customer service specialists will liaise with you to make arrangements for the cremation and keep you updated.

Call us to arrange on 01543 212 000

View our Direct Cremation

Entering the care of the funeral provider

While in the care of the funeral provider, the deceased will be respectfully cared for throughout their stay. At Distinct Cremations, this means they’ll be bathed, including a hair wash and brush, and dressed ahead of the funeral. We will also conduct any additional services, if needed, such as the removal of pacemakers or artificial mechanisms which is included in the cost.

We'll also make provisions to rest the deceased in their coffin to be transported to the funeral venue and we will let you know the date of the cremation.

After the funeral

Once the funeral has taken place, at Distinct Cremations we will hand-deliver the ashes back to you within 14 days of the cremation at no extra cost. You can also have the ashes scattered in the crematorium's garden of remembrance if you prefer.

If you have chosen a different provider, they will notify you of the arrangements regarding the return of ashes. If you choose a burial, it is recommended that a headstone be erected no sooner than 6 months so the ground around the burial site can reset properly. The Registered Grave Owner will notify you of the details.

Arranging a funeral with Distinct is straightforward and our customer service specialists are available 24/7 for any of your questions.

1. Call Us

When you are ready, you can call us any time of the day, 365 days a year, and we will collect your loved one from the place of death, bringing them into our care.

Call On 01543 212 000

2. Help with the paperwork

Whilst your loved one is cared for in our high quality mortuary facilities, our customer service specialists will contact you to book the cremation and complete all the paperwork.

3. Cremation and ashes

We will tell you the cremation date, if you wish to know. Your loved one's can then be scattered in our garden of remembrance or returned to you at no extra cost.

What to do when someone dies at hospital

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When someone dies in a care home

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The definitive guide to arranging a funeral

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Bereavement support & guidance

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How long after a death is a cremation? | Distinct Cremations

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