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Out of hours Burials

What to do first
If someone dies in hospital
If someone dies in hospital, the hospital staff will contact the person named by that person as their 'next of kin'.
If, for religious or cultural reasons, you wish the burial to be performed as soon as possible you must make a request to the doctor or consultant to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death to allow you to register the death.
The hospital will keep the body in the mortuary until the executor or someone acting on their behalf arranges for it to be taken away.
If someone dies elsewhere
If the death was natural and expected, you should contact the doctor who cared for them during their illness. If the doctor can confirm the cause of death, they will give you:
a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death anda formal notice that says that the doctor has signed the medical certificate (this tells you how to get the death registered)
If the person's death is sudden or unexpected, you should contact the person's
family doctor (if you know who it is), or
nearest relative
the police
If you discover a body, you must contact the police
If the cause of death is not clear the doctor or other people who helped to look after the deceased must report the death to the coroner.
Registering the death
The death must be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages within five days.
You will find more details at Registration of deaths page
What happens at the registrar's office
When you go to the registrar you should take:
the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death which shows the cause of death
the person's medical card, if possible and
the person's birth and marriage or civil partnership certificates, if these are available.
You should tell the registrar:
the date and place the person died
the person's usual address (their only or main home)
the person's first names and surname (and maiden name, if this applies)
the person's date and place of birth (the town and county if they were born in the UK and the country if they were born abroad)
The person's occupation and the name and occupation of their husband, wife or civil partner
If the person was getting a pension or benefit from the Government and
the date of birth of their surviving husband, wife or civil partner (if the person was married or in a civil partnership)
The registrar who registers the death will give you the following:
A Certificate of Disposal known as the 'green certificate'. This enables you to apply for the body to be buried or cremated. You should take this to the funeral director or the person arranging the funeral
A death certificate. This is for benefit claim purposes only. You should read the information on the back of the certificate and take the necessary action
A booklet containing information including details about bereavement benefits and income tax.
Registering the death of a stillborn baby
If a baby is stillborn you will be given a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death of a stillbirth signed by the midwife or doctor which you must take to the registrar.
The registrar will give you
A Certificate of Disposal known as the 'green certificate'. This enables you to apply for the body to be buried or cremated. You should take this to the funeral director or the person arranging the funeral
A certificate of registration of stillbirth.
Arranging the funeral
Do not make final funeral arrangements until you are sure that you do not have to report the death to the coroner as this may affect when the funeral can be held.
If you need to arrange a burial or funeral service in line with a particular religion you can get advice from the religious organisation that the person who died belonged to.
For a same day burial a minimum notice period of three hours will be required between the booking and the actual time of interment.  A booking can be made by telephoning the Bereavement and Registration Services Office (telephone 0300 555 2848).  The following initial details will be required:-
Confirmation as to whether the death has been registered
Which Cemetery is required
Time / Date required at Cemetery
Private or public grave
Name of Deceased
Age of Deceased
Size of Coffin
If boards will be required
An Order for Burial must be completed and submitted for approval at least two hours before the time of the interment and, unless a Funeral Director is engaged, the fees must also be paid at this time.
Where a Funeral Director is not engaged the person arranging the funeral will also be asked to sign the bottom of the Order for Burial where the coffin size is given to verify it is the correct size.
It is important to give an accurate coffin size as incorrect information could delay the interment.