Reporting a death

For information about cemeteries and graves, click here.

In the event of a death
By law, a death must be registered. This is usually done in the county or borough where it occurred. It is possible to register the death in another area by arrangement. Book an appointment to register a death.

When the death occurs at home:
The nearest relative and family doctor should be informed. The doctor will complete a certificate stating the cause of death. If cremation is desired, two doctors are required to sign a certificate. The doctor's certificate must be taken to the registrar in the registration sub-district where the death occurred, normally within five days.

Tamworth Registrar of Births and Deaths, Church Street, Tamworth, Staffs, B79 7BX. Tel: 01827 475885.

When the death occurs in hospital:
A certificate will be issued as above. The hospital may wish to carry out a post mortem. Before this occurs, consent must be obtained from the nearest relative.

When the death occurs suddenly:
If the doctor had not seen the patient in the last 14 days, the coroner must be informed who will decide a post mortem is needed. If death occurred from natural causes, the coroner will issue notification that an inquest is not required. If an inquest is needed to establish the cause of death, the coroner will be informed.

Using a funeral director:
Most people use a funeral director to make funeral arrangements on their behalf. You will need to provide information about the deceased such as their full name, age, occupation and religion. You will also need to tell the funeral director if a minister is required for the ceremony.

Before arranging a funeral
It is important to check if the deceased left any instructions with their will, such as donating their body for medical research organ donation. Funeral arrangements may have already been made using a pre-payment plan, or specific instructions left concerning the ceremony. If there is a will, the executor has the right to decide whether it should be a burial or cremation (even if the will expresses a particular wish). If there is no will, the next of kin should decide.

Burial
If a grave has already been purchased, you will need to provide the deeds or some other documentation to show proof of ownership. If a new grave is required,you should decide which cemetery you wish it to take place in and who will be the registered owner. The funeral director will ensure that all relevant documentation is delivered to the burial authority in good time.

Cremation
Advise the doctor that cremation is desired to ensure the two signatures are obtained. In addition to the death certificate, a statutory declaration is required. The funeral director will give you the relevant forms which must be completed by the executor, the nearest surviving relative and witnessed by any householder to whom the applicant is known. There is no Crematorium in Tamworth, the nearest is Sutton Crematorium, Tel: 0121 3083812.

Arranging the funeral yourself
There is no legal requirement to use a funeral director. If the death occurred at home, the deceased's doctor and nearest relative should be contacted as soon as possible. Once the doctor has certified the cause of death, the body may be washed and dressed. If the death occurred in hospital the family will need to collect the body from the mortuary. A coffin can be made or purchased from a funeral director, and a large estate car or similar vehicle may be used for transportation of the deceased.

Arrangements for the ceremony can usually be made direct with the cemetery or crematorium. If a religious ceremony is required on the day of the funeral, the local church usually has a list of ministers you may contact.

  • It is your right to organise a funeral without the use of a funeral director.
  • It is your right, as executor (or next of kin) to be given the body by a mortuary, hospital, etc. in order to carry out a funeral without a funeral director.
  • It is your right to obtain a coffin (minimum bio-degradable type)

Bereavement Support
There are many organisations that can provide general counselling and support such as:

  • Cruse Bereavement Care - Day-by-day helpline for adults and young people: 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.00pm) Website: www.cruse.org.uk

  • Child Bereavement UK - Support and information line: 01494 568 900 (Mon - Fri, 9.00am to 5.00pm) Website: www.childbereavement.org.uk