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If reporting a sudden death:
First – call police, then the funeral director
The law, in these circumstances, requires that an official examination takes place, and that the issuance of a Certificate of Death is a coroner’s matter which must be referred through the police. You should be aware that 1 to 5 days may lapse before the coroner’s report can be produced. The report will include a Certificate of Death and a Burial Order or Cremation Permit which are required before funeral arrangements can be completed.
So that proper arrangements can be undertaken in time – it is most important that you notify the funeral director immediately after calling the police, or after the police have notified you.
The funeral director’s responsibility is to extend help and guide you at this time.
Please note: It is not necessary for you to understand the main procedures surrounding the coroner’s enquiry, but if you wish to grasp the key steps, an “overview” is presented on the Coroner's Procedures page.
Second – decide funeral details
To start making funeral arrangements – and to supply information required by the coroner’s office – the funeral director will need to know whether your wish is for a burial or cremation. In either case, particulars concerning the deceased will be required to complete various compulsory forms. The funeral director will help you complete these forms, but it is suggested you gather information now. You will need to supply such particulars of the deceased as: age; residential address; details of marriage and previous marriages (if any); names and ages of children (if any); nearest relative; and the deceased’s usual occupation.
Third – consider your requirements for the funeral
You will need to discuss with the funeral director various arrangements concerning: Newspaper notices; Type of casket; Cemetery or crematorium; Clergy; Floral tributes; Cars; etc. To help you decide on what arrangements you want, a list of services is described on the Our Services and Extra Services pages.
Fourth – set the time of the funeral
Again, details can be discussed with the funeral director regarding the time of the funeral, viewing's and services (as required). The exact time depends on cemetery or crematorium availability, but under normal conditions, the funeral can be scheduled within 48 hours.