The information system below can help clarify any uncertainties you have about the funeral process.
WHEN A DEATH OCCURS
If death occurs in a Hospital
In the event of an expected death occurring in a hospital, the bereavement team will promptly reach out to the next-of-kin to offer support and guidance.
They will arrange for the collection of any personal belongings and important documents, including the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and the hospital’s release form. If they issue one. The hospital will ensure that the deceased is cared for until arrangements are made for transfer to a chapel of rest.
The staff will also inform you of the steps required to properly register the death, ensuring a smooth and dignified process.
If a death occurs at Home or a Nursing or Care Home.
At the time of a passing at home or in a nursing or care home, it is important to reach out to the GP who will come to examine the deceased and provide a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. They will also guide the next-of-kin on what to do next.
To ensure a smooth process, please inform the nursing or care home staff of your desired chapel of rest and whether you would like a cremation or burial to take place. Additionally, once the GP has issued the formal notice regarding the procedures for registering the death, kindly contact us and we will take care of collecting your loved one and bringing them to the chosen chapel of rest.
Our aim is to make this difficult time as stress-free as possible, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
When the death is Unexpected
In the event of a sudden death or if the deceased has not seen a doctor in the past fourteen days, the death will need to be reported to the Coroner who may require a post-mortem or inquest. If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, they will handle the reporting process and keep you informed of what comes next.
In the case of an unexpected death outside of a hospital or nursing home, it is important to immediately call 999 and request both an ambulance and police presence. Explain the situation to them and they will take care of transporting the deceased to a mortuary and informing the Coroner.
Our funeral directors will be in touch with you once the Coroner has completed their work, which can take several days. The Coroner will keep you updated throughout the process and inform you when you are able to register the death and proceed with funeral arrangements.
REGISTERING THE DEATH
All deaths must be registered at the nearest Registry Office within five working days from the date of death. We recommend contacting the Registry Office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. During the appointment, please bring along the ‘Medical Cause of Death Certificate’.
If the death was referred to the Coroner, the bereavement officer will provide guidance on when and how to register the death.
The following information about the deceased will be required:
- Full name
- Date and place of birth (bring original birth certificate if available)
- Last known address
- Last occupation
- State pension or any other benefits received
- Marital status (bring Marriage Certificate if applicable)
- Age of surviving widow/widower
The following information about the person registering the death is also needed:
- Full name
- Relationship to the deceased
Please make sure to bring proof of your identity and address.
The Registrar will provide you with:
- A Death Certificate (cost varies depending on the borough and additional copies can be purchased)
- A Green Certificate, if applicable, which authorizes the burial or cremation process. Note that this form is not issued if there was a post-mortem or if the deceased is being repatriated. If you receive one, please provide it to us as soon as possible.
- A Certificate of Registration of Death for Social Security purposes.
CREMATION OR BURIAL
When you choose a cremation, you have the option of having a memorial service either at the crematorium or another venue such as a place of worship, followed by a shorter ceremony known as “The Committal” at the crematorium.
Typically, you are allotted around 30 minutes in the crematorium chapel for the service. During this time, you can include four pieces of music. If you would like to have a longer service, the crematorium may offer the option for an extended service for an additional fee. Please let us know when arranging the funeral if you prefer an extended service.
After the service, there are several options for the cremated remains. The family may choose to keep them, scatter them, bury them, or entrust them to our care until a decision is made. We will be happy to discuss these options with you when making funeral arrangements.
What to think about
When it comes to arranging a funeral, our funeral directors will provide guidance and support throughout the process to make sure everything runs smoothly. Before your appointment, here are a few things to consider:
- You can begin making funeral arrangements before registering the death, but the funeral cannot proceed without the necessary paperwork from the registrar. If you encounter any issues obtaining this paperwork, the hospital staff and our funeral directors will assist you.
- Decide whether you prefer a cremation or burial for the deceased. If you are unsure, we have resources available to help you make an informed decision.
- If you would like the deceased to be dressed in their own clothes, please bring them to the funeral home or send them as soon as possible after making arrangements.
- If you have a preferred date and time for the funeral, we will do our best to accommodate it. However, keep in mind that certain dates may not be available, so it’s helpful to have a range of dates in mind.
- Browse our coffin selection to choose a fitting final resting place for the deceased.
- If you require transportation for family and friends, our limousines can accommodate up to 6 passengers and will follow the hearse to and from the place of worship, crematorium, or cemetery.
If you have any questions or would like advice on any aspect of our funeral services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
ARRANGING A FUNERAL
At West & Sons Funeral Directors, our goal is to provide a compassionate and professional funeral service that meets the unique needs of your family. We take the time to listen to your needs and guide you through every step of the funeral process, offering support and guidance along the way.
For those who have already registered the death, please bring the green certificate from the registrar. If the death is yet to be registered, we still can make arrangements with you, but kindly request that you provide the certificate to us as soon as possible.
We will take care of all the necessary paperwork and certifications, including medical forms and coordinating with Coroners when necessary. When it comes to cremation, we will also assist you in deciding on the final disposition of the cremated remains, such as collection, scattering, or choosing an urn or keepsake to store the ashes.
For burials, we will need information on the location of the grave, whether it is a new or pre-existing one. We may need proof of residency or official deeds to the grave, and will go over these details with you when you come in for a consultation.
Other things to know
When arranging the funeral, we will discuss important elements such as the type of service, location, date and time, casket or coffin, transportation, and after-care services. We will also handle all administrative tasks, including cost and payment, paperwork, and any external arrangements such as music, flowers, and order of service printing.
Once your loved one is in our care, we will dress them in the clothing of your choice or provide a tasteful funeral gown. If you choose to provide personal clothing, please bring it in as soon as possible and let us know of any special instructions.
CHAPEL OF REST
West & Sons Chapel
At our funeral home, we understand that deciding whether to visit the deceased is a deeply personal choice. Our team is available to offer guidance and support should you need it. If you prefer to dress the deceased in personal clothing, feel free to bring it with you. If not, we will provide a dignified funeral gown. We also welcome families who wish to prepare the body themselves for personal or religious reasons.
To arrange a visit, please contact our office. Our office manager will greet you and provide a tour of our tranquil chapel of rest. We will work with you to schedule a time that is convenient for you to pay your respects to your loved one.