William Bevan Funeral Directors
William Bevan Funeral Directors - Established over 200 Years

It is usual for people to be unsure of what to do in the immediate aftermath of a bereavement.

We take you through the initial steps and provide advice on other things you may need to think about when someone you know dies.
Registering a Death What if the Coroner is involved?



In most cases you will need to register the death within five days and it is best to visit the register office in the area in which the person died. This will help avoid delays getting the necessary documents. The following people can register a death:

  • Any relative of the person who has died
  • Any person present at the death
  • A person who lives in the house where the person died
  • The person arranging the funeral, but not a funeral director

To register the death you need to have a simple interview with the registrar at the register office. You will need to give the registrar:

  • The full name of the person who has died
  • Their full address
  • Their date of birth
  • Details of where and when the person died
  • Their occupation (if any)

If the person who has died is a married woman, you will need to give her maiden name and her husband’s full name and occupation.

Under certain circumstances the death must be reported by the doctor, hospital or registrar to the coroner (England and Wales) or procurator fiscal (Scotland).

This means that there will be a post mortem or inquest and you may have to delay your plans for the funeral.

In this case there will be no Cause of Death Certificate. The death will be registered once the coroner has made a decision. The time this takes will vary.

Caring for the Deceased

Once you have entrusted the deceased to our care we will take care of them with respect and sensitivity. They will rest with us until the day of the funeral or, if you prefer, they can rest at home or in church, if this is allowed.

We recommend embalming because it delays the natural processes that take place after death. This is particularly important if you want to visit the person in the chapel of rest. We wash and dress everyone in our care. Some people like to provide us with items such as a favourite outfit.

Our funeral directors will carry out your wishes carefully and respectfully but, if you would like to help us look after your loved one, please let us know.

Documents and Certification Viewing the Deceased

You will need to give the registrar:

  • Certificate of Cause of Death (signed by a doctor)

You should also bring the following documents where applicable:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificates
  • NHS Medical Card

At the register office the registrar will issue you with:

  • A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (known as a green form), which you should give to your funeral director as soon as possible
  • A Certificate of Registration of Death, which you should fill in and send to the social security office for the area where the person died
Some people find it helps to see the person who has died and like to bring a small gift or photograph to put in the coffin. Others find it upsetting to see someone they loved who is now dead. It’s a personal choice and we can talk this through with you.
Telling others about the Death

You may want to put an announcement in a local or national newspaper to tell people about the death and the details of the funeral. We can help you with drafting and sending a death announcement to a newspaper.

After the funeral you can also place a thank you message in a newspaper to thank those who attended and sent donations or flowers. We can keep copies for you and laminate them to protect them.

Our Guide to Arranging a Funeral
Click here to download our Funeral Guide which is full of expert advice.