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BEREAVEMENT GUIDE • Date and place of death

• The full name of the person (including maiden name) and their last address

• The person’s date and place of birth

• The person’s occupation and, in the case of a woman who was married or widowed, full name and occupation of her husband.

• If the person was still married, the date of birth of their husband or wife

• details of any state pension or benefits the person was receiving

When you have registered the death, the

registrar will give you a green certificate (for which there is no charge) to give to the funeral director. This allows either burial or cremation to go ahead. You will also get a form to send to the

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in Northern Ireland the Social Security Agency. This allows them to deal with the person’s pension and other benefits. 4. DONATION OF ORGANS The person who died may have wanted

to donate organs for transplant. This will be easier if they were on the NHS Organ Donor Register, carried a donor card and had discussed the donation plans with their family. Relatives will still be asked to give their consent before donation. Most organ donations come from people who have died while on a ventilator in a hospital intensive care unit. For more information about organ donation and transplantation, email: or visit www. 5. TAKING CARE OF THE BODY If the death happened in a hospital or

hospice, they will keep the body in a private room so the family can visit, before moving it to the mortuary. You can take personal belongings, jewellery and clothes home. Alternatively, you can take the body home if you’d rather, so long as you can keep the space cool. Health and care staff usually prepare the

body, but you can say if you want to do it yourself or help. You may prefer a funeral

director to take over or ask attending medical staff or an end of life companion to help. If you are using a funeral director, they can

make arrangements to collect and keep the body until the funeral. You can arrange for the family to visit the body at the funeral parlour. Usually the body is washed and dressed and if the funeral director is doing this, they will ask you to bring in some clothes. This can be a favourite outfit, something they were comfortable in, or clothes they were particularly fond of. Sometimes, depending on the cause of

death, funeral directors might advise against viewing. Take time to think about this. Saying goodbye can be an important part of closure and it is entirely your decision. 6. PLANNING THE FUNERAL Most families leave the funeral

arrangements to the head of the family, or the person closest to the deceased. They can organise it with, or without, the help of a funeral director and personalise it as much as they like. In some cases the deceased may have planned their own funeral in advance, although there is no legal obligation for relatives to follow these instructions. Occasionally, relatives may want burial or

cremation to take place abroad. The rules about this are very complex and the help of a specialist funeral director will be needed. Permission from a coroner is always needed before a body can be sent abroad. If there are no relatives or friends to arrange

a funeral, in England and Wales, the local authority or health authority will arrange a simple funeral. In Northern Ireland, the local Health and Social Services board can do this. The public authority that arranges the funeral will then try to recover the cost from any money left by the person who died. 7. CHOOSING A FUNERAL DIRECTOR Many people choose to use a professional

funeral director who should see that the deceased is dealt with in a dignified way. Friends, family, clergy or your doctor may be

able to recommend local funeral directors. Most local companies are also listed in the telephone directory. Different funeral directors can charge

different amounts for the same service, so try to get more than one quotation to compare costs. Ask for a detailed price list to see what they are charging for their services before making a decision. Once you have chosen a funeral director, make sure you:

• get a written quotation giving details of all costs you will be charged

• ask about fees paid by the funeral director to others (called disbursements) for things

like newspaper announcements Funeral directors are not regulated or

licensed but most are members of one of two trade associations: the National Association of Funeral Directors and the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors. Funeral directors in these associations agree to provide written estimates as soon as possible before the funeral takes place, so you know in advance what the likely costs will be. You may need to sign a contract with the

funeral director. Make sure you read it carefully and ask the funeral director about anything you don’t understand. Your funeral director will take care of all the

practical arrangements. He should advise you of all the options available to you and any legal, civil or church rules to be considered, so that arrangements can then be made in accordance with your wishes. He should assist you in the completion of all documentation and make all necessary arrangements with the clergy, crematorium or cemetery as required. You can ask the funeral director to:

• Make all the funeral arrangements • Arrange for a notice in the newspapers • Provide staff and a suitable coffin

• Move the deceased from where they died to the funeral director’s premises

• Look after the deceased before the funeral Coloumn pictures left

– right: English Graveyard by,

Prayer by geckostamp@, Rest in Peace by

Farewell Magazine


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