What happens when someone passes away?

It is perfectly normal to be unsure of what to do following the loss of a loved one, relative, or close friend. That’s why we are here to support and help you through the process and guide you through the various steps that are involved following bereavement.

When a death occurs at home

You will need to contact the deceased’s own G.P (or the Doctor on duty) who will certify that the death has taken place, it would also be perfectly ok to call us at this time so we can advise you on the next steps and guide you through this difficult time.

Once the Doctor has given their permission to proceed, please contact us again and we will agree a suitable time with you to transfer the deceased into our care. We will then attend at the agreed time take the deceased into our care and transfer them to our chapel of rest. Throughout this time and whilst the deceased is in our care we will ensure that they are looked after and treated with the utmost respect and care.

Do not feel that this has to take place immediately; some families wish to wait until other family members have had an opportunity to say their good byes at their home. We do have private Chapels of rest at all our Funeral homes where you and other family members can come and spend time with the deceased once the death certificate has been issued and registration has taken place. It is advisable to contact us as soon as you feel able to discuss the funeral arrangements. Arrangements can be made, if you feel you want to prior to the registration of the death.

When a death occurs in a Nursing home

If a death has occurred in a nursing home, the nursing staff will contact the doctor and arrange for them to certify the death, in some nursing homes they have qualified staff who are able to carry out this procedure. The nursing staff will also call the Funeral Director having asked the family which Funeral Director they want to use, it is advisable to inform the nursing home in advance of our details so if they are unable to contact you immediately they at least are aware of your wishes.

Within five working days of the death occurring it must be recorded with the Registrar. This should ideally be done as soon as possible, you will need to call your local registry office and make an appointment, for your information we have listed the various local registry offices below.

The Registrar will then give you a special certificate that we will require in order to carry out the funeral, although we do not need it to make the funeral plans. You can contact us either before or after you have this certificate. You do not need to make an appointment to visit us as we can usually see you straight away. If you prefer a home visit please telephone us and we will do our best to fit in with you.

Franklin & Hawkins Family Funeral Directors work with the Coroner and can attend any death in any area. A death can be referred to the Coroner if the deceased has not seen their doctor within the last 14 days, had been admitted to hospital and died within 24 hours, deaths caused by certain diseases, sudden deaths, deaths through accident or deaths through suspicious circumstances.

A post mortem examination is normally carried out by the coroner as soon as possible after death and the deceased released and certificate issued later that day. This does not normally affect the timing of the funeral and can, in some instances, speed things up. A coroner’s officer is assigned to each family and will liaise with them throughout the process. Once the certificates have been issued the relatives will need to register the death in the usual way.

Coroners & Registrars Office

You can contact the coroners office in Coventry on 024 76 539 018 (view website) (Open 7am – 3pm / Mon – Fri) and Birmingham on 0121 303 3228 (view website) (Open 8.30am – 5.00pm / Mon – Fri). The registrars office in Coventry on (view website) 024 76 833 129 (Open 9.30am – 4.30pm / Mon – Fri), Birmingham on (view website) 024 76 833 129 (Open 024 76 833 129 / Mon – Fri) or Solihull on (view website) 0121 704 8002 ( Solihull Connect, Library Square Tues 9.30am – 11.30am & 1.15pm – 4.00pm, Weds 10.00am – 11.30am & 1.15pm – 4.00pm, Thurs & Fri 9.30am – 11.30am & 1.15pm – 4.00pm, Sat 10.00am – 1.00pm).

The Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90 (view website) (open 24 hours).