Head Office: 170 Victoria Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 3DF
Call Us On 01793 522 797
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

What to do when someone dies

It can be difficult to ensure everything is covered when dealing with a death. We’ve put together some useful information on what to do to help get you started.
Bereaved Man
When someone dies, it usually takes place in a hospital, nursing home or at home.

Hospital or Nursing home

The hospital or nursing home staff will make arrangements for the doctor to issue the death certificate and will advise you when it is available. Let the home know on admission which funeral director has been chosen to save any confusion or delay when death occurs. Let the home or hospital know if a cremation has been decided upon, as additional paperwork will need to be prepared by doctors.


The first contact would normally be the family doctor. They would call at the house and if satisfied with the cause of death , will issue a death certificate, either giving this to you, or you may need to call at the surgery to pick this up when completed. After the doctor has attended you should call us on 01793 522797 at any time day or night to take the deceased into our care.


In some cases the death may be reported to the Coroner. This could be because the death was unexpected, a road accident or simply that the deceased has not been seen by a doctor in the preceeding 14 days. This should not unduly delay the funeral. You should still phone us and we will explain the procedures involved.

Registering a Death


Before the funeral (unless the coroner is involved) and within five days of the death occurring. This is a legal requirement in England and Wales.


  • The death would normally be registered by a relative.
  • If a relative is not available other persons can register, anyone present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death occurred or whoever is taking responsibility for the funeral.
  • *Funeral directors cannot register on your behalf.


  • The Registrar’s office for the District in which the death occurred.
  • If the death occurred within the Swindon Borough boundary the Registrar’s phone number is 01793 522738. On phoning you will be given an appointment.
  • If the death occurred in North Wiltshire contact the Chippenham Registrar on 01225 713007.

What do you need to take?

  • The Death Certificate.
  • The deceased’s birth and marriage certificate.
  • The deceased’s National Health Service Card.
  • Any document relating to pension or allowances received by the deceased from public funds.
  • (If you don’t have all these documents let the registrar know any information that may help).

What documents are issued by the Registrar?

  • A certificate for burial or cremation, known as the ‘green form’.
  • (The green form is then given to the funeral director by the family).
  • A cream certificate of certified copy of entry in the Register of Deaths.
  • A white certificate of registration of death (Form BD8). Issued for social security purposes if the deceased received state benefits).
  • The Registrar now provides a ‘Tell Us Once’ service where they will notify all statutory organisations that need to be advised of the death.
  • If a post –mortem is needed and the deceased is to be cremated the coroner will send all necessary paperwork directly to the Funeral Director.

To arrange a fitting tribute for the deceased …