Call us for free 24/7

0800 484 0260

Call us for free 24-hours a day 7 days a week

General Enquiries

0800 484 0260

Direct Cremation Prepaid Plan

0800 484 0531

What to do when someone dies

It is perfectly normal to be unsure of what to do when someone dies. Simplicity Cremations are here to help walk you through the steps that need to be carried out when someone dies, so you can get things done the right way. Don’t forget, we are available to talk to at all hours should you need us.

Step 1: Get a medical certificate

When someone dies at home, a GP should be called but if this is not possible then call 111 and ask for an ambulance. A medical form will be issued by a doctor that will confirm the death. If the person who has passed away is to be cremated, another doctor will need to separately certify the death and provide a second medical death certificate. If a doctor is unsure about how the person died, or the death is unexpected or suspicious, a coroner may be contacted so that a post-mortem can be carried out.

Step 2: Register the death

You can use the UK Government website to begin to register a death. You will need to do this within 5 days (or within 8 days for Scotland). In most cases you will need to be a relative of the deceased or someone with recognised authority over the proceedings. You can go to any register office but if you use the one in the area where the person has died you’ll be given the documents you’ll need on the day. If you use a different register office, the documents will be sent to the office in the area where the person has died before they are issued to you.


Take the following documents of the deceased:

  • birth certificate
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • NHS medical card

The registrar will need to know:

  • the person’s full name
  • maiden name (if applicable)
  • their date of birth
  • their place of birth
  • their last address
  • their occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of their spouse
  • if they were receiving a state pension or benefits

To let banks and building societies know about the death of a loved one, a new Death Notification Service has been launched to take the strain off. 


Step 3: Let Simplicity Cremations do their bit

If you choose to have a direct cremation, then our local team will collect your loved one and carry out a simple cremation with compassion and respect. One of our professional staff will meet you so you can complete any necessary paperwork, making sure everything is taken care of for you. We can have the ashes returned to you, if you wish.

Step 4: Choose a memorial

This is the part where you have the freedom to choose what you want to do. You could arrange a service with your faith leader, organise a humanist celebration or perhaps burying or scattering the ashes somewhere you know your loved one would have wanted may be more appropriate. Some people keep ashes in an urn at home; others have them put inside jewellery so they can be kept close at all times. One of the benefits of a direct cremation is to provide you with this choice, because everyone is different. Another option that may be suited to you is to have the ashes scattered in our Garden of Remembrance. Each of our crematoria have one of these peaceful gardens, so all you need to do is let us know and this can be arranged.

Why choose Simplicity Cremations?

We offer only the highest standards of care and you can depend on us to give your loved one the respectful and dignified farewell that they deserve, whilst giving you the freedom to choose what you do after we have done our part. Please call our team at any time on 0800 484 0260 to talk about arranging a Simplicity Cremation.