There are also lots of practicalities that need to be taken care of when someone dies, in addition to the emotional turmoil. Here, Age Space provides you with an area-specific guide for Hampshire to take you through the first key steps.
- Obtaining the Medical Certificate
- Obtaining the Death Certificate
- Informing the Government
- Arranging a Funeral
What to do Straight Away and Obtaining a Medical Certificate
If Someone Dies at Home or in a Care Home
Call the family doctor or the NHS helpline on 111. If the death was expected, for example due to a terminal illness, the doctor will issue a medical certificate of the cause of death. This will allow you to register the death at the Register Office, where a death certificate will be provided.
An unexpected death may need to be reported to a coroner (a doctor or lawyer responsible for reviewing unexpected deaths). This is rare, but can mean the process of obtaining a death certificate is delayed, and therefore the funeral may have to be delayed also.
If Someone Dies in Hospital
The hospital will issue a medical certificate and will support you with the next steps you need to take.
If Someone Dies Unexpectedly
Sometimes if the death is unexpected or the cause is unknown, the doctor will send a report of the death to the coroner’s office who will decide whether or not there will be an inquest. The coroner’s office will be able to give you instructions regarding registering the death if this is the case. In Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, there are 3 coroner’s offices:
Coroner’s Office – North-East and Central Hampshire, Southampton & New Forest:
Telephone: 01962 667884
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Coroner’s Office – Portsmouth and South East:
The Coroners Court
1 Guildhall Square
Telephone: 023 9268 8326
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm
Coroner’s Office – Isle of Wight:
Isle of Wight
Telephone: 01983 823010
Open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm
Registering a Death and Obtaining a Death Certificate in Hampshire
After obtaining a medical certificate of death, signed by a doctor, it is important you register the death at a register office within 5 days. The registration should take place near to where the death occurred.
It takes around 30 minutes to register online, and there are 15 register offices across Hampshire county council. You can locate your nearest register office from the Hampshire Register Offices page. If your loved one died in Portsmouth or Southampton, they have their own register offices. If you are unsure of which council applies to where your loved one died, you can check using a postcode on the gov.uk website.
Each office has their own address and telephone listed on the Hampshire county council site. It is not always necessary to make an appointment, however you may save time waiting at the office if you do so.
Portsmouth Register Office
Telephone: 023 9275 6597
Southampton Register Office
Telephone: 023 8091 5327
Isle of Wight Register Office
Telephone: 01983 823233
When you register a death you’ll receive:
- a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (a green form). This gives you permission for burial or an application for cremation.
- a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a pre-paid envelope so you know where to send it).
You can buy extra death certificates. These will occasionally be needed for sorting out your loved one’s affairs, however in most cases, the Tell Us Once Scheme will cover everything.
Informing the Government
Tell Us Once Scheme
Tell Us Once is a really useful service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go. The service is available across all of Hampshire.
After registering the death, the registrar will give you a unique reference number to use the Tell Us Once service. You can then access the service either online or by phone. After the registration of death, you must use the service within 28 days.
Telephone: 0800 085 7308
Arranging a Funeral in Hampshire
After sorting the practicalities, the nest step is to arrange a funeral for your loved one. Most people decide to enlist the help of a funeral director as they can ease the planning of the day, leaving you to handle the personal aspects. Directories are available in Hampshire, to find the right help for your day: