What happens when someone dies?

At Franklin Funerals we understand the devastation caused by the death of a loved one and we know that there is a seemingly endless list of things to organise, so we have tried to make things as simple as possible, allowing you to focus not on the paperwork and the funeral plans, but on your bereavement.

In the first few days following the discovery of the death you will need to obtain a medical certificate from a doctor. You must then register the death within a five-day period of discovering the deceased at your local registry office, which will provide you with the documents that allow you to start the funeral arrangements.

When a death occurs at home, the GP of the deceased must be contacted to certify that the death has occurred. At any point after contacting the GP, please contact us so we can arrange a time to suit you to transfer the deceased into our care. If the death occurs at a nursing home, the staff will contact the doctor and arrange the death certificate for you and contact the funeral directors of your choice. If the death occurs in a hospital, the next of kin will need to formally identify the deceased and give permission for the hospital to conduct a post-mortem examination. A doctor at the hospital will provide you with the medical certificate needed to register the death and a notice explaining how to register the death, both these documents are free of charge. The hospital will keep the deceased in their mortuary until you have made further arrangements. We understand that financial concern can be an added stress after the time of death; if you are the surviving partner of the deceased you may be entitled to a Government bereavement allowance and payment to help with these costs. If the deceased has life insurance, these payouts may also help to cover the costs of the funeral and other expenses before the will is discussed. This extra strain in an already stressful process is unnecessary so we are here to help with arranging funerals and funeral costs.

There are a some people that may need to be contacted about the death, here is a list; the social security office, the health insurance company, other insurance companies, the employer, credit card companies, a tax advisor, banks, Secretary of State’s office about the ownership of any vehicles, stockbrokers, mortgage companies and ensure bills are still being paid to avoid being hassled throughout the months after death. Not all of the above apply to every death and these people can be contacted in the following weeks, they do not need to be sorted immediately.

Once you have copies of the death certificate then you are able to begin arranging the funeral. In some cases, in may be better for someone who is not as close to the deceased to deal with these arrangements to avoid distress and prevent disruption of the grieving process. Although enabling those closest to the deceased to contribute ideas for the funeral is very important to reflect how they remember their loved one. You may even want to leave the majority of the funeral planning to a private funeral director, as we are experienced in planning funerals and will relieve all the stress off the family in this difficult time but still enable you to add your personal touch and make important decisions about the funeral. You may also want to ask other family members and friends for inspiration for the funeral and the memorial service if you choose to have one.

Firstly you must consider the type of funeral you would like, whether it will be religious or non-religious. Then whether you would like a full service funeral, which involves visitation, formal funeral service, hearse transport to the funeral site, and the burial, cremation or entombment, or a direct burial with a graveside memorial or a simple direct cremation. We also have experience in arranging military funerals for veterans. If you are planning a large family gathering then the venue of the service and the wake needs to be booked to accommodate for all guests.

When you have decided whether the deceased will be buried or cremated, you can chose the coffin, casket or urn. We offer a large variety of coffins and caskets in different colours, sizes and designs.

There are other things that may need prearranging for the service such as the floral decoration, the prayers and music or funeral hymns, the order of service, information for the obituary, the scriptures to be read, transportation and the vehicle fleet. We at Franklin Funerals have our own vehicle fleet, consisting of one Hearse and two Limousines or we can arrange a horse drawn carriage, motorcycle hearse, Landrover etc. to suit your funeral arrangements. There is also eulogies to write and it must be decided as to who will read the eulogy and the scripture and who will be the pallbearers. There may seem like a lot to organise but we provide a checklist and we can help you to plan many of these things, reducing the stress on you, as much as possible.

At Franklin Funerals, we have years of experience in organising humanist funerals, centered around the celebration of life. We know that every funeral is different and should be focused on the individual and what they added to the lives of their loved ones.

Finally, after the funeral, in the following weeks you must sort the deceased’s wills and property. You will need to obtain the legal right to handle their property, money and possessions by applying for a probate. If the deceased left a will, this should say who is to sort their estate, if not then it will be left to the next of kin. You will need a grant of representation, and then you must pay any inheritance tax, collect all the assets, pay any debts and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries as stated in the will. There are many local companies that will help you sort the financials and the will such as ‘The Right Will’ or ‘Bell Lax Solicitors’ and we will help put you in touch with some of our contacts to make things as easy as possible for you.