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How to Arrange a Funeral Step 1 – What to do first

Quite often following a bereavement people’s first reaction is to keep busy, so this guide has been prepared to help answer some of the questions you may have about what needs to be done during this time.

Before the funeral can happen there are two main steps that you need to take: register the death and get the certificate for burial or cremation. However, it is possible to arrange the funeral while you are waiting for your appointment to register the death.

The first step is to register the death, a requirement by law, which must be done in the district where it occurs. A list of registry offices in Cornwall can be found here – If you live outside Cornwall you can register by declaration and we can help you with the process.

It’s a straightforward process and you will need the following information:

Medical certificate showing cause of death
Full name of the deceased
Home address of the deceased
Date and place of birth of the deceased
Last occupation of the deceased
The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse / civil partner
Whether they were receiving a state pension or other benefits
Maiden name of the deceased (if necessary)

Remember to take supporting documents to show your name and address, although you can still register a death without them.

The time limit for registration and issuing of documents will vary depending on the individual circumstances of the death. We are here to guide you through this process.

Once the death has been registered you will receive three certificates: Green Certificate, DWP Form BD8 and a Copy of Entry of Register of Deaths.

Green Certificate – this gives permission for the deceased to be buried or an application for cremation to be made. This must be given to the funeral director.

DWP Form BD8 – this is a white certificate and has to be forwarded to the DWP with any pension or state claiming books.

Copy of the Entry of Register or Deaths – this is the Death Certificate. Banks and building societies will require this, so it is worth getting at least three copies.

We are also able to provide collection and repatriation services if your loved one has died at home, in hospital, a nursing home, or elsewhere in the UK. If necessary, we can help with repatriation from abroad.

If a post mortem or inquest with a coroner is required please call us on 01872 274021 and we can talk you through the process.