Please telephone the deceased's doctor or an emergency doctor and, if satisfied with the cause of death, a Medical Certificate Of Cause Of Death will be issued (the doctor may leave this with you or you will have to collect this from the surgery).
The staff there will contact the doctor for you, and advise what you need to do. You will be able to contact us when the doctor is satisfied with the cause of death, and he will advise when you are able to contact the Funeral Director. The nursing home may do this for you.
The nursing staff or Bereavement Officer will be in contact with you. They will arrange for a doctor to issue the Medical Certificate Of Cause Of Death. They will need to know if the funeral is a cremation or burial as this affects the paperwork required. They will require you to go into the hospital at some point to collect any belongings and to sign a release form so we can bring your loved one into our care. You can contact us at any point after death and we will liaise with the hospital.
It is normal for the Coroner (England and Wales) or Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) to be involved. There are many reasons why this can happen, for example, the Coroner/Procurator Fiscal is automatically involved in most sudden or unexpected deaths, especially if the deceased has not been under a doctor's care on a regular basis. The emergency doctor or any police involved will inform the relevant Coroner's office or the Procurator Fiscal. You can contact us at any point after death and we will liaise with the relevant authority.
Please contact us and we will be able to guide you through the process of repatriation
We will ask you where you would like the deceased to rest before the funeral. This can be at our funeral home or at home if it is safe to return them. If you choose your home, we recommend that you allow us to bring the deceased into our care, to be returned home at a later time when all necessary preparations have been completed.
The death must be registered by the Registrar for the area in which death occurred. In Devon this can be by appointment at any one of the Registrar's offices. If you live away in a different part of the country, registration can be done by declaration. However, if you decide to do this, the funeral service will be delayed, but we can advise you on this. The death must be registered within 5 days of death (unless the Registrar says this period may be exceeded).
A relative of the deceased usually registers the death. If no relative is available, then the duty may be performed by any person present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death took place, or the person who is accepting responsibility for arranging the funeral.
If you feel you would like support in doing this task, we can arrange for someone to accompany you to the Registrar’s Office.
The date and place of their death
The deceased’s full name (and maiden name where appropriate)
The date and place of their birth
The deceased’s occupation
The deceased’s last (usual) home address
Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension
If married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse.
The Medical Certificate of cause of death
The deceased’s NHS medical card (if available)
Blue disabled badges (if applicable)
Bus pass (if applicable)
Library card (if applicable)
We suggest you also take the following documents
The deceased’s birth certificate
The deceased’s marriage certificate (if applicable)
Please note that the Medical Certificate of Death must be completed by the GP or Hospital Doctor prior to making the appointment.
The Registrar may issue a green Certificate for Burial or Cremation (a white Certificate of Registration of Death if in Scotland) which is required by us prior to the funeral taking place. They will also give you the Death Certificate which you may need for legal or financial purposes. They will produce copies for you at a small cost.
If the Coroner is involved then the registration process may vary; we will advise you accordingly.
Many organisations will need to be notified of the death, depending upon the circumstances.These may include:
Insurers of the house and motor vehicles
Banks and building societies for savings and investments
Utility companies for change of name
Employer, tax office, pensions, DVLA, family doctor and DSS/DWP.
The Registrar Will Inform All Government Agencies On Your Behalf, Through Their 'Tell Us Once' Service
It is important also to inform the insurance company if the property is to remain unoccupied as they will insist on a number of conditions carried out on the property.
This can be done simply. We work with the Bereavement Register and have forms you can send off to do this. Please click here to apply online.
Cremation services take place at the North Devon Crematorium in Barnstaple. We can arrange for the service to take place at any other crematorium throughout the UK.
It is important to give thought to what to do with the ashes once the service has taken place, this could be an internment in a cemetery, scattered at the deceased's favourite location (may require special consent), or kept at home in an urn. We will help to guide you through the may options available.
You may already have in mind the cemetery or churchyard you wish the burial to happen in. In some cases there are some restrictions, such as, to be buried in a churchyard you need to be living within the parish boundary at the time of death, or be a second internment within a family grave.
We will guide you through the various churchyard and cemeteries we have in the area to help you meet the deceased wishes.
You may also wish to consider a memorial to be placed on the grave, we have some guides within our offices to help make these decisions.
Green burials have been growing in popularity over recent years, and are an alternative to those who wish to have as little an impact on the surrounding environment as possible. There are a couple of burial grounds locally, these are:
We recommend that you visit the sites before committing to ensure it meets your needs.
Environmentally friendly willow coffins can also be sourced from willow that is grown and woven on the same site in the south west.
If you own land, then a burial on your own land may be a possibility to be considered. There are a few restrictions, and a record of the burial will need to be listed on the property deeds. We can talk through the options with you, should you wish to consider this option.
There are various options available when it comes to who can take the service. If the deceased is religious and belongs to a congregation then we would contact the appropriate person and arrange for them to take the service. Or if there deceased considered themselves be to religious, but not practising, we will contact the minister from the parish in which the deceased lived.
However religious funerals are not the only option, you could consider a civil celebrant or a humanist minister to take the service. We will discuss and explain the options in more detail and help you to make an informed decision.
If you would prefer to have no officiant, then we can organise music to be played for the congregation to listen to, or a family member, or close friend may wish to officiate the service. If this is considered then you need to be aware that this won't be allowed to take place in a church or for the burial to take place in a churchyard, there would be no restriction with cremation.
The funeral service should be a time to remember and reflect on the person who has passed away. We therefore feel it is important to do all we can to help you create a personal service. Should that mean everyone wears the deceased's favourite colour, or that their favourite piece of music is played. Or maybe even an alternative hearse, such as our Austin A60 hearse.
You may even wish to explore the option of a Sea Burial for someone has spent their lives upon the sea.
Civic Centre, Barnstaple, N.Devon, EX31 1ED
0345 155 1002
Farm Road (off Clovelly Road), Bideford, Devon, EX39 3DX
0345 155 1002
Brannam Medical Centre
Caen Medical Centre
Castle Gardens Surgery
Fremington Medical Centre
Litchdon Medical Centre
Torrington Health Centre
Queens Medical Centre
North Devon Crematorium
Old Torrington Road, Barnstaple, N.Devon, EX31 3NW
North Devon Coroners Office
These are just a selection of the possible options available, and is by no means an exhaustive list. We have a more comprehensive guide in our offices.
Floral tributes can be designed to be as individual as your loved one,
we have created this section as a guide, but not definitive collection.
We therefore suggest you speak directly with a florist of your choice,
or we can put you in touch with some talented local florists.
Our modern Vauxhall Insignia Hearse combines modern elegance whilst balancing traditional expectations.
This is included in our services at no extra cost.
We have a fleet of limousines that compliment our hearse. These are an optional extra, and are included in some funeral plans.
These can also be hired for other special occasions. Click here to find out more.
Our carefully and loving restored 1969 A60 Hearse is available as an alternative to our modern hearse.
A perfect alternative for the classic car enthusiast.
It has also been used for filming work for the BBC and Netflix. To see more about the restoration and filming, click here.
We can arrange for a Horse Drawn Hearse as an alternative to the traditional hearse options.
Speak to us if you wish to consider this option.
Motorcycle Hearse is a fitting alternative for those who have spent their life on two wheels. There is a range of different style bikes available.
A relative can also ride pillion to the service.
The VW Hearse is a carefully converted VW camper, to maintain it's original charm, but also to be well functioning hearse.
The classic Morris Minor Traveller has been lovingly converted into a hearse. Available by request.
The Land Rover hearse is a great option for the last journey of a loved one, who loved to spend life in 4 wheel drive. This has been carefully converted to provide a quality hearse for the Land Rover driver.
The Trike hearse is a great alternative for those who like the speed and freedom of a bike, but have enjoyed the comfort of three wheels.