Slide Frequently Asked Questions

Practical Advice from our Expert Team

We understand that dealing with a death and arranging a funeral is, thankfully, not something that you do every day.

The process can feel overwhelming and we are here to help make things as clear and as straightforward as possible for you.

Whether you need advice, some guidance, financial support, or have questions that you need answered, please feel free to get in touch with us day or night.

Alternatively, the video and advice below may be helpful, depending on your circumstances.


What to do when someone dies

Dealing with a sudden death

  • In the event of a sudden, unexpected death or a death where the family doctor has not seen the person within 14 days of death, your loved one’s death is reported to a coroner.
  • A coroner is a doctor or lawyer employed by The Crown to investigate unexpected deaths. When they become involved, funeral arrangements can become delayed due to the process that takes place, which is perfectly normal.
  • If your loved one was under the age of 25, you can request a referral to our charity partner, 2 Wish Upon A Star, who will support you through this extremely difficult time.
  • If the death is judged to be as a result of natural causes, the coroner will issue a notification that a post-mortem is not necessary and will administer a certificate so that registration can take place.
  • If a death cannot be judged to be a result of natural causes the coroner may call for a post-mortem or inquest. The death will not be able to be registered until this process is complete.
  • Once the coroner is satisfied, they will issue the necessary documentation to allow for your loved one’s funeral arrangements to be finalised.


If your loved one dies at home

  • If your loved one dies in a private residence, immediately call the family doctor and nearest relative (a nursing home will normally take care of this step on your behalf).
  • Once the death has been certified by the visiting Doctor, we can bring your loved one into our care – normally within 90 minutes of notification.
  • We will then get in touch with you to agree a day and time to discuss funeral arrangements when you feel ready. If we take your loved one into our care outside of normal office hours, we will contact you after 9am the following day.


If your loved one dies in hospital

  • If your loved one dies in hospital, they will issue the medical certificate and formal notice. We can then liaise with the Bereavement Office on your behalf to collect your loved one and bring them into our care.
  • The hospital may ask for your permission to conduct a post-mortem to gain a better understanding of any present medical conditions. You may wish to consider this, but remember you are under no obligation to agree to a post-mortem.
  • Once you have collected the medical certificate, you will need to contact the Registrar to make an appointment in relevant district office (the district where the death occurred).

Registering a death

You must register your loved one’s passing with the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths in the district where the death occurred, and you will need to make an appointment within five days of death, unless it has been referred to the coroner. The registrar will then issue you with a death certificate and we recommend that you consider purchasing several copies of the death certificate, as many organisations will only accept original documents.


Along with the death certificate, you will be given a green form and it is important that you bring this to us as soon as possible, as we will be unable to complete funeral arrangements without it. This is important for example, if we are taking your loved one into our care from a hospital as we will need this document as our means of identification.


What the Registrar will ask you:

  • Date and place of death
  • Full name and maiden name (if applicable)
  • Date and town of birth
  • Occupation (if a married woman, the occupation of her husband)
  • Home Address
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  • Full name of informant and the name and date of birth of a surviving widow or widower (if married)


Cardiff Registrar Office – 029 20 871 680

When to start making arrangements

You can start to make funeral arrangements before you register your loved one’s death or you can wait until after, if you prefer. However, to do this you will need to appoint a person who will act as the main point of contact for us as our client.


Please be aware that the client is contractually responsible for all arrangements and financial settlements and that all relevant documentation must be in place at least three working days before the funeral date.


We will guide you through the process of arranging the perfect funeral for your loved one – but if you would like to start thinking about the arrangements, we have a dedicated section on our website which you may find helpful…

Help financing the funeral arrangements

Finding the money to pay for a funeral if you are on a low income or have high financial commitments can be extremely stressful. Particularly if your loved one’s death was unexpected or they didn’t make any provision for their funeral costs.


If you can’t cover the full cost of the funeral on your own you could be eligible for financial support from the UK government. However, if you are not eligible for this Funeral Expenses Payment, then all is not lost.


Here at Coles Funeral Directors we are dedicated to offering you as much support as possible at this difficult time, so we have partnered with a number of trusted and reputable companies that can help finance the funeral arrangements you would like to make for your loved one.


Depending on your individual circumstances, the following options could be helpful to you…


Funeral Safe
If there’s no estate and no provision made – paying for the funeral falls to the deceased family. However, to ease this financial burden, Funeral Safe is a specialist funeral loan provider, offering highstreet bank interest rates, no repayment penalties – and giving you complete control of the amount you borrow. Find out more >


Curtis Legal
If your loved one has left an estate and you contract Curtis Legal to manage the probate process for you – Curtis Legal will pay all funeral costs in full, pending probate. Their fixed professional fee, along with the funeral costs will then be deducted from the balance of the estate when it has been settledFind out more >

Useful contact numbers

Cardiff Coroner’s Office – 01443 281 101
Newport Coroner’s Office – 01633 235 510
St David’s Hospital Bereavement Office – 029 20 536 602
Marie Curie Hospice (Holme Tower) – 029 20 426 000
Royal Gwent Hospital – 01633 234 080
The Barry Hospital – 01446 704 000
The University Hospital of Wales Bereavement Office – 029 20 742 789
University Hospital Llandough Bereavement Office – 029 20 715 225
Velindre Cancer Centre Bereavement Office – 029 20 615 888