Practical Advice

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 want to make things as clear and simple as possible. In this video, Gareth explains the first steps you’ll need to take

Below is some additional practical advice that we hope will be of assistance. Remember that our team are here to help, advise and guide you, so please contact us and let us clarify anything that you are unsure of.

  • We are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once you make contact, we will arrange for your loved one to come into our care – liaising with the nursing home or hospital if necessary on your behalf.

    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 – it will be reported to a coroner. This may delay funeral arrangements.
    • A coroner is a doctor or lawyer employed by The Crown to investigate unexpected deaths.
    • 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 an order for burial or certificate for cremation for us to proceed with finalising your arrangements.

    Death at home

    • If death occurs 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).
    • The visiting doctor may write the medical certificate to certify the death. If not, you will need to obtain one from the surgery.
    • Once the death has been certified, we will bring your loved one into our care – normally within 90 minutes of notification.
    • We will then contact you to offer an appointment 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.

    Death in hospital

    • If death occurs in a hospital, they will issue the medical certificate and formal notice.
    • We will liaise with the Bereavement Office on your behalf.
    • 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).
    • 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.
  • You can start to make funeral arrangements before you register the death. Or you can wait until after, if you prefer.

    You will need to appoint a person who will act as our client. Please be aware that the client is contractually responsible for all arrangements and financial settlements.

    Please note that all relevant documentation must be in place at least three working days before the funeral date.

  • You must register your loved one’s passing with the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths in the district where the death occurred. You will need to make an appointment within five days of death – unless it has been referred to the coroner.

    The registrar will issue you with a death certificate. 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. It is important that you bring this to us as soon as possible, as we will be unable to complete funeral arrangements without it. For example – if we are taking your loved one into our care from a hospital, 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)

    Questions about registering a death? Coles Funeral Directors will be by your side every step of the way.

  • If you can’t cover the full cost of the funeral on your own and your loved one has made no financial provisions, you could be eligible for financial support from the ‘Social Fund’. You can contact your local job centre for further information.

    There are strict rules about who can receive a payment and how much money is available.

    To qualify:

    • The deceased will normally need to have been a resident of the UK
    • You will need to be considered responsible for making the funeral arrangements
    • You will need to be receiving a means-tested benefit
    • The Social Fund will only make a contribution towards the funeral costs, any shortfall will be the responsibility of the client.
  • Cardiff Coroner’s Office (through Cardiff Central Police Station)029 20527431
    Newport Coroner’s Office01633 235510
    St David’s Hospital Bereavement Office029 20536602
    Marie Curie Hospice (Holme Tower)029 20426000
    Royal Gwent Hospital01633 234080
    The Barry Hospital01446 704000
    The University Hospital of Wales Bereavement Office029 20742789
    University Hospital Llandough Bereavement Office029 20715225
    Velindre Cancer Centre Bereavement Office029 20615888

    Cardiff Registry Office

    City Hall
    Cathays Park
    CF10 3ND

    Tel: 029 20871680

    Barry Registry Office

    Civic Offices
    Holton Road
    CF63 4RU

    Tel: 01446 70011

    Newport Registry Office

    The Mansion House
    4 Stow Park Circle
    NP20 4HE

    Tel: 01633 235510

    Penarth Registry Office

    West House
    Stanwell Road
    CF64 2YG

    Tel: 029 20707862

    Thornhill Crematorium & Cemetery

    Tel: 029 20544820

    Coles Funeral Directors   

     029 2079 7516

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 029 2079 7516