Help & Advice

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We understand that losing a loved one presents many challenges. Our team will always provide impartial and sympathetic advice at the time you most need it, so please do not hesitate to call us. In the meantime, for information on what to do first, how to register a death or if you have any other concerns please click on the links below.

What to do first

Death in a Hospital

The Doctor treating the deceased will complete the medical certificate needed for registration. In most cases you will collect this from the hospital bereavement office. We will make all the necessary arrangements to collect your loved one and bring them to our Chapel of Rest.

Death at Home or in a Residential/Nursing Home

When a death occurs at home you will need to call the deceased’s Doctors Surgery for a Doctor to come and confirm death has occurred. This may not be the regular G.P. However, they will contact the surgery and usually the deceased’s G.P. will issue the medical certificate.

Should death occur in a Residential/Nursing Home, the staff will contact the surgery for you.

In either case we will make arrangements for the collection of your loved one and bring them to our private Chapel of Rest.

Death outside the United Kingdom

If death occurs outside the U.K, simply contact A.G Smith Funeral Directors and we will make all the necessary arrangements to have your loved one repatriated to our private Chapel of Rest.

Registering a death

A death should be registered within 5 days with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, unless the death has been referred to a coroner.

If the death of your loved one is reported to a coroner, the coroner will advise you as to their procedures and will let you know when they are complete. At that time you will be informed as to when you may attend a registrar.

The appointment with the registrar will take around 45 minutes. It is recommended that the registration takes place at the registrar’s office in the location the death occurred. You can register at a registrar elsewhere but this may delay documentation.

Click here to make an appointment online or to find the telephone number of the local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

You must take the following with you to register the death:

  • Doctor’s death certificate
  • Marriage and birth certificates (if available)
  • Medical card (if available)
  • Their last home address
  • Their occupation and that of their spouse or civil partner
  • Any public pensions or allowances (such as a military pension)

The Registrar will give you two documents when you register the death:

  • Registrars Certificate for Burial or Cremation (green certificate) – you will need to give this to us to enable the burial or cremation to take place.
  • Certificate of Registration of Death (Death Certificate) – this is a certified copy of the entry in the register. You can pay the registrar for additional copies of the certificate to provide to Banks, Building Societies, Insurance Companies etc.

Other Concerns

Wills and Probate

When a death occurs, the executor (nominated in the will) can start the process of obtaining probate, if necessary.

If there is no will, a decision will have to be made as to who will deal with your loved one’s affairs. If necessary that person will apply for “letters of administration”.

How to pay for a funeral

If your loved one did not have a pre-paid funeral plan, funeral insurance or savings specifically for their funeral, you can contact their bank or building society to ask if they have funds available to cover the cost of the funeral. The bank or building society may release the funds to the executor or administrator of the will or pay for the funeral services directly.

Financial support

On the occasion where there are insufficient funds to pay for the funeral, there is financial support available;

  • Bereavement payment
  • Bereavement allowance
  • Funeral payment from the Social Fund
  • Widowed Parent’s allowance
We are always at the end of the phone, so if you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to call our Maldon office on 01621 854 293 or Southminster office on 01621 774 557.