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In The Event of Death

We are sorry for your loss and extend our thoughts and sympathy to you at this sad time. We know that when someone dies, there are many arrangements to be made and decisions to make and hope that this brief guide helps you at this difficult time.

If the death has occurred at home, telephone the surgery and if it is possible to do so, a Doctor will confirm that a death has taken place and issue you with a copy of the death certificate in a timely manner. In a few cases we may have to contact the Coroner, who may ask for a Police Officer to attend.

Contact a funeral director once you know that a death certificate can be issued. If the death has occurred in a hospital the certificate will be issued by the hospital, you should then contact a funeral director to let them know their services will be required.

Deaths need to be registered within 5 days. You will need to make an appointment to do this. Contact Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at St. Peter House, 16 Grimwade Street, Ipswich IP4 1LP Telephone 01473 292777 to arrange an appointment.

Full details can be found online at www.suffolk.gov.uk under the 'Your Community' link. When you attend the appointment you will need to provide the following:-

  • Medical certificate of the cause of death, signed by the doctor.
  • Date and place of death.
  • Full names of the deceased including any other previous names, take marriage certificate if appropriate and possible.
  • Usual home address and postcode.
  • Date and place of birth of the deceased, take birth certificate if possible.
  • Occupation of the deceased.
  • Full name, date of birth and occupation of spouse or civil partner.
  • NHS number if known, or medical card if possible.
  • Passport and Driving Licence and 'Blue Badge' if possible/appropriate.

If a post mortem is not being held, the registrar will issue you with a certificate known as 'the green form' for burial or cremation which you will need to give to the funeral director.

It may be a good idea to buy extra copies of the death certificate to help you or the executor (the person appointed to carry out the terms of the will) when sorting out the deceased's affairs. Extra certificates bought at this stage are cheaper than at a later date.

Suffolk County Council offers a 'Tell Us Once' service which is free of charge. In order to access this useful service, the person registering the death must either be the next of kin or the executor.

With your permission the information will then be shared with departments and agencies on your behalf, eg. DVLA., Passport Service, Department for Work & Pensions, Housing etc.

In a small number of cases the doctor or hospital may need to report the death to the Coroner. If this has been the case, the Registrar cannot register the death until the Coroner's enquiries are complete. You will be advised by the Coroner's officers when registration can take place.

If there is a will there may be special requests regarding the funeral for you to pass on to the funeral director. The person named as the executor in the will also needs to be contacted so that they can begin to sort out the deceased's affairs. If there is no will you will need to decide who is to apply to sort out the deceased persons affairs. For assistance and advice you could contact the Ipswich Probate Registry at 8, Arcade Street, Ipswich IP1 1EJ. Tel. 01473 284260 Monday - Friday 9:30am - 4pm or the Probate helpline on 0300 123 1072.

Everyone copes with bereavement in their own way. If you feel that you need help, there are many different organisations who offer advice, counselling and support, please contact us at the surgery for further information.

Other local support may be found by contacting Cruse (Bereavement Care) Tel. 01473 230888 who are located at 19, Tower Street, Ipswich IP1 3BE further information may be found on their website www.suffolkcruse.co.uk.

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