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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when someone dies in their own home?

You will first need to telephone the deceased's GP to certify the death. If the death occurs in the evening it is not uncommon for an emergency or locum doctor to be sent. Nothing can be done until the doctor has been, but you are more than welcome to telephone us in advance for any advice or information prior to the doctor's arrival. Once the doctor has certified the death, we will then be able to collect your loved one and take them to our chapel of rest.


On some occasions the doctor may have to report the death to the coroner. This will be explained later.


If the doctor did not leave the Medical Certificate of the cause of death you will need to collect it from the GP surgery before going to the registrar. We are able to advise you on which registrar to use.

What happens when someone dies in hospital?

At the hospital you will be directed to a member of staff, usually called the 'Patients Affairs Liason Officer'. This person is responsible for providing you with the Medical Certificate of the cause of death issued by the doctor in attendance whilst the deceased was in hospital. They may ask if you have considered whether the funeral will be a burial or a cremation. This ensures the relevant papers can be prepared for the funeral director.


When you are ready please telephone us and we can arrange collection of your loved one from the hospital back to our chapel of rest.


You will need to make an appointment with the registrar to register the death.

What happens when someone dies in a residential or nursing home?

The deceased's GP will issue the Medical Certificate of the cause of death and you will either be able to collect it from the residential or nursing home or the GP's surgery.


When you are ready please telephone us and we can arrange collection of your loved one from the nursing or residential home to our chapel of rest.


You will need to make an appointment with the registrar to register the death.

How do I arrange the funeral?

When a death occurs, whether it is at home or in hospital, you will be confronted with the tasks and responsibilities, which may prove complicated and emotionally difficult. At this time, the person you can rely on to guide you is the funeral director.


As independent family funeral directors we can make all the arrangements on you behalf, discuss the many options available to you, and tailor the funeral to suit your requirements.

How do I register a death?

When a death occurs in England and Wales (with no coroner involvement) it must be registered within five working days of death in order for any kind of funeral to take place.


Death can be registered by family members, however if there are no family members, a death may be registered by a person present at the time of death, those in charge of any institution or home in which the deceased lived or an Executor to their will.


Funeral Directors are not allowed to register the death.


The Registrar will issue various papers:-

  • An official Death Certificate (Certified Copy of an Entry in the death register)

  • A Certificate for burial or cremation


When registering the registrar should inform you about their 'tell us once' service. This service lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.


It is important to take as much information as possible.


To register the death you will need to provide the following information:-

  • Date and place of birth

  • Full name (and maiden name where appropriate)

  • The occupation (and if the deceased was a married women or a widow, the full name and occupation of her husband)

  • The usual address

  • If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse


When the coroner is involved they will give advice on the registration requirements. Local registrars will need an appointment booked in advance. We are able to arrange this for you and provide transport if necessary.

How much will the funeral cost?

Our Professional Fees

Our fees account for having an experienced and professional funeral director to assist you in the process of arranging the funeral. Our fees include care of your loved one until the funeral, with the provision of 24 hour help and advice. At the time of need, we are available at any time of the day or night, every day of the year. We will bring your loved one to our chapel of rest. Visiting your loved one can be arranged if you wish.


We complete of all necessary documentation, liaising with appropriate authorities including ministers, doctors, hospitals, cemeteries and crematoria. We arrange and make all disbursements on your behalf.



These are the fees we pay on your behalf, such as Crematoria or Cemetery, Doctors, Florist etc. which may sometimes be subject to change. We will of course notify you if any disbursements change from the original quotation.


We will provide you with a written quotation of the costs and charges for the funeral. Once this has been accepted we will be able to proceed with the funeral arrangements.

Can I visit the chapel of rest?

Relatives and friends can visit the Chapel of Rest at any time, although we ask that you telephone prior to your visit.

Who will take the funeral service?

We are able to arrange a religious or non religious service in accordance with your wishes. We will contact the clergy on your behalf. If however you would like to contact your own minister they will be able to give you help and support during and after your bereavement.

Can I have hymns and music at the service?

You may decide to sing hymns during the service or perhaps have a favourite piece of music played. Most churches and crematoria have their own organist and may also offer the facility to play CD's or stream tracks. We also have access to many musicians such as harpists and pipers should you wish.

Do you prepare Orders of Service?

We are able to design and produce various types of service sheets and hymn sheets, please ask to see examples.

Can you arrange flowers?

The beauty of flowers expresses your personal remembrance and acts as a befitting tribute. We are able to arrange flowers on your behalf. We offer all types of tributes, including special designs to meet your particular needs and wishes. We can remove cards from tributes at the end of the service and return them to you to keep. We can also take suitable tributes to a hospital or residential home if so desired.


We have worked with Claire Michael of First Impression Flowers for over ten years. Please see her website below

Can I place a death notice in the newspaper?

We will help and advise with wording of obituary notices and place the notice in the newspaper of your choice. After the funeral you may wish to place an acknowledgement, perhaps thanking people who may have helped you in some way or those who sent flowers or donations. Whatever you require we can ensure that notice appears in the newspaper.

What about Inheritance Tax and Probate?

In most cases probate is required so that the deceased estate can be distributed in accordance with their will.


Before probate is granted, any inheritance tax due will have to be paid to the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). In respect of married couples inheritance is normally only payable on second death. In all cases it may be possible to reduce or eliminate any Inheritance Tax liability.


We are associated with Trust Matters Financial Services who are specialists in this area, and can provide you with more information.


Please visit or call 01727 737 610

Can I leave a donation to charity?

We can co-ordinate this service for you, which will include receiving all donations, compiling a list of donors for your information and forward them direct to the chosen charity. You will receive written confirmation of receipt of donations from the charity.

Is Probate required?

Before the estate (anything belonging to the deceased) can be  distributed to the beneficiaries, a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will be required.


Probate is usually required when the deceased has left a Will. Once the Will has been 'proved' before the Probate Registry of the High Court the Executors are able to administer the estate.


Letters of Administration are necessary when the deceased has died intestate (not left a Will). Usually the Next of Kin applies to the court to administer the estate. The Court, when satisfied that the applicants claim is valid, will issue Letters of Administration appointing the applicant as administrator of the estate.


If the estate is small, it may not be necessary for such a grant. The probate Registry will advise whether a grant is required.

Certain bills do not require Probate or Letters of Administration, such as the funeral account. Often if there are sufficient funds in the deceased's bank account, the bank will release the funds on production of the funeral account and a Death Certificate.


We are associated with Trust Matters Ltd who are specialists in wills and probate and can guide you through the probate process.


Please visit or call 01727 737 610

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Funerals, flowers, st albans, funerals, funeral directors, trust matters
Helping you cope with
your loss


Losing a family member or a close friend is undoubtedly one of the most difficult experiences we must face. However, we hope by making your wishes and needs our highest priority, and by guiding you through the decisions you face, we may offer you some comfort or relief in this difficult time.

Let us support you
in your hour of need.
01727 737 610
Available 24 Hours
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