When Caring Ceases

When the person you care for dies you may need to arrange the funeral, return equipment, sort through personal belongings, contact the bank, benefits agency, local authority etc. It is important to give yourself time to deal with your emotions, as you will most probably be in shock, even if you were prepared for the person’s death.

Everyone reacts differently to the death of someone close. Not being a carer anymore may bring a lot of unexpected emotions. You may feel relief at not having to spend time caring, guilt that you feel relieved as well as experiencing regret or sadness. Don’t ignore these feelings and changes to your life. Friends and relatives are often reluctant to talk about the person who has died out of fear of upsetting you. You may be a private person and not want to share intimate feelings and memories. You need to be honest with those around you about how you want to deal with your feelings. If you would like to talk to someone contact Cruse, a national charity offering free, confidential help to bereaved people.
Telephone: 0808 808 1677
helpline@cruse.org.uk
www.cruse.org.uk

Medical Certificate

If the person you care for dies at home you will need to contact the GP. The doctor will give you a Medical Certificate and a Formal Notice, which explains how you register the death. If the person dies at night or at the weekend you will need to contact the GP Out of Hours service. To do this call your GP surgery number, an answer phone message will give you the Out of Hours number to call. If the person you care for dies in hospital or a nursing home the staff will sort out the Medical Certificate. You can request to see the person’s body before they are taken to the funeral home. If the death is sudden or the cause of death is uncertain, the doctor will refer the death to a coroner – this is perfectly normal.

When you have a medical certificate you can contact a funeral directors. The funeral directors will be able to support and advise you through this process.

Registering the death

Once you have the Medical Certificate the death will need to be registered. A death must be registered by the Registrar in the district in which the death occurred. However, if it is inconvenient for you to attend the Register Office for the area where death took place you may be able to attend your local register office. The death should be registered within 5 days although this may be extended by the Registrar if necessary. Contact details for your local registrar are given below.

In certain circumstances the death will have to be referred to the Coroner by the doctor or by the registrar and the death cannot be registered until the Coroner has decided what action to take. The Coroner may do one of three thing:

  1. Decide to take no action and inform the registrar accordingly
  2. Hold a Post Mortem examination and issue a Form 100B which takes the place of the Medical Certificate from the doctor
  3. Hold an Inquest. The Coroner’s office will advise you what to do in these circumstances

The death should be registered by a relative, someone who was present at their death or by the person arranging the funeral. It will take about 30 minutes. You will need to take:

  • Medical Certificate of cause of death
  • NHS number/medical card (if you have them)
  • Birth and Marriage Certificates (if you have them)

You will also need to be able to tell the Registrar their:

  • full name (and maiden name if appropriate)
  • address 
  • date and place of birth (town, county and country)
  • occupation
  • date and place of death
  • marital status – if they were married, the name, address, date of birth and occupation of their spouse
  • whether they had a pension or allowance from public funds e.g. Civil Service or Army pension

The registrar will give you:

  • A Certificate for Burial or Cremation for the funeral director, which is known as the “green form”. This is free of charge
  • A Certificate of Registration of Death for social security purposes
  • If you wish to purchase it, a Death Certificate. You may need several copies for the will, banks/building societies, insurance companies etc. It is cheaper to buy copies within a month of someone’s death
  • Leaflets about benefits and tax

It is important to check the register carefully before signing. It is a legal record which is difficult to correct at a later date.

Cardiff Register Office, City Hall, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3ND
Telephone: 029 2087 1680 
Opening hours are 9.00 am to 4.30 pm

Barry Register Office, Civic Offices, Holton Road, Barry CF63 4RU
Email: RegistrationService@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk or Telephone: 01446 700111.
Open Mon-Fri, 9.00-13.00, 14.00-16.00

Penarth Register Office, West House, Stanwell Road, Penarth CF64 2YG
Telephone: (029) 2070 7862
Open Mon-Fri, 9.00-13.00, 14.00-16.00

Paying for the funeral

Before paying for the funeral find out if the person you cared for had:
  • prepayment funeral plan
  • pension scheme/insurance plan which included funeral costs
  • National Savings (these can be released to pay for costs)
  • membership to an association that pays money when a member dies

Funerals can be expensive, so work out how much you can spend before you start the arrangements. The funeral can be paid out of the estate – this is the money, property and possessions of the person who has died. If it takes a while for their estate to be sorted out, banks and building societies will often release money to pay for funeral expenses.

Funeral Payment

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get help to pay for the funeral costs. You can get help if you get certain benefits including Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit. You can apply up to 3 months after the date of the funeral. For more information contact Job Centre Plus on 0345 604 3719

If you can’t get help with paying for the funeral, you can ask the Funeral Director if it is possible to pay in installments.

Cremation and Burial Services

In Cardiff there is management and maintenance of a Crematorium and 9 Cemeteries throughout the city. For advice on and options for internments or cremation for Cardiff City contact the department below.

Thornhill Reception
Bereavement Services Division
Cardiff County Council
Thornhill Road
Llanishen
Cardiff CF14 9UA

Telephone: 029 2054 4820
Email: ThornhillReception@cardiff.gov.uk

Alternatively, for both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, contact a Funeral Director for advice and services. The Yellow Pages have plenty listed.


Last Updated: March 2017
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