What You Need to Know in Times of Bereavement

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If Death Occurs at Home

Inform the Doctor As soon as possible inform the doctor that the death has occurred. He/she may write out the Medical Certificate of Death when he/she visits the house, or may request you attend the surgery for this purpose

When Death Occurs in Hospital

When death happens in hospital the procedure is very similar. Apply to the hospital for the Medical Certificate of Death and not your family doctor.

The Coroner

In cases where death has been reported to the Coroner the procedure is somewhat different. The Coroners and their officers are working in your interest. No doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Death. This will be issued by the Coroner to the Registrar's Office in the district where the death occurred, after contact has been made with the Coroner's Office.

How to Register a Death

Who can Register

  • Close relative of the deceased
  • Relative in attendance during illness
  • A relative living in the district where death occurred
  • A person present at death
  • The person arranging the funeral

Documents Required

  • Medical Certificate of Death
  • Medical Card if available
  • Birth Certificate & information regarding date of birth

Information Required to Register

  • Date and place of death
  • Full name of deceased (maiden name if applicable)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation and home address
  • If married, full name and occupation of surviving spouse

Certificates Issued

  • Certificate for cremation or burial for the funeral director (small green certificate)
  • Social Security Certificate to be handed in at the DSS Offices with any pension book
  • Copies of Entry of Death for bank, insurance, solicitors

Arranging the Funeral

There are many thing to arrange for the funeral, we at Woollard and Kent are here to help you and take you through everything to ensure your wishes and the wishes of the deceased are carried out fully so that you are fully satisfied that you have everything that you want.

We can make arrangements from the smallest, most private funeral to the most prestigious. We can accomodate everyone's wishes from 'Green' Funerals which are environmentally friendly with Willow or Bamboo Eco Coffins to Veneered or Solid Wood Coffins and Caskets. We are proficient in arranging Cremations, Burials, Exhumataions and International Transportation.

Firstly, you need to ensure that everybody who needs to be informed of the death has been contacted. On discussion with us we can arrange the time, date and venue of the funeral. This makes it easier when calling to announce the death as you can give the full information instead of having to make too many unnecessary phone calls at a time of such distress.

Your first decision is whether the funeral is to be cremation or burial and the place of worship, if applicable. We are also here to help explain or to find information on any other type of non-conventional funeral that you may feel the deceased would have preferred, an example of this is the environmentally friendly funeral. We must emphasize that we are here to guide you so please use our years of experience.

If the service is to be held in church there may be certain hymns that are personal to the deceased or perhaps songs you wish to be played. Whatever you decide, we can make all of the arrangement for you, perhaps you would prefer poetry or a member of the family singing, this is entirely up to you.

Are there to be flowers? Flowers are wonderful and appropriate at a funeral with the gentle expression of remembrance that they portray, but you may have special wishes regarding flowers or donations to a charity dear to your heart or perhaps the deceased has left a specific request.

How many cars will be required? The hearse for the funeral with sufficient bearers are an essential part of our service, this could also be a horse drawn carriage or other mode of transport. Any limousines you require are charged separately, this way you will only be charged for the transport you need. Each Limousine will carry up to six mourners and will be chauffeur driven.

Viewing the deceased. Whilst not all families will wish to do this, we have full facilities so that families and friends can say their last goodbyes. Our Chapel of Rest is tastefully designed for any member of the family, including children who may wish to visit. Should you wish to be accompanied we can arrange this through our staff.

Caterers can be a great help at this time and there are several companies which are available to carry out any wishes you may want. You can of course arrange this privately or carry this out yourself.

If you decide on cremation you will need to consider what you would like to do with the remains. There are many options including leaving them at the Crematorium, interring them in a local cemetery or churchyard or placing them in a place which is special to you.

Most cemeteries and churchyards have areas where the deceased remains can be buried and a small memorial can be placed. If you decide on burial you may wish a headstone to be placed on the grave. (Please see Memorials Below)

The above list is general to the standard type of funeral but tries to cover some variations. We are here to guide you round whatever you may want, do not be afraid to ask us if there is something which you may regard as different to the norm. You will be surprised at the questions we are asked and whether things are possible. Our only concern is that you go away from us happy, that the advice and help you have received covers everything you may feel appropriate.

Cost and Charges

In all aspects of the funeral arrangements we will point out the procedures and legal requirements.

While arranging the funeral we will advise you on the costs and charges to be incurred, culminating in a full written estimate that should be agreed and signed so that you feel confident that the funeral arrangements you have made will cost no more than the agreed amount.

The Funeral Account will be divided into two separate parts, the Funeral Director's Charges and the Disbursements.

The Funeral Directors charges include our professional fees and staff costs, while the Disbursements are Fees that we pay on your behalf i.e. Doctors Fees where appropriate, Cremation/Cemetery Fees and Parochial Fees. Our written estimate will detail the approximate cost of any disbursements.We have no direct control over these charges and they could vary slightly but all of them will be explained fully.

For information on our current charges please see our price list page.

Ministers and Officients

Please contact your local Parish minister or priest. If you wish they will be happy to help and give support during and after your bereavement. We would be happy to provide contact details of local Ministers and churches, humanists, layreaders, methodist or free church.

Floral Tributes

The gentle beauty of flowers expresses your personal remembrance and brings comfort to the bereaved.

Donation to Charity

If donations are requested in lieu of flowers we will accept and list donations on your behalf and forward them in due course to the chosen Charity


What is Probate?

When someone dies somebody has to deal with their estate (the money, property and possessions left) by collecting all the money, paying any debts and distributing the estate to those entitled.
The Probate Registry issues the document which is called Grant of Representation
There are three types of grant:
  • Probate issued to one or more executors named in the will
  • Letters of Administration (with will) issued when there is a will but no executor is named or they are unable to deal with the estate.
  • Letters of Administration issued when the deceased has not made a will or it is not valid.

Why is this grant necessary?

Organisations holding money in the deceased's name need to know to whom the money is to be paid. The distribution of the estate is the responsibility of the person named on the deed

Is this grant always necessary?

A grant is sometimes not needed if the deceased's money will be released without the holder seeing a grant, when the amount held is small and there are no complications.

Consult a Solicitor

In most circumstances, it is advisable for you to consult a Solicitor both to relieve you of many worries and to take control of wills, problems of intestacy, outstanding debts, grants and letters of administration. A Solicitor could save you a great deal of unnecessary trouble and eventually save you money. If it is known that a will was made, it is important that the contents be ascertained as soon as possible after death as it may contain instructions regarding the funeral arrangements. A will may be among personal papers, with the bank or solicitor for safe keeping. If a solicitor has been consulted by the deceased in the recent past it is important that you contact them without delay.

Cremated Remains

The cremated remains can be scattered or buried in the Crematorium's Garden or Rest, buried in a local Cemetery, Churchyard, or returned to the family. No decision has to be made at the time of arranging the funeral. If you are unsure, we can keep the cremated remains in our Chapel of Rest until you feel ready to make your final decision. We have a wide variety of cremated remains Urns. If you would like to discuss this further please don't hesitate to ask us.


At the time of making funeral arrangements, it is not always easy or necessary to determine what your future memorial requirements will be. In the case of existing memorials, it will probably be necessary to remove the headstone from the grave prior to the funeral.

When the funeral has taken place is can take some months, depending on the condition of the ground, before the grave will be ready to take the headstone or a new one.

During this period of settlement, it is recommended, where possible, that the Monumental Masons remove the memorial back to their yard for safe keeping. This also reduces costs on the longer term should the memorial require additional inscriptions.

Choose a design and materials to meet the regulations of the cemetery or churchyard, harmonise with the surroundings and to withstand the weather. Choose a suitable inscription remembering, perhaps, a possible future inscription in matching lettering.
When comparing prices, make sure the size, style of lettering and all fees have been included. Take extreme care and check thoroughly any inscription spellings. The layout is usually left to the stonemason.


Telephone Numbers

Coroners Office

  • Canterbury area- (01843) 222153
  • Thanet area - (01843) 222170 or 222171 or 222173
  • Ashford - (01233) 896242


  • Canterbury - 08458 247400


  • Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable - (01227) 862490
  • Thanet (Margate Cemetery - (01843) 224492


  • Barham - (01227) 831351
  • Charing - (01233) 712443
  • Thanet (Margate Cemetery) - (01843) 224492
  • Bobbing - (01795) 432370


  • Whitstable Health Centre - (0844) 477 2566
  • Chesterfield Medical Centre - (0844) 477 3073
  • Sadleton Road Surgery - (01227) 272809
  • Faversham Road Surgery - (01227) 772327


  • Buckland (Dover) - (01304) 201624
  • Kent & Canterbury - (01227) 766877
  • Queen Elizabeth QM (Margate) - (01843) 225544
  • Queen Victoria (Herne Bay) - (01227) 594700
  • William Harvey (Ashford) - (01233) 633331
  • Whit & Tank (01227) 594613
  • Chaucer (Canterbury) - (01227) 455466


  • Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury - (01227) 459700
  • Pilgrims Hospice Margate - (01843) 233920
  • Pilgrims Hospice Ashford - (01233) 504112

Bereavement Support

  • CRUSE - (0844) 4779400
  • Child Death Helpline (24HR) - 0800 282986
  • Samaritans - (08457) 909090
  • Bereavement Registra - (01732) 460000
  • Sands - (020) 7436 5881

Citizens Advice Bureau

  • Whitstable - (0844) 499 4128

Social Fund

  • Advice for funeral payment Grants (0845) 6088590

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Mark Woollard DipFD LMBIFD



woollardandkent.co.uk © 2019