What to Do When a Death Occurs

When a death occurs, the first few steps are the hardest for the family. We have experienced staff available 24 hours a day to answer the telephone, whether this is to bring your loved one into our care from where they have passed away, to speak to the funeral director to answer any of your questions, or to start making funeral arrangements.

When a death has occurred, you can contact us immediately and we can advise on what the next steps are. Usually, when a deceased has passed away in the hospital there is no need for us to come immediately but if you do have any questions we are here to help.

Immediate Attention

If the death occurs at home (and once a doctor has given his permission), we will attend as soon as requested and bring your loved one into our care by private ambulance. On the completion of legal, statutory documents we will perform hygienic treatment and if requested, your loved one will then rest in one of our reposing rooms until the funeral.

After hygienic treatment, your loved one can be returned home if the family so desire. If the death occurs in a hospital, the person who has died will be automatically taken to the hospital mortuary and must remain there until the family has registered the death and provided us with a certificate for burial or cremation (known as the “green form”).

Death Certificate

If the death occurs in a hospital, the certificate will usually be available for collection from the bereavement office. If the death occurs at home, the doctor will usually arrange for the death certificate to be left at his surgery for collection by a member of the family. Who should then take it to the registrar whose certificate (green form) should then be handed to us.

The family should indicate to the registrar the number of copies of the certificate they require. This might help at a later date for insurance and probate purposes. The certificates cost £4.00 per copy. Please remember that it is necessary to have an appointment with the registrar to register the death.

On some occasions, the coroner may be involved and a slightly different procedure followed, we will advise if this is the case.

How a Death Is Registered

A death must be registered at the local office of registration of births, deaths, and marriages in the district where the death occurred as soon as possible, usually within five days of the death (unless the registrar extends the period). If the death has been referred to the coroner, the procedure is slightly different. We will advise you concerning this.

The Registrar

The registrar will give you a certificate for burial or cremation unless the coroner has given you an order for burial or a certificate for cremation. Whichever form you are given will be needed by the funeral director so that the funeral can be held. A certificate of registration of death is for social security purposes only.

Barry Register Office

Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

and 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Please make an appointment.

Cardiff Register Office

City Hall, Civic Centre, Cardiff, CF3 3ND

By appointment only:

Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Pay and display parking, spaces difficult to find.

Penarth Register Office

West House, Stanwell Road, Penarth, CF64 2YG

Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

and 2:00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.

Please make an appointment.

If the death occurred within the Cardiff County Council boundary you must register the death in Cardiff. If the death occurred in the Vale (this includes Llandough Hospital), the death must be registered in Penarth or Barry, even if the person passed away was a Cardiff resident.