What to do When Someone Dies?
You will be required to obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD or Form 11) either from your loved one’s GP or from the hospital doctor. The MCCD gives information about the person who has died and what caused their death. You should read the MCCD and ask the doctor to explain anything you don’t understand and you will need the MCCD to register the death at the Registrar’s Office.
You do not need to wait until the MCCD has been issued before you contact your nominated funeral director, you can do this as soon as the death has occurred as they will be able to help and advise you as to what happens next.
The opening hours of registration offices varies between local authorities and some operate an appointments system. You should therefore check with the relevant local authority before attending an office.
You can obtain the address of the local registrar from the bottom of this page.
If the death occurs in a Hospital
If the death of your loved one occurs in a hospital the doctors will issue a MCCD. This can take a day or two as the certifying doctor may need to find out more information as to why someone has died.
If the doctor needs to understand more about why a person has died, he may ask for a hospital Post Mortem to be carried out before issuing the MCCD.
If the death occurs at home
If the death of your loved one occurs at home you should contact their GP or Palliative Care Nurse to verify the death and to confirm that it is OK for the funeral director to convey your loved one to the funeral home.
The MCCD is usually collected from the GP surgery either later in the day or the following day if the GP is satisfied that no further investigation into the death is required.
If the death occurs in a nursing home
If the death occurs in a nursing home or care home a member of staff will contact the GP to request the MCCD and will also contact the funeral director on your behalf.
The MCCD can then be collected from the GP surgery either later in the day or the following day if the GP is satisfied that no further investigations into the death is required.
If the death is sudden or unexplained
If the death is sudden or unexplained the Doctor, Registrar, Police or family will report the death to the Procurator Fiscal who will decide whether or not to investigate the death and whether a Post Mortem is required. If this is the case the MCCD will be issued by the Procurator Fiscal and brought back with your loved one to the funeral home.
If the death happens abroad
You should register the death according to local regulations in the country concerned and obtain a certificate of death. You may also be able to register the death with the British Consul in that country for a fee. However, there is no obligation to do so. A record of the death will be sent to Scotland and you will thereafter be able to get a copy from New Register House