Expected Death at Home

Dealing with the arrangements following a death of a family member or friend can be very confusing and stressful. The following guide aims to ease the burden and help you in this challenging and difficult time.

As Muslims we aim to perform the burial as soon as possible. However there are a number of steps which need to be completed before that can take place.

  1. Confirmation of death
  2. Transfer of the body
  3. Doctors medical certificate (MCCD)
  4. Register the death and obtain a burial certificate (green form)
  5. Washing, shrouding and janazah salah
  6. Burial

Confirmation of death

Once somebody has died the death needs to be confirmed. This is best done by contacting the GP practice where the deceased was registered and requesting a doctor to visit to examine the body and confirm the death. If the death occurred whilst the GP surgery is closed the out of hours doctors can be asked to visit. The out of hours doctors service telephone number can be obtained by phoning the usual GP surgery and listening to the answer message or alternatively you can phone 111 who will assist you. If the ambulance crew are present they can also confirm the death of a person or if the deceased was cared for by the palliative care team the out of hours palliative care nurses can also confirm a death. In each case information will be passed to the deceased’s GP practice as soon as possible so medical records are updated.

Transfer of the body

Once the person’s death has been confirmed you may transfer the body to a funeral home or mortuary of your choice by choosing a funeral director. Details of funeral directors can be found by performing a search on our ‘Find a Funeral Service’ search facility and they will arrange to transfer the body. It is possible to keep the body at home for a short while should you wish to do so.

Medical certificate

After the death has been confirmed, it is necessary for a medical certificate (MCCD) that confirms the cause of death to be issued and sent to the registry office. This is done by the deceased’s usual GP. Contact the GP surgery who the deceased was registered with to inform them of the death and ask them to issue a medical certificate which will confirm the cause of death. The certificates are free and can usually be issued on the same day if the death is expected.  

The doctor will email the medical certificate to the registry office in the borough the person died in.

The medical certificate of cause of death is for the purposes of registering the death only.

 Register the death

After the medical certificate has been sent by the doctor contact the town hall registry office to register the death in the borough the death took place. This is usually performed by the relative of the deceased but can be anyone who was present at the death. A telephone appointment would be need to be arranged either by phoning the office or booking online via their website.  Please see our ‘Find the Registry Office’ search facilities to locate the register office.

The appointment available may not be for a few days. We recommend that you book the first available appointment online via the registry office website, pay the necessary fees for the death certificate and then phone the registry office as soon as possible and ask for an urgent telephone appointment to register the death for religious reasons. You do not need to attend the registry office.

The following information is required:

  • Full name (maiden name or any previous names if applicable)
  • Place and date of birth
  • Place and date of death
  • Last address
  • Occupation
  • Full name, date of birth and occupation of spouse
  • Email address of the funeral service to which the burial certificate should be sent

In the event of a death registration over the weekend, bank and public holidays the out of hours service should be contacted.


Once you have registered a death, you will be given two certificates:

  • The Certificate for Burial gives permission for burial (green form) which should be given to the funeral director (this will be emailed to you and to the funeral directors if you provide them with the email address)
  • The Death Certificate (BD8), required for settling the estate of the deceased. (this will be posted to you or can be collected from the registry office). You can buy more than one copy of the death certificate, as this is needed for the will and any claims to pensions, savings or insurance.

Note that the legal requirement for a death to be registered is within 5 days.

Arranging the funeral

After the death has been registered and you have obtained the burial certificate, you can complete the funeral arrangements. If the deceased did not explicitly plan their funeral before their passing, responsibility of arranging the funeral often falls to relatives or close friends.

If you have engaged a funeral director to care for the body, they can offer advice and assistance on funeral arrangements including:

  • Washing
  • Shrouding
  • Janazah salah
  • Transport to the burial groud

There are decisions to be made when arranging a funeral including:

  • Choosing a cemetery
  • Purchasing a burial plot
  • Book a date and time of the funeral
  • Who to invite


We should do our best to bury the deceased as soon as possible, but on many occasions there are delays due to circumstances beyond our control. This is a time for patience and to turn to Allah for assistance and forgiveness.