First Steps

Standing by to Guide and Support You

As a family concern, everybody at Pearce Funeral Services understands how every funeral is personal and
every family we serve must be treated as individuals, with care, compassion, and respect, whilst also
maintaining the highest of professional standards.

Our experienced local team are always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Simply
call us on 01793 832072 or 01793 422422, where you will always be able to speak to one of our team
personally, we never have a voicemail or other messaging service on the phone. Alternatively, you can
contact us by email or using our contact form.

You are also welcome to visit either 92 Ermin Street, Stratton St Margaret, SN3 4NN or 1 Rivenhall Road,
Westlea, SN5 7BD, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, alternative times can be arranged by

First Steps When a Loved One Passes

In this video John Pearce gives a brief outline of the first steps to take when a loved one passes.

You may find some of the following information of use in the first days of your bereavement.

If it has been expected with your loved one then a Medical Certificate of Death can be issued.

In the case of your loved passing away at home you will need to contact their GP. (If this is outside of normal surgery hours then the ‘on call’ doctor may attend, or district nurses look after everything on their behalf). The GP’s surgery will arrange the issuing of the Death Certificate.

In a Nursing Home the staff would normally contact the GP, and they will be able to advise you on collecting the Death Certificate.

If your loved one has passed away in a hospital, the Death Certificate is normally issued through the hospital bereavement team.

If the funeral is going to involve a cremation and the coroner is not involved, you have a right to inspect the medical forms for cremation. If you wish to inspect these forms, we can advise you.

The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Once the certificate has been issued registration should take place as soon as practically possible. The death would be registered with the local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the area in which the death occurred.

At Swindon Registrars you will be required to make an appointment to register. Their contact details are: -

The Civic Offices, Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH.

Tel: 01793 522738

They are open Monday to Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm.

As well as the Death Certificate, the Registrar may also wish to see the deceased’s Birth Certificate and NHS Medical Card. If you do not have these then do not worry, inform the Registrar that you cannot locate them. The registrar would also need to know:-

  • Date and place of birth
  • Date and place of death
  • Deceased’s maiden name (if married woman)
  • Deceased’s last address
  • Deceased’s occupation – (and husbands occupation where appropriate)
  • If deceased was in receipt of pension or social benefits
  • If married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse

The Registrar operates a service called “Tell Us Once”. This service can used by you to notify all government departments of your loved one’s passing. You can use the “Tell Us Once” service to cancel passports, driving licences, blue disabled badges, state pensions and any benefits they may have been claiming. If you want the registrar to cancel the driving licence, passport or blue disabled badge you will need to take them with you when you register. The registrar will give you a link to be able to cancel all other central and local government services online, or via a hard copy form, if you prefer.

You will need to order copied of the Death Certificate when you register, there is a fee for these which we can guide you on. You will need the Death Certificates for the purposes of notifying banks, insurances, private pensions, solicitors and for if there is a Will.

Finally, the registrar will give you the Certificate of Burial, or Cremation (Green Certificate), you will be required to hand this certificate to your Funeral Director.

Your Funeral Director

As your Funeral Director we will guide you at every stage through this process and ensure you are fully prepared in the early stages. 

You can be assured of our complete attention at all times in the dealings of your funeral arrangements. 

Bringing Your Loved One into Our Care

Once we have been instructed by you, we will arrange for your loved one to be safely brought into our care or brought home and will provide help, support, and guidance at all times.

We have experience with arranging funerals where a person has passed away abroad and needs to be brought back to the UK for the funeral and can also arrange for people to be taken to other countries, when they have passed away in the UK but wish to have a funeral in their home country.

Letting Friends, Family and Others Know

The prospect of sharing the news that a loved one has passed can seem overwhelming and daunting. Our staff are on hand to help and support with both the practicalities and emotional aspects of this process.

Registering a Death and The Coroner's Procedure

If your loved one’s passing was entirely unexpected or, in other certain circumstances, a doctor may not be able to issue a Death Certificate, the Coroner will be informed. The coroner may feel that a postmortem is required, to determine the cause of death. It is also possible that the coroner could hold an inquest after the postmortem. The coroner’s decisions could have an impact on the registration procedures, and we can guide you accordingly.

Financial Support

If you receive income support or government benefits, you may be entitled for help from the DWP Social Fund. Our staff can advise you with this or more information about help with funeral costs can be found in our article Assistance with Funeral Costs.*

*We understand how difficult a time it can be to arrange the funeral of a loved one, as well as considering covering the costs. In recognition of this we take no deposit as our standard policy before a funeral service takes place. We allow those using our services the time to arrange their finances, providing a detailed estimate of the funeral cost before the service takes place. This allows you to focus on the funeral ceremony, without a need to pay any deposit or upfront fees.

Organ Donation

We can help explain what needs to happen, and support logistically, if your loved one was an organ donor or wished to donate their body to science.

Wills Probate and Legal Support

Wills, money and property do not need to be dealt with immediately. When you are ready and the time comes we can provide help and support and put you in touch with advisors who can help.


National Association of Funeral Directors The Good Funeral Guide 2022 SAIF Independent Funeral Directors British Institute of Embalmers
Funeral Arbitration Scheme Funeral Arbitration Scheme
Funeral Guide 5 Star Funeral Director Funeral Guide 5 Star Funeral Director