Support and Guidance

We understand how losing a loved one is a very challenging time both emotionally and practically.

As well as delivering help and support before, during and after the funeral we have setup this area of our website to answer some frequently questions and issues, and signpost some of the resources which are available to you.

The government have also produced a website with guidance that can be found at the link below:

UK Government Website

What to do first

If the death has been expected, then a Medical Certificate of Death can be issued.

If a death occurs at home, you should first contact your family doctor (or an out of hours GP).  The doctor will then attend and verify death.

If a death occurs in a care or nursing home the staff will attend to this on your behalf.

The funeral director can be called once the doctor has certified death.

When death occurs in hospital the doctors at the hospital will issue a Medical Certificate showing the cause of death.  This can usually be collected from the hospital’s Bereavement Office. During the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, the death certificate will be emailed directly to the registrar

If the death 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

If the death 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 post-mortem is required, to determine the cause of death. 

It is also possible that the Coroner could hold an inquest after the post-mortem. The Coroners decisions could have an impact on the registration procedures, and we can guide you accordingly.

The Registrar

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

The following people can register a death:

  • A close relative of the deceased
  • A relative who was in attendance during their last illness
  • A relative who lives in the district where the death occurred
  • A person who as present at the time of death

Most registrars including Swindon require you to make an appointment to register.

Contact details for registrars in Swindon and the surrounding areas are at the link below. 

Registrar details for Swindon and surrounding areas

If you are unsure which area you fall within the tool below can help you.

Find your local council

What is needed?

As well as the Death Certificate, the Registrar may also wish to see …

  • Birth and marriage or civil partnership certificates
  • NHS medical card
  • Proof of address for the deceased (e.g. a utility bill)
  • Documentation relating to government pensions and/or allowances
  • Passport and/or driving licence for the deceased

If you are unable to find all these documents, you can still register. The registrar will need to know:

  • The full name of your loved one (at time of death)
  • Any other names used by your loved one (e.g. birth, maiden or married name)
  • The date and place of birth (inc. town and county if born in UK) or just country of abroad
  • Their last address
  • The full name of their husband, wife, or civil partner (where appropriate)
  • Full details of any state pension or other state benefit they were receiving

Tell Us Once

The Registrar operates a service called “Tell Us Once”. This service can be used by you to notify all government departments of your loved ones passing. You can use the Tell Us Once service to cancel passports, driving licences, blue disabled badges, pensions and any benefits that they may have been claiming. 

During the current pandemic restrictions, the ‘Tell Us Once’ service is being operated online, the registrar will be able to give you details when you register

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. Once we have been instructed by you, we will arrange to bring your loved one safely into our care.

You can always be assured of our complete care and attention in the dealings of your funeral arrangements, ensuring that the service you receive uniquely reflects you and your loved one.

After Funeral Care

At Pearce Funeral Services we understand that after the funeral, is the beginning of your future journey.  We want to continue to support you as you embark upon this journey and are therefore very proud to announce that we are partners with SAIF Care, to provide that continued support. This can be provided online, by phone or one to one.

SAIF Care is the UK wide bereavement service offered by independent funeral directors of the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

Pearce Funeral Services and SAIF Care

SAIF Care website

The Loss of a Baby

A list of help and resources for those who anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby - however recently or long ago.

Help and resources

Help with Funeral Costs

If you are in receipt of certain benefits you could get help with funeral costs through a Funeral Expenses Payment (or Funeral Payment) to help pay towards the funeral you are arranging.

UK Government advice on funeral payments

General Information

The deceased’s bank account and assets would usually be frozen unless the bank account is registered as a joint account. A funeral invoice can still be paid through a frozen bank account if there are adequate funds. If you require the bank to do this, you must notify them and produce a certified copy of the Death Certificate as soon as possible.

Private pension schemes, insurance companies or trade unions may pay a sum on notification of the death, if your loved one was registered with any of these.

If the deceased had instructed a solicitor with regards to a will, you must contact the solicitor as soon as possible. If the deceased has made a will without contacting a solicitor, or a will cannot be found, or a solicitor is not involved, you may need to seek advice and apply for probate.

If you are unsure DO NOTHING until you have received advice. We can put you in touch with advisors who can help. 

For any other general advice please feel free to contact us directly on 01793 832 072 / 01793 422 422 or email us on

You may visit either of our branches between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday:

92 Ermin, Street, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon, SN3 4NN

1 Groundwell Rd, Swindon SN1 2LT




Thank you for the excellent service you have given me over the last 5 or 6 weeks. You were a pleasure to deal with both during the planning process when your suggestions were always pertinent and helpful (and we were even able to enjoy a little humour!!) right the way through to the events on the 15th & 16th December when everything was done perfectly – just as we had discussed. 

Thank you, John, – your help was much appreciated.


I chose Pearce Funeral Services from the internet yellow pages. From the time I rang to make the enquiry John Pearce could not have been more helpful or sympathetic. My husband’s body needed to be brought from Wales to Swindon for the cremation and this was dealt with dignity and compassion as were the rest of the arrangements. 

John Pearce dealt with the cremation with professionalism, dignity and sympathy which impressed family and friends alike. I would have no hesitation in recommending Pearce Funeral Services to anyone who wants the best possible farewell to a loved one.


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