When A Death Occurs

Below is a guide to show the steps to follow, in different circumstances, when you are faced with the death of a loved one.

  • You or the medical staff should contact the GP connected with the care facility
  • Request the GP visits and issues the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • Contact Us, night or day to arrange to bring your loved one into our care

The GP will issue a formal notice that informs you of the procedures to follow when registering a death.

It will normally be the role of The Hospital Bereavement Team to assist you and they will: 

  • Be in touch with the next of kin
  • Arrange for the collection of any personal effects
  • Arrange for the issue of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • Care for your loved one until you have contacted us
  • Facilitate the bringing of your loved one into our care


In addition, the hospital staff from the Bereavement Team will inform you of the procedure for registering the death. 

If a death occurs suddenly outside of a medical setting or the deceased has not been seen by a medical professional in approximately the last fourteen days:

  • Dial 999 and request an ambulance and police immediately
  • The Emergency Services will arrange for the deceased to be taken to a mortuary
  • The death will be reported to a Coroner
  • The Coroner may call for a post-mortem or an inquest and will keep you informed at each stage of the process.
  • Only once the Coroner has completed their investigations, you can contact us to begin the funeral arrangements.


While the Coroner completes their investigations, you are welcome to contact us for any further help and assistance regarding any of our funeral packages and prices

Registering The Death

All deaths must be registered at the Registry Office within the district where the death occurred and within five working days of the death. 

You should contact the Registry Office to make an appointment and we would advise you to do this as soon as possible. When you attend, please ensure that you take the ‘Medical Cause of Death Certificate’. 

If the death has been referred to the Coroner, the bereavement officer will advise you how and when to register the death. 

  • Full name
  • Date and place of birth (you’ll need an original birth certificate if possible)
  • Last known address
  • Age
  • Last occupation
  • Whether they received a state pension or any other benefits
  • Marital status (Bring Marriage Certificate where applicable)
  • The age of the surviving Widow/ Widower
  • Full name
  • Address
  • Relationship to the deceased

Please ensure you bring proof of your name and address.

  • A Death Certificate – there is a cost for a death certificate and this will vary depending on which borough the death occurred in. You also have the opportunity to buy additional copies.
  • A Green Certificate: This gives authorisation for a burial or cremation to take place. This form is not issued if there has been a coroner’s post mortem or if the deceased is being repatriated. If one has been issued, please bring the Green Certificate to us as soon as possible.
  • A Certificate of Registration of Death. This is for Social Security purposes.

Arranging A Funeral

At W. Uden & Sons, we believe that the best service we can offer is to not only listen to your wishes, but also professionally guide you through everything you need to know. Below is a brief guide for you to better understand the arrangements necessary for either a burial or cremation.

If you have already registered the death, please bring the green certificate issued to you by the registrar. You can still make arrangements with us if you have not yet registered but we ask that you provide this to us as soon as possible.

To ensure the cremation takes place we will:

  • Obtain any legally required paperwork and certification from medical practitioners or the Coroner
  • Discuss all your requirements for the funeral and make these arrangements
  • Coordinate and book the funeral date
  • Prepare all the necessary cremation paperwork
  • Provide you with a transparent breakdown of costs

You may want to consider options for the cremated remains in advance of the arrangement, such as collection after the cremation occurs, scattering or various urns and keepsakes for the ashes to be safely stored; You can see our selection of Urns here.

Once you have made your choice, please let us know and we will order the Urn and transfer the ashes of your loved one ready for your collection.

To ensure the Burial takes place we will:

  • Obtain any legally required paperwork and certification from medical practitioners or the Coroner
  • Discuss all your requirements for the funeral and make these arrangements
  • Coordinate and book the funeral date
  • Prepare all the necessary cemetery paperwork
  • Provide you with a transparent breakdown of costs

In addition, for burial we will need to know If the burial will take place in a new or a pre-existing grave

Consideration For New Graves:

  • Proof of residency requirements
  • Restrictions on the type of memorial allowed

Considerations for Existing Graves:

  • Ownership documents (Deeds)
  • Proof of residency requirements
  • Removal and storage of existing memorial
  • Some restriction on the type of subsequent burials

Cemeteries and cemetery authorities, often have differing Rules and Regulations, so for further advice, please contact us and we can explain these matters in further detail

When we arrange the funeral with you, we will require information about the deceased and discuss a number of important aspects. These include, the location of the funeral service, the date and timing of the funeral, coffin or casket requirements, limousines and after-care

Once your loved one is in our care, we will be able to guide you on dressing options and potential viewing opportunities in our Chapel of Rest.

Please bring in any personal clothing as soon as possible and notify us of any special instructions.

Final Touches

Here are a few things to consider once the funeral arrangements have been made to be completely ready for the day of the Funeral;

The Officiant is the name we give to the person who will lead the funeral service for you. This person can be anyone you choose, from a minister of religion to a non-religious celebrant, the choice really is yours.

Whatever type of Officiant you choose, we will ask them to contact you so you can talk about the things you might want them to say about your loved one.They will prepare or collate all the wording for the service and will be there to support you, your family and loved ones on the day. 

In addition you can discuss with them:

  • Your Music choices
  • An Order of Service
  • The style and tone of the funeral

As a general guideline, you can have up to four pieces of music, including Hymns at the crematorium or cemetery, so please liaise with us about your music and hymn choices, as we can make these arrangements. 

If you are holding a Funeral Service or Mass before we attend the crematorium or cemetery, you will need to arrange the music directly with the chosen place of worship. If an organist is required, we can organise one.

If you need help with music at the place of worship, please contact us and we will be able to arrange a way of playing your music.

If you are looking for a soloist to sing at the Funeral, we can suggest Jay Britton. We have used her in connection with funerals but she also performs at our Christmas concerts. Further details can be found here.

View more about music & singers

Many Crematorium chapels now offer the chance to include a visual tribute as part of the funeral service. This can take the form of just a single photo, displayed on a screen, or up to 25 images of your loved one, presented in a professional way, accompanied by a favourite piece of your choosing.

There is also the opportunity to have the service live streamed for people who are unable to attend, with the option to watch the service again for up to 28 days.

In addition, both the visual tribute and the web-streaming service can be downloaded as a keepsake.

Speak to our office team if you are interested in either of these options.

Printed Order of Service booklets can be a way of both allowing those present to follow the service, but also provide a special keepsake from the day.

Most High Street and online printers will provide this service, however, our preferred printing partner is:

93 Blendon Road, Bexley, Kent DA5 1BP
020 8306 8960

View more infomation on Orders of service

Flowers are a very traditional expression of sympathy. We are more than happy to receive floral tributes at our branches on the day of the funeral in order to dress the coffin and hearse or collect them when we arrive at the home address, place of worship, crematorium or cemetery. 

More details on flowers

If you would like to do something in the name of your loved one, why not consider setting up a donation page, where people can contribute to a charity or cause of your choice.

We have a partnership with Much Loved and can make this arrangement for you, when you talk to us about the funeral

View donations page

Please consider if you or your family and friends would like to carry the coffin on the day of the funeral. You will need to provide either four or six people to undertake this duty; unfortunately we cannot mix our own bearers in with family members. The Funeral Conductor will provide guidance on the day of the funeral – but please see this video here which shows how family members can handle a coffin in a both dignified and safe manner.

The Funeral Day

Prior to the service, you will receive a phone call from the funeral conductor, who will be the person looking after you on the day. The call will just be for them to introduce themselves and to carefully check all the details that you have arranged with us, and also to answer any questions you may have about the day.

On the day itself, we will

  • Usually reach each destination around fifteen minutes early
  • Hand out any Orders of Service 
  • Provide guidance if you have chosen to carry the coffin
  • Be as discreet as possible and provide you and your family with privacy 
  • Arrange the floral tributes in a suitable space

After the service, the Funeral Conductor will invite you to view the floral tributes and collect any cards from them. Once you are ready to leave, if we are providing limousines, we will then take you to your chosen return address where our staff will leave you. 

As always, we are available to help you if you wish to discuss any details with us.

After Care

As a caring family Funeral Director, we want you to know that we are there to continue to provide support and advice after the funeral day for you and your family.

Following a Cremation, the crematorium will supply the ashes in a temporary container. 

Options to consider:

  • We can collect the ashes and take care of them, until you are ready to collect them. 
  • We can Transfer ashes into a chosen urn or keepsake to keep at home. See our range here.
  • Have the ashes scattered at the crematorium in a witnessed or non-witnessed ceremony.
  • Inter them in a new, existing grave or burial niche where available.


Please discuss with our office team if you wish to discuss any of these options further.

Following a burial, the ground will require approximately twelve months to settle before you can have a memorial positioned. We no longer provide memorial masonry services directly, but through a partnership with Barnes Memorials

01732 824504


The death of a loved one can be a very distressing time, and while we are here to help you through the arrangements for the funeral, we know that it is often the time after the funeral that is the most difficult.

Please find below some links that may be of use if you would like ongoing bereavement support and advice. There may be additional peer support services in many areas, information about these can often be found at places of worship, community centres, libraries or your doctor’s surgery.

A National Charity which helps people through one of the most painful times in life – with bereavement support, information and campaigning.

Provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress.

Marie Curie
Offers a safe, confidential space to discuss your feelings and emotions around bereavement.

Provides excellent bereavement care and support after pregnancy loss and baby death.

Sue Ryder
Bereavement support to people facing the most difficult times of their lives.

In partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Charlton Athletic Community Trust, these walks offer the opportunity to talk about grief and share these feelings with others. 

Matthew Uden says “If you’ve lost a loved one it can be really helpful to be with other people that have also experienced similar grief. We have partnered up with other local agencies to provide an opportunity for a get together, do a bit of gentle walking exercise, and if you want to have a chat about your loss.” 

The walks take place every Wednesday morning, in Eltham, with one of our staff members attending, since we have been doing these walks we have had such a wonderful response from those that came along. 

If you have any questions or are interested in taking part please contact Uden’s head office on 020 8850 2868

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