Who should I notify if someone dies at home?
This depends on whether the death was sudden or expected. If expected, the deceased will have been attended to by his or her GP recently. The first/initial call should be made to this doctor who will be required to visit the home to confirm death has occurred. Once death has been confirmed the funeral director should be called.
If unexpected, the first call should be made to the deceased’s G.P. who was attending during his or her last illness. The GP may advise that the family contact their nearest Garda Station, as the Gardai may wish to contact the Coroner.
If contacting the GP out of hours normally a number for an out of hours/locum doctor will be given; once contacted they will arrange for a doctor to call to the house. The funeral director should be contacted at this stage.
If you are unsure please contact us and we will advise.
In the event of a death at home the family may also wish to contact a Minister of their faith.
What is the normal procedure/process when someone dies in a hospital, hospice or nursing home?
Normally a doctor will be in attendance or called to confirm death. The doctor and or staff will confirm to the family whether or not a post mortem examination will be required. In most instances, this will not be necessary and the family are free to telephone their funeral director to make funeral arrangements.
Who is responsible for making funeral arrangements?
The person who has legal authority to make funeral arrangements is the Executor - the person named in the will to administer the estate.
However, the responsibility can pass by mutual agreement to the next of kin or family friend.
It is important to understand that whoever signs the authorisation for a funeral service to proceed will be financially responsible for the funeral and the only person with the authority to make arrangement with the crematorium or cemetery.
What type of funeral service should we have?
If you wish to have a traditional church service you need to decide whether to have a removal to church the day preceding the funeral followed by burial next day or a removal to church and burial on the same day. We will discuss both options with you.
A funeral can and should be a celebration of life. A 'good' funeral is one that is authentic, creative and meaningful in relation to the person who has died and those who are grieving. You can personalise the funeral service with readings, hymns or even the location. Our experienced staff will guide and assist you to arrange the type of service you want.
My loved one was not religious; are there options for non church funeral services?
Yes. There are other options available such as a humanist service and we will discuss these with you.
Is embalming required?
We recommend embalming in all cases. We believe that the care and presentation of the body is one of our most important functions as Funeral Directors. We have a fully qualified embalmer to achieve the highest possible standard of presentation available.
Embalming combines the sanitation and preservation of the body. This is achieved by the injection of a treated solution into the circulatory system. This returns a more natural appearance and also prevents the spread of bacteria and advancement of deterioration
I have relatives coming from abroad, is there a difficulty in delaying the funeral?
No. Once preparation and embalming has taken place viewing is normally available over an extended period of time.
How much does a funeral cost?
The cost of a funeral will be determined by you and your family and should be in line with what you or the estate can financially afford. A funeral can be costly but does not need to be. We can advise you on what elements may be most appropriate for you when you contact us.
Funeral costs are broken down into two areas.
The costs charged by the Funeral Director will include:
The coffin selected by the family
Use of funeral home (if required)
Removal of remains from place of death to our funeral home for embalming, preparation, dressing and presentation of the deceased for viewing at the funeral home and/or return to the family home
Liaising with third parties such as hospital, nursing home, doctor, coroner, Garda, priest, musicians for funeral services, florist, gravedigger, paper, radio and internet death notice publication.
Attend, oversee and officiate during the course of the funeral.
Grave dressing and aftercare service
Preparation & printing of mass booklets
Disbursements and expenses are paid on behalf of the family. They can include any or none of the following depending on the requirement of the family.
Death announcements in National newspapers and/or Local Radio
When will I receive my account for the funeral expenses and how can I pay it?
We forward our accounts normally a month after the funeral has taken place unless it is requested earlier. Payment can be made by bank draft, cheque or bank transfer. Sometimes families experience difficulty finding the money to pay the funeral account. Delays can occur for a number of genuine reasons (e.g.,wills, insurance etc), all of which are understood and appreciated. If you find that there are difficulties with payment of the funeral account you should consult with us as we have experienced these situations many time and will be able to help.
Is it possible to organise donations to a charity instead of flowers?
Of course. We will assist you to arrange donations to your nominated charity and include your request in the death announcement form.
What happens if a death occurs abroad?
We have years of experience in dealing with the added complexity of a death overseas and the task of returning the deceased home to Ireland.
Equally, we have extensive experience in repatriating someone who has died in Ireland back to their country of origin.
We will co-ordinate all documents required from coroners, embassies and airlines.
Does it cost more to be cremated than buried?
No, usually burial is more expensive. We will advise you of comparative costs.
What kind of service can I have with cremation?
As with burial you can have a religious or a non-religious service or indeed no service at all prior to the removal of the deceased to the Crematorium.
What happens at the Crematorium?
The service at the Crematorium must be carried out within the time allowed by the Crematorium. Family and mourners gather at the crematorium at an arranged time. The coffin will be placed in a position for everyone to view. The chosen service will commence. It may include hymns, songs, prayers and eulogies.Towards the end of the service, curtains will be drawn and the coffin will be hidden from view. If you would prefer the coffin to remain on view until everyone has left this can be arranged.
What is required for registering a death and obtaining Death Certificates?
Death Registration and Certificates
One of the first things that needs to be done after a funeral is the procurement of a death certificate. Any dealings with banks, insurance companies or government offices will depend on having a death certificate.
The next-of-kin must register a death. The Hospital, Nursing Home or Residential Care Unit where the death occurred will no longer register the death. A Medical Doctor does not issue the Death Certificate.
How to register a death
To register a death, you must bring a Death Notification Form stating the cause of death to any Registrar. You can get this from the doctor who attended the deceased during his/her last illness. You must complete Part 2 of the Death Notification Form. You must then sign the Register in the presence of the Registrar. This registration is free.
The doctor must be satisfied about the cause of death before he/she can certify it. This Doctor must also have attended the patient within 28 days prior to death.
Part 1 of the Form must be signed by the Medical Practitioner stating the cause of death.
Part 2 of the Form must be completed by the next-of-kin/relative giving additional personal details of the deceased, e.g. date of birth, PPS number, occupation, marital status, address, etc/
This Form, having been completed by both the Doctor and the next-of-kin/relative, should then be taken to any Registrar for Births, Marriages & Deaths in Ireland where the death will then be registered.
Deaths should be registered as soon as possible and no later than 3 months from the date of the death.
There is no charge to register a death that occurs in Ireland. Fees are charged for a copy of a death certificate.
A certificate is issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost. Evidence it is for social welfare purposes is required, such as a note from the Department of Social Protection.
The fees charged for a certificate are as follows:
- €20 for a full standard certificate.
- €1 for a copy for social welfare purposes (letter from Department of Social Protection required).
- €4 for an uncertified copy of an entry in the Register.
- €10 to have a certificate authenticated (only available from the General Register Office).
Further points to note
Once it has been verbally confirmed that the doctor is in a position to issue the Death Notification Form, the arrangements for the funeral to take place may proceed.
When a death is sudden or unexplained, the death is referred to the Coroner who instructs a pathologist to carry out a post mortem examination. The pathologist, having ascertained the cause of death, sends his report to the Coroner who, in turn, issues a Coroner's Certificate of the cause of death. This is then forwarded to the Registrar for Deaths for the region. In certain cases this can take a number of weeks.
The death is automatically registered. A post mortem examination can delay funeral arrangements but approval for the release of the body is usually given within 48 to 72 hours by the Coroner, save in exceptional circumstances.
If the death is of a violent nature, or occurs under suspicious circumstances, the Coroner will order a post mortem examination. The results of which may warrant the holding of an inquest. The inquest will take place following the completion of the Garda and Medical reports being presented to the Coroner.
Are there Bereavement Grants available?
There are currently no grants available for funeral costs.
Credit Union Death Benefit Insurance
If the death occurs of a current member of a credit union, who had joined between the ages of 16 and 70, they may be entitled to Death Benefit Insurance. The actual amount of insurance benefit may vary from one credit union to the other. The minimum benefit offered is €1,300 in the Republic of Ireland. The relevant Credit Union will supply more details on this matter.
Can you arrange for an Acknowledgement and In Memoriam notice?
Generally, acknowledgement notices are inserted two to four weeks after the Funeral has taken place. We will assist if required in the drafting and publication of the notice.
Can I donate my body to medical science?
The human body provides a source of knowledge that is the foundation of medical education and research. The donation of a body to medical science means the body is transferred in its entirety to a nearby medical school. There it is used to benefit medical teaching and research. Donor bodies are used to teach medical and other health science students the relationship between systems and the structure of the human body. The donation of remains to medical science is governed by the Anatomy Act 1832.
Any individual may register their intention to bequeath their body after their death to the Anatomical Donor Programme. For more information click here: http://www.nuigalway.ie/anatomy/donorprogramme