The next steps depend on whether the death was expected or sudden. 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.
If calling the GP out of hours, an alternative number may be given to contact a locum doctor. The locum doctor will visit to confirm death has occurred. Your GP should then be contacted the following morning to advise that death has occurred. Once death has been confirmed the funeral director should be called. In the case of a sudden death the Coroner may decide the deceased cannot be moved from the home. They may request that a particular Funeral Director under contract to the Coroner’s Service be called to remove the body to the local hospital for post mortem. It is important to note that in this case, the family may utilise an alternative funeral director to make the funeral arrangements for them.
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/Police Station, as the Gardai/Police 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.
In the event of any death at home the family may also wish to contact a priest or Minister of their faith.
Normally a doctor will be in attendance or called to confirm death. The doctor and or staff will confirm to you whether or not a post mortem examination will be required. In most instances, this will not be necessary and you are free to telephone a funeral director to make funeral arrangements. If the death occurs in a nursing home then the local coroner may need to be informed depending on the county in which the death has occurred.
Funeral arrangements are usually made by the immediate family of the deceased. The deceased may have left specific instructions about where to be buried or cremated and what form the funeral service should take. Most people respect the deceased’s wishes where possible.
If there is any dispute about who is entitled to make the arrangements or about the precise arrangements, the personal representatives are entitled to make the decisions. The personal representatives of the deceased are the executors of the will if there is a will or the people entitled to administer the estate if there is no will. The people entitled to administer the estate in the absence of a will are immediate family members.
No one ever wants to organise a funeral but when the inevitable happens it is reassuring to know that an Irish Association of Funeral Directors (IAFD) member firm will guide you through the process and help you make arrangements at what can be a very upsetting time.
The IAFD is dedicated to maintaining the highest of standards throughout the funeral profession to ensure bereaved families receive the advice and support they need and deserve. The IAFD represents a broad spectrum of funeral directing businesses, which conduct around 80% of all funerals on the island of Ireland.
The Irish Association of Funeral Directors demands high professional standards so, in order to be accepted into membership, applicants are assessed against strict criteria. Members of the IAFD are then required to abide by a Code of Practice.
Funerals can vary greatly in cost, depending on all the different elements and choices made by the family. Basically, the funeral costs can be broken into two types, the fee charged by the Funeral Director, and the Disbursements made on your behalf by the Undertaker to the various bodies involved like the Church, the County Councils in charge of the Graves, the Crematoriums. IAFD members must be able to detail the costs of funeral products (coffins/caskets, floral tributes etc.), services and facilities provided by them. Details of payments made on behalf of the client must also be made available.