If the person has died at home, and their death was expected: You should contact their GP, and their closest relative, if that isn’t you. The doctor should issue a Medical Certificate Cause of Death, which enables you to then register the death at the Register Office, so that a death certificate can be provided. If you don’t know who their GP is, call the NHS helpline on 111 and let them know what’s happened. You’ll also need to contact a funeral director so that they can arrange to transfer your loved one to the funeral home.
If the person died at home unexpectedly: Call 111 and seek advice. If the cause of death is unclear, or if the person who died had not seen their doctor in the last 14 days, the death may need to be referred to a coroner. In rare cases, if the coroner cannot determine the cause of death themselves, they might need to refer the death for a post-mortem examination, to establish the cause of death. In this case, the funeral may need to be delayed while the post-mortem is carried out. A doctor will issue a medical certificate once the cause of death is determined. See Gov.uk or Scottish Gov for more information about post-mortems, and what is involved in the process.
If the person dies in a hospice or hospital: The hospital typically issues the medical certificate, so the death can be registered, and lets you know the next steps you need to take. If they are an organ donor and die in hospital, then the hospital will check on the Organ Donor Register as part of the process. However, deaths outside of a hospital don’t qualify for organ donation. Usually, the body is kept in the hospital mortuary until funeral directors or relatives arrange for it to be taken away.
If the person dies abroad: You will need to register the death according to the regulations of the country where they died, and also with the British Consul there to get a consulate death certificate to register the death in the UK. The government has online leaflets that tell you what to do when someone dies abroad at Gov.uk.