We have found from our experience that the moment of passing although possibly expected can be the most anxious of times. Tiredness and emotions can make for clouded decisions. At Lanigan’s we advise families that this is a special moment, take your time, not everybody may have been present. This is not time for decisions that cannot be reversed. There are practical issues to be dealt with. The Funeral Director cannot remove the deceased, until death has been confirmed by a doctor and the Funeral cannot be arranged until there is confirmation from a qualified G.P. or hospital doctor that a Death Notification Form will be issued. Once these have been established the funeral can take place even if the death has not yet been registered. At this sensitive time we are here to help & advise.


Before Funeral Arrangements can be made it is necessary to confirm that a Death Notification Form (Medical certificate as to the cause of Death) will be issued. How this happens is governed by the circumstances of the death. The majority of deaths are expected and medical practioners will follow the following procedures. Remember this process is not always immediate.


A doctor will examine the body to confirm that death has occurred. When the family have left the bedside the deceased will be brought to the mortuary where there will a final check to ensure that all the paperwork is in order and to confirm that a Death Notification Form will be issued.


The G.P. will be called by the family or carers and asked to attend. After death has been confirmed the G.P. will issue the Death Notification Form or tell them when it will be available. If death occurs outside normal surgery hours a Doctor on call may come to confirm death has taken place and will report to the G.P.’s surgery when it opens. Confirmation of the issuing of the Death Notification Form will then be given by the G.P.

Nursing Home/Residential unit

The same procedure applies as for a Nursing home death, but these units have the added responsibilities of having to report deaths on their premises to the local coroner.

Unexpected deaths

If the death is unexpected or the deceased has not seen their G.P. in the last 28 days or a Death Notification Form cannot be issued, the death will be reported to the coroner, this usually but not always leads to a Post-Mortem (Autopsy) taking place.

Care of the deceased

There is always change after death and that is why the care and presentation of the deceased is our first duty. Our aim is to ensure that the deceased is treated with the utmost respect at all times. In almost all cases the deceased will be presented in a manner that allows their family to spend time with them in a final farewell. We try to make the experience for the family as easy and stress free as possible.


The procedures for the civil registration of a death in Ireland are governed by the relevant provision of the Civil Registration Act 2004. All deaths must be registered as soon as possible, but no later than 3 months after death. In general a Death Notification Form is taken by a close family member to a local office of the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. The relative is required to sign the register of deaths in the presence of a registrar who will then issue a copy or copies of entry in the register, commonly known as the Death Certificate.

Death Notification Form

When a death takes place at home, in a hospital, nursing home or other institution, a registered , medical practitioner who attended the deceased during the final illness completes Part 1 of the death notification form (medical certificate for the cause of death). A close relative or qualified informant completes Part 2 of the form before bringing it to the local registrar to register the death. This form is normally available from the medical records dept. of the hospital or the G.P’s surgery

Qualified Informant

In the vast majority of cases a close family relative who is capable of providing the necessary information about the deceased acts as the qualified informant and signs the register. If such a person is not available, the registrar has a hierarchy of people who can and must register the death.

Sudden, Unexpected or Reportable Deaths

Where a death is sudden or unexpected, the Coroner must be notified and he/she may order a Post Mortem (Autopsy). This is quite normal and a formal identification will be arranged. The Coroner will in time register the death after which the family can attend the Registrar, provide additional information if required, and collect the Death Certificate.