What to do before an expected death or when death has occured

Daniel Ross Funerals cover all areas of Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham – therefore you are not restricted nor are you limited to using the nearest funeral director in your area.

It is natural that this time is very confusing for you, and at Daniel Ross Funerals, Sutton Coldfield, we aim to make it as clear as possible for you. If the death has not yet occured, but is likely to soon, it is very sensible to make contact with an undertaker, and begin to get the procedure clear in your mind.  You will also find that funeral directors vary and you may find it reassuring to know the quality of care and service you will receive before it is needed.

If the death has occured, please ring our 24 hour helpline 0121 313 0054 and speak personally to us.

We have included some advice on these pages for you, but please email us or telephone our Walmley funeral home on 0121 313 0054 should you have any further questions.

Non religious funeral – Humanist/Civil

A funeral is one of life’s most important personal events, and we know how important it is for each family to discuss, plan and agree upon the funeral service. We treat every funeral individually and aim to provide you with a meaningful and memorable day, always ensuring that we listen to your particular needs and circumstances. For some people, a religious funeral might not seem appropriate, but rest assured we will be able to discuss it with you and find a solution.

For small and intimate family funerals, we can in addition offer our Chapel for a funeral service in Sutton Coldfield

For a non-religious funeral you have a number of options:-

Non religious funeral – Humanist Funerals. 

The death of someone we have known and loved is no less sad, shocking or painful for those who have chosen to live without religion.A Humanist funeral is increasingly common. It’s simply more appropriate for those who neither lived according to religious principles, nor accepted religious views of life or death.  A Humanist Funeral uniquely and affectionately celebrates the life of the person who has died. Nothing in a Humanist funeral or memorial ceremony should be offensive to those who are religious.  Celebrants in the BHA’s Humanist Ceremonies™ network accredited to conduct funerals are friendly, trained and experienced. There is no reference to God or the Bible, and no hymns can be sung.

Non religious funeral – Civil Funerals. – The Most Popular Option for a Non Religious Funeral

An increasing number of people are finding that their personal preferences are easily accommodated within a Civil Funeral Ceremony and therefore a more appropriate choice for them to make. A Civil Funeral Ceremony can therefore provide an opportunity to create, with the help and support of a professional Civil Funeral Celebrant, the most appropriate and meaningful Ceremony for this final act of love and respect. The celebrant is trained and experienced, but where Humanism in itself is a belief system, a Civil funeral, much like a Civil Wedding, is carried out by someone trained to perform the service. Their own beliefs are not important to the ceremony and therefore are more flexible in references to God, therefore although the service will concentrate on the life of the person who has died, hymns and The Lord’s Prayer are still allowed.

We only work with the best funeral celebrants who deliver the most personal and befitting tributes.

Non religious funeral – Our Flexible Approach.

You do not have to have any official person take the funeral service if there are people in your network of family and friends who wish to make tributes.  Additionally, one of our Funeral Directors can assist as a Master of Ceremonies, taking charge of the proceedings and introducing the speakers.

As part of the funeral arrangement we will discuss all the options available to you for a non religious funeral.



Cremation- What Happens at a Cremation?

Cremation – What happens at the funeral ?

The cortege will arrive at the agreed address at the time given to you on your confirmation letter (please allow us a couple of minutes either side of this time for variations in the volume of traffic). Your Funeral Director will greet you at your door, and escort you and your family to the limousine(s). Once everyone is seated, the Funeral Director will walk the cortege away from the house before getting in to the hearse and travelling to the place of service.

If the service prior to cremation takes place in a church, on arrival, the Funeral Director will first go and speak with the  minister, so please remain seated in the limousine at this point.  The Funeral Director will then assist you out of the limousine when everything is ready.

The coffin will be taken in to the church and you will be asked to follow behind. Once inside the Funeral Director will guide you to your seats.  At the end of the service, the coffin will be taken out of church and placed on to the hearse to go to the Crematorium. You will be asked to lead the mourners out of church, behind the coffin.

At the crematorium, the coffin is taken in to the chapel, and placed on the catafalque.  Again, you will be invited to follow behind the coffin, and the Funeral Director will show you to your seats.  After the service, the Funeral Director will lead you to the courtyard to look at the flowers. The main family flowers are usually placed on top of the coffin and will stay there until the chapel is empty at which point the Funeral Director will collect them and bring them to the terrace. If you wish your flowers to stay with the coffin for the please inform us.

Following the committal service at the crematorium, the limousine(s) will take you back to an address of your choice, or to a reception venue. Please advise us of the return destination prior to the day of the funeral to ensure our chauffeurs can be instructed accordingly

What do I do when death occurs?

Thank you for considering Daniel Ross Funerals at this most difficult time.

Nothing can prepare you for the immediate time ahead but we are here to support you throughout.


If the death is at home, you will need to contact your local GP or possibly the nurses who have been helping you care for your loved one so that they can certify the death, or the paramedics if the death was not expected. When you feel able to do so, you then need to contact us on 0121 313 0054 (24 hour service, 7 days a week)  to arrange to transfer your loved one into our care at Grace Mary House. You will always speak to either Sarah or Daniel during this first contact. There is always the opportunity for your loved one to remain at home for a while if other family members are on their way or simply your family just needs to spend time together privately. When you are ready, Daniel and either a male or female member of our team (depending on who has passed away) will come to your home, talk with your family and transfer your loved one into our care. We have the most up to date stretchers and equipment to ensure the transfer is safe and dignified for your family member. Our transfer vehicle is a private estate car with tinted windows for total privacy and added security. Once back at our funeral home, we will call to advise that your loved one is resting within a private Chapel of Rest and to arrange a time to contact you the next day.

We understand the enormity of coming to your home at this heartbreaking time and for the trust we are asking you to place in us in transferring your loved one into our care – this is the absolute reason that you will always speak to Daniel or Sarah during your first call and it will be us in person who will conduct the transfer.

If the death occurs at a nursing home, you will need to give our details to the Matron or a member of staff, who will contact us to arrange to transfer your loved one into our care at Grace Mary House. Should you wish to remain with your loved one at this time, please do so and our funeral director in attendance will offer the necessary support and guidance to you and your family when he arrives. Alternatively, our funeral director will contact you at home, when your loved one and has been transferred into our care and is resting within a Private Chapel, here at the funeral home.

If the death occurs whilst in Hospital, please do still contact us as soon as you are able and feel ready to do so. If the death occurs over the weekend, or during a Bank Holiday, we remain at your service 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Although we are not allowed to transfer your loved one immediately into our care, we are still able to support you and offer guidance on the next steps that need to be taken. For a cremation, the doctors at the Hospital will need to complete two sets of cremation paperwork and you will need to register the death before we will be allowed to transfer your loved one to our funeral home. For a burial, the death only needs to be registered.

The information below is a general guideline for registering a death.

We will advise you personally on what needs to be done as your personal circumstances may differ from this general guideline.

To register a death, an appointment will need to be made with the Registrar (in the area where the death occurred) usually within 5 days, and we can make this appointment for you.

You will need to take:

–              The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

–              The Medical Card of the deceased, if possible

–              Any pension books and documents etc

–              The deceased’s Birth and Marriage Certificates (if available)

The Registrar will provide you with a certificate (a green form) which we need to carry out the funeral and to be able to transfer your loved one to our funeral home though we do not need it to make arrangements.  Some people like to make the arrangements before collecting the certificate, others choose to bring it with them.

When someone dies unexpectedly or suddenly, the Coroner is informed. Sometimes, a funeral firm will attend the scene of the death and collect the deceased person, however you are not obliged to use this firm for the funeral as they are simply contracted by the Coroner to attend.

In the vast majority of cases, referral to the Coroner occurs simply because the deceased had not seen a Doctor within 14 days, or had been admitted to hospital and died within 24 hours.

Please do not delay in contacting us if a death is reported to the Coroner, as we will be able to provide reassurance and advice.

If you should require any further information or advice at all about the Registration or Coroner’s procedure then please feel free to contact us.

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