What to do when the time arises

Very few of us know what to do when something happens to our loved ones, here is a brief guideline of what arrangements need to be made.

 Call a doctor or ambulance unless you are in a hospital environment.

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 If the person has passed away it is normal for the police to be contacted.

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The ambulance staff will issue a receipt detailing their attendance.

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A doctor will then have to attend to confirm the circumstances and suspected cause of death. They will issue a form which will require passport details or DNI if a Spanish national. If you do not have a doctor, we can arrange our ‘on call’ service to attend. Sight of the original passport is enough, it should not be handed over.

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If the doctor is happy with the circumstance of death he will sign the form to release the deceased on to an undertaker.

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If the circumstances are unusual, it is normal for the authorities to take the deceased for post mortem study. If this is the case the police will call the duty funeral director who will take the body to the nearest facility. The body is normally released back to the family the following day.

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Once the paperwork is done and released, an undertaker can be called.

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Upon arrival, the paperwork will be checked, and the deceased can then be moved, if required, to a place of rest.  Again, sight of the passport may be required and a copy taken, but the original is not required. Details will also be required of the next of kin.

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An appointment can then be made over the next few days to make funeral arrangements at a time and place, convenient to you and your family.

From this point every funeral differs, by religion, taste and budget. Your funeral director should explain every alternative and answer every question you have.

Never be afraid to ask, or get a second opinion. Unfortunately prices can vary greatly, so a closed, written quote is always the best way to proceed.

At no time should you feel pressured into making decisions, every situation is specific to those involved and every funeral should be unique.

There is no time limit to perform the funeral, within reason. A small charge may be incurred by the place of rest but this can be confirmed by the undertaker in advance.

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The company you use initially does not have to be the same as those providing the funeral services. If you change your mind, only the expenses incurred can be charged and these must be explained and itemised.