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What to do when someone dies

Whether the death of a loved one is anticipated or unexpected, there are a number of things which must be done following a death in Ireland.

Who to notify

Immediately following the death, you should notify the next of kin, the deceased’s family doctor (GP) and the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths.  You should also notify a funeral director, who will help you with the funeral arrangements and guide you through the decisions which need to be made.  Massey Bros. are available to assist 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Simply call us on 1800 740 000.

Most people die of natural causes.  However, if the death is sudden and unexpected, the Gardaí and Coroner may need to be informed e.g. if the doctor did not see the deceased at least 28 days before the death occurred or if the doctor is unhappy about the cause of death.  The Coroner will decide if a post-mortem is necessary.  If after a post-mortem the cause of death cannot be established, an inquest may be held.

Registering the death

To register a death, you must bring a medical certificate stating the cause of death to the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths most convenient to you, within three months of the date on which the death occurred.  The following information is required in order to register the death:

  • Date and place of death (which must be supplied as part of the medical cause of death)
  • Place of birth of the deceased
  • The deceased’s gender
  • Forename(s), surname, birth surname (if different) and address of deceased
  • Personal public service number of the deceased (PPS Number)
  • Civil Status of the deceased
  • Date of birth or age at last birthday of the deceased
  • Profession or occupation of the deceased
  • If the deceased was married, the profession or occupation of his/her spouse
  • If the deceased was less than 18 years of age on the date of death, the occupation(s) of his/her parent(s) or guardian(s)
  • Forename(s) and birth surname of the deceased’s father
  • Forename(s) and birth surname of the deceased’s mother
  • Certificated cause of death, duration of illness and date of certificate (which must be supplied as part of the medical cause of death)
  • Forename, surname, place of business, daytime telephone number and qualification of the registered medical practitioner who signed the certificate
  • Forename(s), surname, qualification, address and signature of the informant
  • If an inquest in relation to the death or a post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased was held, the forename, surname and place of business of the coroner concerned
  • Date of registration
  • Signature of Qualified Informant
  • Signature of registrar

More information about registering a death can be found on the General Register Office website

Informing the Department of Social and Family Affairs

If the person who died was in receipt of a social welfare payment, including a state pension, or was a dependent on another person’s payment, you will also need to inform the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

More information on what to do when someone dies can be found on the Citizens Information website.

Death overseas

If a loved one has passed away overseas, please contact us on T:1800 740000 and we will make all the necessary arrangements to have their remains brought back to Ireland.

“Just a short note to thank you so much for your support and help to us in organising our brother’s funeral recently. It was a great comfort to all of the family to have such a dignified funeral ceremony.

We particularly appreciated your advice on the liturgy for the funeral mass. Our thanks also to Rod and Peter for their courtesy and support on the day of the funeral”

Client of Massey Brothers

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