Families / Executors
The following has been created to provide guidance to the family during this difficult time. For more support and information about what to do when someone passes away go to: If someone passes away - States of Guernsey (gov.gg)
What are the different types of death?
How do I find the details of funeral directors?
What is a declaration of death?
1. What to do when someone dies
When someone passes away please call their GP (if known) and/or Emergency Services.
Joint Emergency Services (JESCC): Emergency tel. 999 or non-emergency tel. 222222
Unfortunately, in some instances, deaths may have occurred which have been unforeseen or have events surrounding them that require involvement from the Law Officers and/or the Guernsey Police.
In respect of Guernsey law, death falls into two categories and will be categorised on how it is processed:
o Natural Death
Occurs when a person dies following old age or an illness for which they have seen the medical practitioner on various occasions. This may happen at home, in the hospital, a care home or even abroad.
o Sudden or Unnatural Death
Occurs when a person dies unexpectedly, possibly following a tragic accident or suicide. This type of death will involve the Police who will then report to the HM Law Officers (Guernsey's equivalent to the Coroner). A post-mortem examination may be required to determine the cause of death, and following these findings, there may also be an inquest.
Please find below the contact details of five funeral directors located in Guernsey who are available 24/7 to guide you through the process, whether religious or humanist the funeral directors below will be able to assist you.
Argent Funeral Care
Argent Funeral Care, Maison Funéraire, La Route de la Croix au Bailiff, St Andrew, Guernsey, GY6 8RT
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 9am to 5pm; Weekends: by special arrangement
T: 01481 233155
Beckford's Funeral Services
Beckford's Funeral Services, Rue Des Crabbes, Saint-Sauveur, Guernsey, GY7 9QL
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 8:30am to 5pm
T: 01481 264202
Martels Funeral Services
Martels Funeral Service, Maison De Bas, Brock Road, Guernsey, GY2 4PL
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 9am to 5pm; 24/7 for call out purposes
T: 01481 244788
Noyon's Funeral Services
Noyon's Funeral Services, Abigail Villa, Houmet Lane, Vale, Guernsey, GY6 8JF
Opening Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for call out purposes
T: 01481 249778
Vaudin's Funeral Services
The Funeral Home, Les Huriaux Farm Complex, St Martin's, Guernsey, GY4 6SY
Opening Hours: Mon to Thurs: 9am to 5pm; Fri: 9am to 4pm; call out 24/7
T: 01481 236080
A declaration of death is a form used in the registration of a death. This is completed by a medical practitioner which then records the death at the Greffe.
5. Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD)
A medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) is a certificate completed by a medical practitioner who has been in attendance during the deceased's last illness, generally the GP. This records the cause of death correctly and is submitted by the funeral directors to the registrar at the Greffe. In the case of other islands within the Bailiwick, the funeral directors will also submit to the appropriate jurisdictional registrar. Once recorded, the death will be added to the death list which is circulated weekly to Social and Revenue Services. Social Services may be able to assist you in the form of a bereavement benefit.
Post-mortem examinations are more likely to occur where the death has been due to an accident or other factors where the cause or circumstance of death is unclear. This can be difficult for families to process so family members can request support via their GP, to seek clarification, or request information, in respect of their relatives' death.
What is a post-mortem?
A post-mortem is a report provided by the Pathologist after examining a deceased individual to provide a clearer understanding as to the cause of death.
Clarification of a Post-Mortem Examination
We appreciate how distressing a post-mortem report can be so we ask that the family's GP request in writing via email@example.com that a copy of the report is made available to the GP. The GP can then arrange an appointment to meet with the family, clearly explain the facts of the report and answer any further medical questions the family may have. The Pathologist can also assist in explaining complex deaths to the family during this appropriate meeting, if requested.
An inquest is a judicial inquiry held in order to ascertain the answers to four fundamental questions:
o Who the deceased was;
o Where they died;
o When they died;
o How the deceased came to their death.
When a Law Officer directs an inquest to be opened, the Police will act on the behalf of the Law Officers in making the necessary arrangements and investigations.
The inquest is presided over by a Magistrate and is held in public as soon as it is practicable after all enquiries have been completed. The Magistrate will then return a verdict - a short statement which records the answers to the previous four questions. There are number of verdicts that can be given.
Some inquests may be more complex due to the nature of the death (e.g. fatal road traffic collision, homicide, suicides). Where possible, the Law Officers will request that an inquest be opened to release the deceased to the family so that funeral proceedings may continue without delay.
If an inquest has been heard to release the deceased whilst further information has been collated to conclude the inquest the conclusion of the inquest is known as a resumption inquest. The resumption inquest will give the final verdict.
Should families wish to take further proceedings, a local law firmwould be able to assist in this regard.
The funeral director will request a burial permit. This permit authorises the burial of the deceased within the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
The funeral director will arrange the completion and guidance of these forms. They can complete an application for cremation on behalf of the family, if required. An executor of the deceased or a member of the family can also complete Form A of the application for cremation if preferred. Medical practitioners, at the request of the funeral director, will complete Form(s) B and C.
If you have any questions regarding the information above, please direct them to: firstname.lastname@example.org