First Steps

Our Helpful Advice

When we lose someone we love, there is the immediate sadness, which can often follow with panic and “what do we do now”.

We have given some information below that may help you, but please remember that you can call us at any time of the day or night if you feel panicked or stressed, we are always at the end of the phone for you.

If you have anymore questions that need answering, please see our FAQ’s section or feel free to send us a message via our Contact Us form.

Funeral Directors Bristol

What to do next

Whether a death is expected or not, it is an incredibly sad time when we lose someone we love. If we are fortunate, we won’t have had to make
funeral arrangements before, so it can be a confusing and worrying time. Grief is a very powerful emotion and you may need support and
guidance during this time. Brunel Funeral Directors are here to give you that support and help you make the right choices for you, your family
and of course the loved one you have lost. We are available to talk 24 hours a day and will be here for you until the day of the funeral and
beyond. We want to take away as much stress, panic or worry from you as we can – we are here for you.

When someone dies at home

If you lose someone at home and the death has been expected, the first thing you will need to do is to contact the GP practice or doctor who has been treating your loved one. The GP will come to the house to certify the death. Once this has been done, you can call Brunel Funeral Directors and we will arrange to bring your loved one into our care. Our funeral director will arrive as quickly as possible in our private ambulance. We will then carry out our duties quietly and discreetly, always with dignity.

Under normal circumstances, if your loved one has seen the GP during their last 28 days, the GP will issue the ‘Medical Cause of Death’
document. You will need to collect this from the GP’s receptionist and take it with you to register the death, normally within 5 days. The registrar will then provide you with the Death Certificate(s).

When someone dies in hospital

When someone passes away in hospital, the NOK will be asked if they have chosen to have a burial or cremation.  This is quite important as the necessary paperwork is different for each.  The bereavement office will contact you to ask if you have chosen your funeral director.

Then they will arrange for the paperwork to be sent to the registrar office.  You should then be contacted by the Registrar’s office, and they will make an appointment with you to then formally register the death.

They will issue you with the “Green Cert” (The Certificate for Burial or Cremation) which needs to be given to the funeral director, along with the death certificates (we usually advise 3-5 copies).

When someone dies in a nursing home

A nursing home usually asks the family to nominate a funeral director, that you have chosen to use in the event of you loved one passing at the home.  In the event of the death, the home will call the Dr or nurse to verify the death.  Once this has happened they will then call the funeral director and the deceased will be brought into care.   You will then contact the registrar office to inform them you need to make and appointment to register.

Following a sudden death

If your loved one passes away suddenly and unexpectedly, you must first call for an ambulance. The paramedics will verify the death and if
necessary, will contact the police (this is nothing to be concerned about and is normal practice). A mortuary team will convey your loved one to a Coroner’s Mortuary.

There, the Coroner will conduct their investigations into the cause of death. Once the Coroner’s investigation has been
completed, Once the investigations are complete, give the name of your chosen funeral director to the Coroner,  they will send confirmation to us, and we can then bring your loved one into our care.

Having a sudden death does not stop you from contacting us, having discussions, and seeking advice. We will guide you through the process

Registering the Death

Who should register a death?
The death should be registerd by relative of the deceased. If this is not possible, then someone who was present at the death can also do this. If there are no relatives then the person who takes charge of the arrangements will also be able to do this.

It would be useful to take along to the registrar any identification you can find.  Passport, NI Number, Driving Licence, Pension Number etc.  This may just help the registrar.

Make an appointment to register the death.
You must make an appointment with the Register Office to register a death. You must register the death within the area that the death occurred and you should register within 5 working days of the death occurring.

For deaths in Bristol you must ring 0117 922 2800 (you can then choose to make an appointment at either Bristol Registrars Office in Corn Street or at Southmead Hospital).

For deaths in South Gloucestershire, please ring 01454 863 140 for an appointment. Civic Centre, High Street, Bristol, BS15 9TR.

For deaths in North Somerset, please ring 01823 282 251 for an appointment. Castlewood, Tickenham Road, Clevedon

Tell Us Once (TUO) service

Following the registration of a death several government departments and local services will need to be told.

Once the death is registered the registrar will issue you with a TUO reference number. You can go online or call the Department for Work and Pensions for free on 0800 083 7308. They will tell most government and local government departments that the death has taken place, on your behalf.

You have 28 days to use this service after registering the death.

You can find out more about the service from the Department for Work and Pensions: Tell Us Once – website

Read Our Reviews

Kelly Richards
Kelly Richards
From the day my family stepped into your office, you showed them full support and made them feel at ease. I would like to thank Craig and Louise & all the other staff for the support and comfort you gave myself and my family. Every bit of detailed we asked for whilst our mother was in your care you done for us all above and beyond. We cannot thank you all enough. X
Rhys Reed
Rhys Reed
From the moment myself and my sister stepped through the doors here Craig,Louise and Chris made sure we was all at ease. From any questions no matter when it was Craig was there to answer or was there to support us on any steps we made. I cannot thank them enough. From my family to you guys thank you so much.
Chelsea Reed
Chelsea Reed
I couldn't appreciate Craig,Louise and Chris for all the support they've given my family over the tough time loosing my mother. I really wouldn't go anywhere else they made sure everything was just as perfect as we wanted things. From the bottom of my heart thank you so so much for looking after my mum while she was in your care and making things as perfect as you did. Such lovely people.
Abigail Lynden
Abigail Lynden
Sympathetic, sensitive and compassionate service from start to finish. We couldn’t have asked for more.
Teresa B-W
Teresa B-W
We were recommended Brunel, by family friends, when my mother-in-law passed away. From the very start Louise and Chris led my husband and I with kindness, understanding and professionalism. Nothing was too much trouble and what is a difficult period, was made far less stressful with their help. We can highly recommend Brunel and are thankful they were recommended to us!
Elaine Brown
Elaine Brown
From the moment we entered Brunel we felt at ease. Craig was kind, considerate and very professional. He assured us there was no rush and gave us the time we needed over the next few weeks to arrange my mum's funeral how I wanted it. On the day, Chris and his colleagues arrived in plenty of time and were very helpful and patient and helped us fit a car seat. I cannot recommend them highly enough, they made a very hard day easier.
craig hardy
craig hardy
Brunel Independent Funereal directors looked after us in a caring, compassionate and highly professional manner throughout this difficult process. Chris and the team supported us through each step with clear communication, empathy and understanding. Highly recommended.
Andrew Dodd
Andrew Dodd
I would highly recommend Brunel Independent as Louise made it feel very personal and was excellent at explaining each stage of this daunting process, without being intrusive in any way. The team can arrange practically anything you would like, which helped to make it feel as comfortable as it could do on the day, where Chris and the team were amazing. Thank you.
Jordan Long
Jordan Long
I would like to say a massive thank you to Louise, Chris and Craig for helping our family get through such a difficult time. Nothing was too much trouble and the attention to detail was outstanding.
Alison Long
Alison Long
I’m so glad I chose this company following the death of my grandson . They helped us deal with his death with such empathy and kindness. Nothing was too much trouble and they made us feel comfortable and at ease . Each and every member of the team acted at all times with the utmost professionalism and were never surprised at the requests that we made no matter how strange ! We chose a non religious ceremony and had a celebrant Joss who was amazing . I would not hesitate to use them again if I ever have the misfortune to have to arrange another funeral a big thank you to Louise Chris and Craig xxx

We will help you through the process
every step of the way.

Leave your number below for a call to discuss your situation

You can leave us an email at or call 0117 374 2002

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I personalise my funeral for my loved one?

    Yes, you can now have the funeral of your choice, either a celebration of someones life or a traditional funeral service. You are able to choose whatever music suits your family and loved one, you can have a celebrant, minister or even take the service yourself. We will discuss all your options and with you find the best outcome.

    How do I organise a burial?

    Burials are possible but as graves are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and you may not have your first choice of cemetery. We will work with you to try to find the best outcome. We will try to find out if you have an existing family grave that can be used. If not we will find out the options available to you.

    I want a Green Funeral?

    Green funerals are burials that take place in natural woodland or meadows, in areas that concentrate on encouraging flowers and wildlife and the natural beauty of the surrounding area. For a green funeral the coffin must be made of a natural biodegradable material, e.g willow, banana leaf, cardboard.

    Does my loved one have to be embalmed?

    No. This is not required and most of the time unnecessary. We will only request this in very extreme situations, ie. if someone has to be repatriated to another country it is then a legal requirement.

    What happens to the flowers?

    Flowers at a burial will remain on the grave, but at a cremation the flowers are taken to the garden of rest and after a few days will be disposed of. We actively encourage our families to take the flowers away or take them to a family grave or if you dont want them to be wasted we can always find a nursing home that will make use of them. The main point to be made is you have paid for them, and you can make use of them as you wish.

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