When Death Occurs
What to do when a death occurs?
Death takes our loved ones away. It emotionally destroys us. Yet, we stay strong to say goodbye to them. And so, although the process of following up with post-death matters is a distressing one, we never hesitate to take the necessary steps. For immediate advice and assistance, call us at 1800 800 8888 and we will guide you through the entire funeral process.
In the hope of helping you stay strong; this article will guide you through the practical and financial arrangements to be made upon the death of a loved one.
Step 1: Obtaining Certificate of the Cause of Death (CCOD)
When someone passes away, a Certificate of Cause of Death (CCOD) has to be obtained. A CCOD is a document filled in by a licensed medical practitioner to certify that the individual’s death resulted from known and natural causes.
Here are 4 possible scenarios in which a death may occur and what to do in each situation:
a) When a loved one passes away at the hospital: The CCOD will be issued on the spot by the attending doctor at the hospital if the cause of death is known and natural. The CCOD can only be obtained after producing the NRIC of the deceased.
b) When a loved one passes away at home: A house call by a GP or your family doctor has to be made to certify the cause of death. If the doctor is able to certify the cause of death, the CCOD can be issued by the doctor on the spot.
Coroner’s Case: A coroner’s case happens in the event of an unnatural death or when death occurs without a known cause.
The police will arrange for the body to be sent to the Mortuary@HSA (located at Block 9 Singapore General Hospital). The Police Investigation Officer (IO) will inform the family when to go to the Mortuary@HSA. Be punctual and bring along both the IC of the deceased and the informant, and all relevant medical documents and medicines relating to the deceased.
At the Mortuary@HSA, the Police IO will arrange for the family to view and identify the deceased’s body in the presence of the Coroner.
The Coroner will review the case and determine if an autopsy is required. The family will then be informed of the Coroner’s decision and the time to claim the body for the funeral.
c) When a loved one passes away overseas: The death should be registered with the relevant foreign authorities where the death has occurred and arrangement for permit and importation be made. Call us at 1800 800 8888 for Inbound Repatriation Service.
d) When a foreigner passes away in Singapore and repatriation to home country is required: The death should be registered similar to Step 1a or 1b above. Arrangement for permit and exportation be made. Call us at 1800 800 8888 for Outbound Repatriation Service.
Step 2: Registering the death
Prior to registration, the family should decide whether the body is to be cremated or buried, as this information is required when registering the death.
The family will have to register the death at any Police Divisional Headquarters, Neighbourhood Police Centre, Neighbourhood Police Post or the Registry of Births and Deaths.
The family should bring Certificate of Cause of Death (CCOD) and NRIC / Passport / Certificate of Registration of Birth / FIN card.
If the body is referred to the Mortuary@HSA, the death will be registered at the Mortuary@HSA.
Step 3: Arranging the funeral
When a death occurs in the family, it can be a stressful and confusing time and you may be at a loss of what to do. Our experienced funeral directors will guide you from Step 1 to your loved one’s final resting place.
Our funeral directors will assist you in arranging the wake, placing an obituary, deciding on burial and cremation, choosing the final resting place and bereavement counselling.