Carrying out the arrangements yourself when someone has died

Storing the body

In order to reduce decomposition, the deceased is best kept under refrigeration or in cold storage. A local funeral director may assist you with this service until the time of the funeral.

If it is your wish to keep the deceased at home it is recommended that the room in which the body is kept is not heated in any way, either artificially (ie radiators or fires) nor naturally (ie sunlight). It is also advisable to keep the windows and doors to the room closed. Particularly in hot weather, contamination can easily occur if a blowfly enters the room and lays its eggs on the deceased. This will result in maggots in as little as 24 hours, which will be extremely distressing for you.

At the hospital they will usually take the body to the mortuary and the funeral director will collect it. However, if you do not want the funeral director to take the body you have a common law right as executor or administrator to be given care of the deceased. You will need to telephone (usually the Patient Affairs or Bereavement Office); to arrange a suitable time to attend the mortuary and remove the body.