AS SOON AS YOU CAN
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
1. Get a legal pronouncement of death. If your loved one died in a hospital, a doctor can take care of this for you. If your family member died at home or in an accident or incident outside of the hospital, call the police at 211.
At the Hospital: If under the care of a doctor and the cause of death is known or if the deceased was previously seeing a doctor then the next of kin can have their attending physician write the coroner. If death occurs in the hospital within 24 hours before admittance (e.g. A&E), this is automatically a Coroner's case.
At Home: In the case of known sickness and under physician care for some time your doctor will issue a death certificate. If a case of sudden death with no physician, this is a Coroner’s case and Police removal is necessary.
Accident or Case of Unnatural Death: The Police must be contacted first.
2. Notify close family and friends. Every family is different, and there’s no one right way to do this. For some families, sharing the news in-person or over the phone is the only acceptable way. Notifying regional and international relatives by email may or may not be acceptable however, this may be best left until the following day. If possible, split up the task between several family members.
3. Decide what you’d like to do with your loved one’s body and arrange transportation. First, check to see if your loved one expressed any wishes about their final disposition. Ideally, there will be documentation with other medical documents. If no wishes or plans have been stated, you have two main options:
Burial: Call a funeral home. A funeral home can help you arrange either a burial or cremation. We recommend checking reviews and prices for a few different funeral homes before making a decision, as both can vary widely. A few minutes of research can save you thousands of dollars and reduce unwanted surprises.
Cremation: Call a funeral home. Though the option for cremation exists in Barbados these are all coordinated through funeral homes.
4. Arrange care for any dependents or pets. If your loved one was responsible for caring for one or more people or pets, quickly find someone who can care for them temporarily while you figure out a long-term plan.
5. Secure major property. If your loved one lived on their own, make sure his or her home and any vehicles are locked up. If it will sit vacant for some time, consider notifying the landlord and/or the police, so they can help to keep an eye on it.
6. Notify the person’s employer. If the deceased was employed (or actively volunteering), call to let them know that your loved one has passed away. This is also a good time to ask about pay owed, benefits and life insurance.