How to Act in the Event of a Loved One's Death
Coping with the death of a loved one is an emotionally challenging period for everyone. Regardless of whether we want to think about it or talk about it, sooner or later, such a moment can occur in everyone's life. In such a situation, focusing and attempting to organize the funeral of a loved one can be particularly difficult. Typically, this responsibility is entrusted to an appropriate funeral bureau. If you are confused and unsure how to proceed, ask us. We provide ritual services throughout Latvia - we will advise you on what to do, find a suitable funeral bureau for you, and assist you step by step in organizing the funeral.
If a person has died at home
If a person has died at home without signs of violent death, you should contact the deceased's family doctor. After confirming the fact of death and taking into account the medical history of the deceased, the family doctor issues a certificate stating the cause of death. This document is necessary for obtaining a death certificate and carrying out subsequent actions related to the organization of the funeral.
In cases where the cause of death is unknown or the deceased was younger than 59 years old, the family doctor issues a referral for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. On weekends, holidays, or during nighttime hours, family doctors are often not available. In such cases, you can contact them by phone to report the death.
In any case, you need to notify that your close relative will be taken to the morgue, where they will be stored in accordance with established requirements. Often, people think that in the event of death, it is necessary to immediately call an ambulance and the police, but neither of them will issue a death certificate or transport the body to the morgue. This is handled by doctors and funeral service providers. This means that you need to arrange for transportation to the morgue by contacting a funeral agency.
An exception would be if you are unsure of the occurrence of death. In such a case, you should call an emergency medical team, which will arrive, confirm the fact of death, and issue a directive for transporting the body to the morgue. This directive may be useful when contacting the family doctor and in cases where an autopsy is needed to determine the cause of death. However, the police should be called only in the case of a crime or accident.
An important step is also obtaining a death certificate because without it, you won't be able to address other matters such as burial arrangements, social benefits, legal issues in inheritance cases, and so on.
If a person has died in a hospital
If your loved one has passed away in a hospital, the attending doctor will inform you and invite you to come to the hospital department for formalities. If the cause of death is known to the family, and there are no complaints about the deceased's treatment, a statement of non-performance of an autopsy is submitted. In cases where relatives doubt the cause of death or are dissatisfied with the deceased's treatment, an autopsy is required to determine the cause of death. There are situations where an autopsy is mandatory. The death certificate is issued by the attending doctor, the head of the department, or the pathologist, and the document itself is issued in the pathology department - the morgue.
In any case, the deceased should be transported as soon as possible from the hospital morgue to the funeral agency's morgue, where the farewell ceremony will be prepared. We recommend choosing a funeral agency carefully.
If a crime or accident has occurred
If your loved one has passed away at home or in a public place, and the cause of death is a crime or an accident, you must contact the State Police. The police officers will arrange for the transportation of the deceased to the State Forensic Medical Center by calling the appropriate service. After the examination, a death certificate is issued. Subsequently, the body of the deceased must be transferred to the mortuary of the funeral bureau for funeral preparations. In this case, the choice of the funeral bureau should be made carefully to ensure a dignified farewell ceremony. In cases where cremation is anticipated, it is necessary to obtain permission from the prosecutor for the cremation.
In any case, do not hesitate to ask questions - we, as a service providing assistance in funeral rituals throughout Latvia, will provide you with guidance, find a suitable funeral bureau for you, and advise on how to take the first steps in each difficult situation, such as the loss of a loved one.
Repatriation is the transportation of the deceased to/from Latvia using specialized transport and in a cink coffin
If a person has died abroad - repatriation
If your loved one has passed away abroad, but you wish to bury them in Latvia, or vice versa, if a foreigner has passed away in Latvia and needs to be transported abroad, a special funeral bureau service is required - repatriation of the deceased - transportation in specialized vehicles and in a zinc coffin. In Latvia, the deceased's body undergoes repackaging, and burials in zinc coffins are prohibited. The documentation and transportation of the body out of the country are handled by the respective funeral bureau in the country where the death occurred. A written permit for the deceased's burial must be obtained from the Latvian cemetery.
Additional information on how to proceed in such a situation can be obtained by contacting us. We will provide recommendations on choosing a funeral bureau that specializes in international transportation.