Sudden or unexpected death

Ian Esslemont Funeral Services

Chapel Street


AB54 8BS


T: 01466 792874

Ian Esslemont Funeral Directors Ltd

(Formerly Esslemont & McLeay)

3 Mill Street


AB44 1RS


T: 01261 832467

Sudden or unexpected death

What to do first?


If the deceased has died suddenly or unexpectedly, the police will transfer them from the accident scene or scene of death to the nearest Hospital or mortuary. The police have to report the death to the Procurator Fiscal, who then usually instructs a post-mortem. This isn’t because there’s anything wrong or suspicious - it’s just the law - and it is part of a routine process.


If a crime has been committed, however, then there will be a special post-mortem.


You will probably be in shock, and won’t be ready to make any major decisions. Give yourself some time and space to let things sink in. On the other hand, we are here if you want to talk to somebody about what’s happened.

Phone us on 01466 792874 (Huntly) or 01261 832467 (Macduff) at any time of day or night, any day of the year. You don’t have to wait until you’ve got the medical certificate to do this.


We will transfer the deceased to our funeral home once the Procurator Fiscal has granted clearance and the relevant paperwork has been completed.

Meeting us

When you are ready to talk about what you want to do, we will come to your home or you can come to our funeral home if you prefer. The decisions are all yours.


We will discuss things like the order of service, the person you want to conduct the service, the flowers and music you would like and whether you want a cremation, a burial or a green funeral. You don’t have to rush things - you might change your mind several times about what you would like. That’s perfectly natural.

Draft Confirmation of Arrangements and Order of Service

Once we have talked about what you would like to do, we’ll send you a draft Confirmation of Arrangements. This will outline what you’ve already decided, and what you’ve still to decide. We’ll also send you a draft order of service.


Remember that you can take your time to decide what you want. You can change the Confirmation of Arrangements and order of service as often as you want.

We’ll be there for you on the day of the funeral, all through the day. We can do everything - from organising vehicles to booking the hotel and making sure that family and friends are taken home after the funeral. Just ask.


After the funeral


We’ll also be in touch after the funeral to give whatever support we can, whether that’s organising a memorial stone or putting you in touch with bereavement counselling. Let us know what you want, and we’ll do our best to help.

On the day of the funeral