With more than 200 years of experience in funeral care, out staff at Turnbulls can provide you with the answers to almost every question you have about funerals and the formalities involved. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please get in touch.

We strongly recommend that you contact us at the earliest possible moment so that we can guide you through the correct requirements and formalities. We operate a 24-hour service and can help you through all the procedures.

You will need to get a "Medical Certificate of Cause of Death" from your doctor or the hospital. The hospital may also provide you with a "certificate of release" which will allow you to put the deceased in the care of your chosen Funeral Directors.

The medical certificate will give details of where to Register the Death and who should do so. At Turnbulls, we can offer guidance although the law does not permit us to register the death on your behalf.

If the cause of death cannot be determined then your doctor will refer the death to the coroner.

The initial formalities will be completed by the doctor or hospital staff in the area where your loved one passes away. If relatives wish to bring the body home for the funeral then we can make all the necessary arrangements in both areas, including transport. We can also give advice about what needs to be done if death occurs abroad.

The coroner will automatically be advised by the doctor if the cause of death is unexplained, and the coroner may order a post mortem and an inquest. We can explain the details to you.

You may feel that you want the funeral to take place as soon as possible so you can put it behind you. However, other people feel it is beneficial to take a little time to think about the options. We can usually help you to arrange a funeral for a convenient time, so please do ask.

There is no legal requirement at all to do so, but the majority of people prefer to use a funeral director to reduce anxiety and take care of what can be a complex series of arrangements.

No. You can contact a funeral director as soon as you feel ready. You can make the arrangements for the funeral and then finalise them once the death certificate is issued by the coroner.

No. It is possible to have a quiet, dignified funeral with a minimum of formalities. We can advise you on this and we can arrange for a non-religious ceremony, fro example a humanist ceremony. We can also arrange funerals for other religious faiths. We have a lot of experience in these matters.

This is understandable but there is no need to be anxious about this. We can tell you what the likely costs of various options are and this will be done with complete discretion. We also have information about sources of financial assistance. As a highly reputable funeral directors, Turnbulls are always aware of this issue and will be happy to discuss it.

Absolutely not. It's a sad fact that many of the large corporations who now own a substantial number of former family firms have incurred bad publicity with aggressive and persistent "selling" to the bereaved.

We believe this is unethical and it is no part of our job to force you into asking for something you do not want. All we try to do is to explain your options in a straightforward way. The choice really is yours.

With such a strong maritime history, being based in North Shields, this is not an uncommon request and we can make all the necessary arrangements.

This is not as rare as you might think, particularly in the case of Pre Payment Plans. We are happy to discuss your choices and advise you on how best to ensure your wishes are respected. 

The cost of a funeral depends on the type of service chosen, whether it’s a burial, cremation, religious or non-religious. Prices vary but we always aim to work within your budget and we will fully discuss the costs with you. There are no hidden costs with a Turnbulls funeral. 

We have been looking after funeral care in North Shields for five generations. We believe our independent, family run business cares for customers in a more personal manner. We offer very high standards of funeral care at a cost to suit your budget.

Many people want a last chance to say goodbye to the deceased. Viewings can take place in the privacy of our special viewing rooms at Turnbulls premises in North Shields a day or so before the funeral ceremony.

We can gladly arrange this for you. Please just ask us for more details.

It’s possible to have an environmentally friendly or alternative style of funeral. Please do ask for further information.

We cannot hope to cover all the questions you may have, but we can certainly help you at any time. We welcome enquiries and we will always try to help.


Step-by-Step Funeral Guide

When someone dies, the last thing you want to think about is formalities and arrangements.

Find out more about our step-by-step funeral guide
Start of Testimonial


I just wanted to say thank you for making a difficult process, as easy as possible.

Both myself and Bob’s family appreciated the care you took with the arrangements.

The service and burial were how I wanted and I hope Bob would have approved. This provided me with much comfort on the saddest of days.

Thank you for all your help, and please thank all the others at Turnbulls that helped. 

– Sue –

End of Testimonial

Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

– John Donne (1572-1631) –