• bereavement

    Decedent Affairs

    When a loved one passes on, UK HealthCare’s Decedent Affairs Office is devoted to handling his or her affairs in a sensitive, confidential and respectful manner while providing care and comfort to all who are affected by the loss.

    The Decedent Affairs team works with many departments within UK HealthCare to communicate information to help make the process after death as easy as possible for those who are grieving. The team coordinates meetings as needed with the deceased's family to discuss options for their loved one after his or her passing, including, but not limited to, anatomical gifts, autopsy and funeral home-related matters. 

    Once the family has reached a decision, the team informs the relevant parties so final arrangements can begin. The Decedent Affairs Office also works with the funeral home or transport services and helps to complete and file the necessary paperwork with county and state offices.


  • The Decedent Affairs Office consists of specially trained Admitting and Registration staff who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These staff members are trained professionals who provide a calm and supportive presence during an extremely emotional time. We seek to provide comfort to the families we serve and are committed to empathic and professional service.

  • How do I obtain a copy of the death certificate?

    Legally, a death certificate must be issued when a death occurs, and will be necessary as you take care of personal business on behalf of the person who died.

    There are three ways you can obtain certified copies of a death certificate:

    • The funeral home you’re working with can get certified copies on your behalf.
    • You can order certified copies from a third-party company.
    • You can order the copies yourself from the state in which the person died.

    For more information on requesting a death certificate, please contact the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics at 502-564-4212.

    We feel distressed following the death ‒ is there someone we can speak to?

    Our Pastoral Care team is trained to provide you with the care and support you need during this difficult time. Our chaplains respect your faith tradition and personal experiences. Whether you are part of a faith tradition or not, they are here to care for you. They will be happy to contact someone from your faith tradition if you so desire. You may contact Pastoral Care at any time by calling 859-323-5301.

    Where can I learn more about organ and tissue donation?

    For more information on organ and tissue donation, please visit the Kentucky Organ Donation Affiliates (KODA) website kyorgandonor.org or call the 24-hour Donor Center at 800-525-3456.

    What about my loved one’s personal belongings?

    If the family or legal next of kin is not present at the time of death, the patient’s belongings are collected and taken to the Admitting Office in UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion H where they can be picked up Monday ‒ Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. If the family or next of kin is unable to pick up their loved one’s belongings at the hospital, the items will be sent to the funeral home when the decedent is transferred into their care.

  • The Decedent Affairs Office can be reached at 859-323-5062, Ext. 3. For more information, please contact Diane Ward at diane.ward@uky.edu