All deaths need to be registered with the registrar for births and deaths. A death should normally be registered within five days.
The doctor who treated the person will usually issue a medical certificate of cause of death. In certain circumstances, if the death is referred to the coroner, registration may be delayed. In this case, you must wait to hear from the coroner before going to the register office. They will advise you when to make an appointment to see the registrar.
Where to register a death
You should register the death with the registrar of births and deaths for the area where the person died. You will need to arrange an appointment to visit the registrar.
If you are registering the death of someone who died in another town, it is still possible for information for the registration to be given at your local register office.The registrar will explain what you need to do.
Who can register a death
A death can be registered by -
- a relative
- someone who was with the person when they died
- someone who lives at the address where the person died
- someone who is arranging the funeral (but not the funeral director)
Information to provide
You will be interviewed in private by a registrar and asked personal questions about the person who has died. You will be asked to provide -
- the date of death
- where they died
- their full name
- their date of birth
- where they were born
- their occupation
- their address
- if married, their spouse’s date of birth
If the person who has died was a married woman, the registrar will also need to know -
- the maiden surname
- their husband's (or late husband's) name and occupation
If the doctor has issued a certificate of cause of death (death certificate) you must bring this with you.
Once the death has been registered you will be issued with a form which will allow you to make the funeral arrangements (the green form). This is for the funeral director and is issued free of charge.
You will also be given another free form for the social security office. This is to deal with the pension or other state benefits which the person may have received.
You can obtain death certificates for £4 each on the day of registration. After this the certificate cost rises to £7 and after one month to £10.
You may need to provide a death certificate when dealing with -
- bank and building society accounts
- insurance companies
- probate or letters of administration
- a solicitor
- stocks and shares
- premium bonds
- private or works pension