How to Register a Death

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Registering a death... 

Knowing what to do after someone has died can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if this is the first time you are experiencing this. Registering the death is one of the first steps you should take, and deaths in England and Wales should be registered within five days. Here is our guide on how to register a death if you are unsure where to begin. 

Firstly, a medical certificate is issued by a medical professional (either a GP or a doctor at the hospital) and this certificate is needed to register the death at a registry office. This should be done in the area where the deceased died. However, if this is not possible, you can register the death at a registrar of your choice which is called Registry by Proxy. The necessary certificates will then be forwarded to the registrar where the death occurred.  

Please note that choosing a registrar that is not in the local area may lead to slight delays in issuing the certificates. This is important as funeral arrangements will not be able to be finalised until all the certificates are obtained. 

Who can register a death? 

A relative of the deceased will need to be the one to register the death unless there are no relatives available. In these circumstances, the following people can register a death: 

  • any person who was present at the death 
  • an occupier of the premises where the death occurred 
  • an official from the hospital where the death occurred
  • an individual who is accepting responsibility for arranging the funeral 

What information do you need to take to the appointment? 

Once you have made an appointment with the registrar, bring the following information about the person who has died with you: 

  • Full name of the deceased and any previous names that were used 
  • Date and place of death  
  • Date and place of birth  
  • Occupation
  • Last known address 
  • If married, full name and occupation of the surviving spouse 
  • If they were in receipt of any state pension or benefits   

What happens after the appointment? 

After this information is obtained, the following certificates will be issued: 

  • Certificate for burial or cremation. Also known as the “green form” which is what funeral directors need to start funeral proceedings. 
  • Death certificate (please note there is a charge for this form, and you should consider purchasing several copies as it is more expensive to purchase additional copies at a later date. Death certificates are needed to show insurance companies, banks, pension companies etc. so several copies are recommended) 

Once you have the death certificate you will be able to start informing relevant organisations and start making the necessary funeral arrangements.  

If you have any questions regarding the funeral arrangements and first steps, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We understand there is a lot of information to process, and we are here to help you every step of the way. 

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