A death must by law, be registered within 5 working days, and will usually be done in the registration district in which the death has occurred (we will be able to advise you as to the whereabouts of the relevant registrar’s office).
Under normal circumstances the Medical Certificate (signed by a doctor) should be taken to the Registrars with, if possible, the deceased’s Medical Card. The registrar will then issue the certified copy/copies for your use (you must pay a nominal fee for these). The Registrar will also give you the Certificate for Burial or Cremation (sometimes called the ‘green form’) for the Funeral Director. You should give this to us as soon as possible so we can begin making the necessary arrangements. The Government have created a “Tell Us Once Service” which the registrar will go through with you at the time of registration.
To avoid delays, it is best to go to the register office in the area in which the person has died. You can choose another register office (in certain circumstances only) but it may take longer to get the necessary documents and this could delay the funeral arrangements.
Who Should Register a Death
Most deaths are registered by a relative, and as a rule, other people are only allowed if relatives are not available. The registrar would normally only allow other people if there are no relatives available.
The death can be registered by:
- a relative
- someone present at the death
- an occupant of the house
- an official from the hospital
- the person making the arrangements (but not the Funeral Director)
What Information/Documents to Take
The only thing that is always needed when registering a death is the medical certificate signed by a doctor/coroner, showing the cause and date of death. It may be helpful to take their birth certificate, marriage certificate or NHS card, as you will be asked questions pertaining to the information in these documents. It may also be useful to know whether they were in receipt of a state pension or any other benefits.