Registration of a death procedure
In England and Wales, you normally need to register the death within five days. It’s best to go to the register office in the area where the person died, as otherwise it may take longer to get the documents you need and this could delay the funeral. It will take about half an hour to register the death. You usually need to make an appointment beforehand.
Deaths can be registered by:
• A relative
• Someone present at the death
• The person who found the body
• The person in charge of the body
• The person making the arrangements (not the funeral director)
Most deaths are registered by a relative, the registrar would normally only allow other people to register if their are no relatives available. When registering the death, you’ll need to take the following:
• Medicial certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor)
And, if available:
• Birth certificate
• Marriage or civil partnership certificate
• NHS Medical Card
Information you will need to tell the registrar:
• The person’s full name at the time of death
• Any names previously used, including maiden surname
• The person’s date and place of birth
• Their last address
• Their occupation
• The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner
• If they were getting a state pension or any other state benefit
If a post-mortem is not being held, the registrar will give you:
• A certificate for burial or cremation (called the ‘green form’), giving permission for burial or cremation to take place
• A certificate of registration of death (form BD8), issued for social security purposes if the person was on a state pension or benefits.
• You’ll be able to buy one or more death certificates at this time (the price varies between local authorities).
These will be needed by the executor or administrator when sorting out the person’s affairs.
The registrar will also give you a booklet called ‘What to do after a death’, with advice on wills, funerals, and financial help. If a post-mortem is needed, the coroner will issue any documents you need as quickly as possible afterwards.