Registering a death
One part of the ‘funeral process’ that your funeral director will not be able to do for you is to register the death. This needs to be completed by the legally responsible person, normally a relative or executor, someone present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death occurred, or the person arranging for the funeral. This person must attend the register office, with the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) issued by the doctor, and the deceased person's birth certificate and medical card (if available). Our staff will be more than happy to advise you on where you must go to do this, and to make the appointment for you.
When you register a death we recommend that you take advantage of the new “Tell Us Once” scheme, where you will be able to tell the authorities just once about your change of circumstances. They will notify local and government agencies on your behalf, saving you precious time and effort.
A death normally needs to be registered within five days, unless the Coroner is investigating the circumstances relating to the death. In certain situations the five day period can be extended.
The registrar will interview you in private to gather the following information for the register:
- The date and place of death
- The full name and maiden surname if the deceased had been a married woman, and any previous names used
- Their date and place of birth
- The occupation and, if the deceased person was a married woman or widow the full name and occupation of her husband
- Their usual address
- Whether the person who has died was in receipt of a pension from public funds
- Your name, address and relationship to the deceased
Additional details will also be collected by the Registrar. Although these are not recorded in the Register they will be used for the preparation and supply of statistical information by the Registrar General:
- The marital status of the deceased
- If the person who has died was married or in a Civil Partnership, the date of birth of the surviving spouse
The registrar will record all details in draft form and will ask you to check that they have been recorded correctly. The non-statistical information will then be copied into the register book, which you will be asked to check through carefully and sign.
On completion of the registration, you will be issued with:
- A 'green form' which enables you to arrange the funeral (however, if the Coroner is involved different procedures may apply). This is issued free of charge.
- A form for social security purposes. This is also issued free of charge.
- You may also purchase certified copies of the entry (death certificates) at the time of registration at a cost of £4.00 each, or £10.00 each on a subsequent occasion.
- A card for you to complete if you wish for the deceased's details to be removed from mailing lists.
The following two flow charts show the steps following an expected and an unexpected death to the point of registration. Our experienced funeral directors will be more than happy to explain each to you: