Registering a death

Steps to registering a death

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The steps to registering a death

When someone dies, it is a legal requirement in England to register the death within five working days of the deceased passing. To do this, you will need to acquire a medical certificate detailing the cause of death. If the coroner is involved, a person’s death cannot be registered until the coroner has finished their investigations over how the death occurred. 

Registering a death

Who can register a death?

A range of people either related to or involved with the deceased can register a death. This person is known as the informant. 

> The deceased’s relative.
> An occupant of the deceased’s residential home.
> A senior official from the hospital where the death took place.
> The person arranging the funeral.
> An official person who is in charge of the body.
> A person who was present at the death.

How to register a death

To register a death in England you will need to make an appointment at the Register Office in the district where the death occurred. The registration process usually takes around 30 minutes, where you will be asked by the registrar to provide information on the person who has died.

Wirral Register Office 0151 606 2020

Cheshire West Register Office 0300 123 7037

What you need when registering a death 

When you visit the registrar you must provide the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (sometimes referred to as the death certificate). Depending upon where the death occurred, this will usually be provided by the hospital/hospice doctor or the deceased’s regular GP.

The registrar will advise you take along the following documents too if you have access to them:

> The deceased’s medical card, if they had one.
> The deceased’s birth certificate or passport.
> Some form of identification for yourself.

What happens once you have registered a death?

Once you have registered the death, you will be provided with a certified death certificate. This is the official documentation to provide for companies and authorities to inform them about the death of a loved one. We advise to get multiple copies of the certified death certificate.

You’ll also be provided with a Registrar’s certificate for burial or cremation (sometimes called the green certificate/form) which you can provide to your funeral director once you’re ready to organise the funeral. It’s official documentation to confirm you have permission for the body to be buried or cremated.

The cost of a death certificate

Although the registration is free, it costs to acquire copies of a death certificate. In England it’s £11; it’s more than likely you will need additional copies of the death certificate as you process each administrative task required when someone dies. 

For more advice on arranging a funeral see here

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