Registering a Death
We understand that registering a death is a distressing time. Our advice about how and when to register a death explains what is involved and how and when to do it.
When to register a death
UK law specifies that a death must be registered within 5 working days in England and Wales and within 8 days in Scotland. The place of registration is usually the district in which the death took place. It is possible to 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 further. To avoid delays, it is best to go to the register office in the area in which the person has died.
What do I need to take?
If the death is not subject to the involvement of HM Coroner then you will need to take the Medical Certificate which has been signed by a doctor. The registrar will issue the death certificate for which they will charge a small fee.
Certificate for Burial or Cremation
A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (also known as the ‘green form’) will be issued by the registrar. This certificate is essential for us to make the necessary arrangements. It is important that you pass this certificate on to us as soon as possible. To save you the distress of notifying numerous government authorities of the death, the government has implemented a “Tell Us Once Service”. The registrar will discuss this with you at the time of registration.
Who can register a death?
Usually, a relative must register the death. Other people are permitted to register a death but only if a close relative is not available. The death can be registered by the following people:
- A person who was present at the death
- A co-occupant of the house
- Hospital official
- The person in charge of planning the funeral (except the funeral director)