How do I register a death?
Regrettably, the fact that the doctor has announced death is not the only part of this process. The death must be registered by a suitable informant (ordinarily a family member) at the Register Office. Otherwise, death certificates are unavailable, as is the “green form” necessary for burial or cremation.
The following steps should help in most circumstances in England and Wales.
- Book an appointment at the register office.
- Ensure that either you have, or the register office has, the medical certificate of death.
- Bring your own proof of ID as the informant, including proof of address.
- Bring as much of the following information as possible about the deceased: birth certificate, Council Tax bill, driving licence, marriage or civil partnership certificate, NHS medical card, passport and proof of address (eg utility bill).
- Be ready to give information about the person’s full name, any previous names, eg maiden name; the person’s date and place of birth, their last address, their occupation; the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner; and whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits.
You will need to pay for the death certificates when these are available: consult the registrar’s office with regard to payment methods.
If the death was unexpected the Coroner may need to be involved, and may require an inquest. This being so arrangements can be made for an “interim” death certificate until a full, official original can be sought.
A similar process must take place in the event that the deceased died in Scotland or Northern Ireland. If the deceased died abroad additional requirements will apply and you should check the government’s website for further information.
If the informant lives in a different county to the deceased, they must register the death “by declaration” at their own nearest register office. The registrars will talk through what this means.
If during this time you have executorship concerns or need help administering to the estate, please let us know.