Registering a death

Having a loved one die is turns a familiar world upside down and feelings of grief take over making one feel vulnerable. As a result of death comes legal formalities which are required to be undertaken, these are as follows: –

The Early Stages

Registering the death

It is a criminal offence not to register a death.

The registration process is undertaken by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages and you should make an appointment with the Registrar once you have obtained the medical certificate of death. A death must be registered within five days (this can be extended to nine days if you advise the registrar that the medical certificate has been issued). If a Coroner is involved you will be unable to register the death until the Coroner’s investigations are completed.

You will need to take the following information with you to register a death: –

  • Date and place of death
  • Full name of the deceased (including their maiden name if relevant) and their last residential address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Their occupation
  • If married, the date of birth of their husband or wife
  • Whether the person was receiving a pension or any other social security benefits

Who registers the death

You cannot delegate the registration of the death to another person

The death will need to be registered by one of the following and in the following order: –

  • a relative who was present at the time of death
  • a relative present during the deceased’s last illness
  • a relative living in the district where the death took place
  • anyone else present at the death
  • an owner or occupier of the building where the death too place and who was aware of the death
  • the person arranging the funeral (not the funeral director)

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