Registering a Death

When & Where to Register a Death

In England and Wales, you normally need to register the death within five days. It's best to go to the register office in the area in which the person died, otherwise it may take longer to get the necessary documents and this could delay the funeral arrangements. The appointment will typically take about half an hour.

Who Can Register a Death

If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an occupant of the house
  • an official from the hospital
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors (but not the funeral directors themselves)

Deaths that occurred anywhere else can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • the person who found the body
  • the person in charge of the body
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors (but not the funeral directors themselves)

Most deaths are registered by a relative. The registrar would normally only allow other people if there are no relatives available.

Documents

When registering a death, you'll need to take the following:

  • medical certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor)

And if available:

  • birth certificate
  • marriage/civil partnership certificates
  • NHS Medical Card

Information

You’ll need to tell the registrar:

  • the person’s full name at time of death
  • any names previously used, including maiden surname
  • the person’s date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad)
  • their last address
  • their occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • whether they were receiving a state pension or any other state benefit
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Registering a Death