How Death Is Registered - Funeral Advice

What to do first

A death must be registered by the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths for the sub-district in which it occurred. You can find details in the phone book, from the doctor, local council, post office or police station. If the death has not been referred to the coroner you need to go to the registrar as soon as possible. The death needs to be registered within 5 days unless the registrar grants an extension

The information for registration can be submitted to any registrar in England and Wales, you must visit your chosen registrar's office to make the declaration. The declaration will then be sent to the registrar for the sub-district that the death took place, where the registration will take place.

What happens at the register office

You should take the following to the registrar's office when you go:

  • The Medical Certificate of the cause of death
  • The deceased's medical card (if possible)
  • The deceased's birth certificate and marriage certificate (if available)

You should inform the registrar of the following:

  • The date and place of death
  • The deceased's last address
  • The deceased's first names and surname (and the maiden name where appropriate)
  • The deceased's date and place of birth
  • The deceased's occupation and the name and occupation of their spouse
  • Whether the deceased is receiving a pension or any allowance from public funds
  • If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower

The registrar will give you a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (also know as the Green Form) unless the coroner has provided an order for Burial (form 101) or a Certificate for Cremation (form E). The relevant form should be handed to the funeral director so the funeral can take place.

The registrar will also give you a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8). This is for social security purposes only. If the information on the back of the certificate applies to you, you will need to hand it to your local social security office.

The Death Certificate

The Death Certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the death register. The registrar can let you have a Death Certificate if you want one, but there will be a fee associated with this. You may need one or more certificates for the will or for benefits or insurance purposes.

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