Registering the death of a loved one

June 30, 2015

registering-death-of-lovedoneThe period following the death of a loved one can be an extremely difficult time for all those that were close to them. Despite this there are still a variety of different tasks which must be carried out, all of which can contribute to the stress and confusion of this period. Registering a death may seem like a secondary concern for most during this time, but it’s important that deaths are reported early in order to start the process towards the planning of a funeral, and taking care of arrangements such as wills, insurance policies and pension claims. This can seem like a daunting task for most people, so in this article we will guide you through the process of registering a death.

Legal requirements

By law, deaths are required to be registered within five days, with exceptions being made in the event of deaths that have been referred to the coroner. In these cases, the registration would have to wait until approval from the coroner. Only once a certificate for burial or cremation (known as a green form) has been acquired from the registrar can you then apply for burial or cremation with a funeral director.

How to register a death

In order to register a death you must make an appointment with the registrar of birth and deaths for the area in which the death occurred. Information regarding the appropriate registrar can be found in the phone book, online, through your doctor, nursing home or a reputable funeral director. Waiting for paperwork to arrive can delay the funeral process, so in order to avoid this you should make sure that you register your loss at the earliest opportunity.

The registrar’s office

Before going to the registrar’s office you should first check to see if it is only you that needs to go, as it may be that somebody else needs to give the registrar some additional information in order to register the death. You must take with you the medical certificate which shows the cause of death, the person’s medical card, birth certificate and marriage or civil partnership certificates. There is also quite a lot of information the registrar will require you to give, much of which can already be found in these documents. This will include:

  • Full name
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Home address
  • Date of birth of surviving partner, if applicable
  • Most recent occupation
  • Whether or not the person was in receipt of a pension or benefit from the government

After visiting the registrar

As we mentioned before, the registrar who registered the death will supply you with a certificate for burial and cremation. These give you permission for the body to be buried or to apply for the body to be cremated, at which point you can then proceed to take this to the funeral director so that the funeral can then take place.

You are also given a certificate of registration of death. This is for benefit claim purposes, and in the event that this information applies, you must fill this in and contact either Jobcentre Plus, or the pension service where your claim will be handled.

We hope this has helped you to break down the steps you must take in order to register the loss of a loved one, but to chat more about the options available to you, you can call (0151) 228 3900.