When a death occurs
Contact the family doctor (or the doctor on call) who will come to your home to certify the death and will issue a ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’, which in time must be taken to the registrars. Once the doctor has attended most families prefer for their loved one to be conveyed to our chapel of rest. This can be arranged by telephoning us at any time of the day or night.
“We always use an exceptionally smart and discreet vehicle when we are called to attend”.
At a Nursing or Residential Home
The above procedure is likely to have taken place with your permission by the Nurse in charge, who will be able to advise you of the whereabouts of the ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’.
In a Hospital
The nursing staff or administrative officer will advise you when and from where to collect the ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’.
We always use an exceptionally smart and discreet vehicle when we are called to attend.
In the event of a death which is sudden or unexpected the Police will attend to coordinate the removal of the body, on behalf of the coroner, to the public mortuary. The coroner will be informed and the requirement for a post mortem assessed according to Ministry of Justice guidelines.
You are under no obligation to appoint the Funeral Director who has carried out the removal on behalf of the Coroner.
You should register the death within 5 actual days – we will be able to advise you as to the whereabouts of the relevant office. Registering the death will take about 30 minutes – you might need to make an appointment.
You can go to any register office but if you use the one in the area where the person died you’ll be given the documents you’ll need on the day. If you use a different register office the documents will be sent to the office in the area where the person died before they’re issued to you. This means you’ll usually wait a few days.
Who can Register the Death?
You can register the death if you’re:
- Any Relative of the Deceased
- Any person present at the time of death
- The person arranging the funeral (but not the funeral director)
What you need to do
Take the ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’ showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you.
If available (but don’t worry if not), also take the person’s:
- NHS Medical Card
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate
- Council Tax bill
- Driving License
- Proof of Address (e.g. utility bill)
You’ll need to tell the registrar:
- The person’s full name at the time of death
- Any names previously used e.g. 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
- Whether they were getting a State Pension or any other state benefits
- You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (e.g. a utility bill) but you can still register a death without them.
Documents you’ll get:
When you register a death you’ll get:
- A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) – gives permission for burial or an application for cremation. This should be given to us as soon as possible.
- A Death Certificate (‘Certified Copy of an Entry of Death’) – you can buy extra certificates – these will be needed for sorting out the person’s affairs. We recommend that you buy 6 copies in total.
- A Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits