A guide to registering your loved one’s passing

COVID-19 Update

Since COVID-19, some of the advice given around registration and funerals had changed this has now returned to normal as per pre-pandemic ways of working. Some funeral venues may still suggest that the wearing of facemasks are preferred though this is optional and is no longer a requirement.

When someone dies, a key priority is for the registration to take place, in the case of a death from natural causes the informant or person taking responsibility for the funeral will need to collect the Medical Cause of Death Certificate which the doctor or GP who attended the deceased will issue. Normally this needs to be done within the first 5 days since the deceased’s passing (8 days in Scotland).
In England and Wales, it is possible to delay registration for a further 9 days provided that the registrar receives written confirmation that the medical cause of death certificate has been signed by a doctor.

This needs to be taken to the registrars once you have made an appointment and then the death officially registered. If the case is referred to the coroner you will be informed once the examination is complete when you will be able to register. In both cases the registrar will then be able to issue the death certificate; this is a certified copy of the death entry in the register and proves that the death has been registered.

What do I need to register a death?

You must take with you:

  • The medical certificate of cause of death (unless the coroner or procurator fiscal has issued their document directly to the registrar)

If possible, you should also take the following documents. They are not absolutely essential but provide much of the additional information you need for the registration, but do not delay registering if you cannot find this paperwork:

 

  • NHS card (also called the medical card)
  • Birth certificate
  • Driving licence
  • A recent council tax bill
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • National Insurance number of the deceased and the number of a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • Passport
  • Proof of address (e.g. utility bill)
When you see the registrar, they will be as helpful as they can in registering the death. They will require the following information about the deceased:

 

  • Date and place of the death
  • The address of the person
  • Their full name (including the maiden name of a married woman). Any former married names or other names by which the deceased was known can also be recorded
  • Where and when they were born (the town or county is sufficient if the exact address is not known)
  • Country of origin is only required for people born outside the United Kingdom
  • Their occupation
  • Details of their wife, husband or civil partner
  • Whether they had any government pension or other benefits

The registration process will take approximately 30 minutes.

Letting others know of a death

When someone dies, as well as family and friends there are also other people who may need to be informed, including several companies and organisations. Whilst it may seem daunting, letting people know can avoid any distress caused by them contacting you unexpectedly if they are not aware.

Not all of the tasks will need to be done in every case, but you may find this section useful so you can see which apply to you. The team at Brunskill Family Funerals is always happy to support you with registering a death.

This is not an exhaustive list; if you need any further advice, we are here to help.

Who you may need to inform:

  • Registrar/informant. This is someone who helps register a death. This will normally be someone who was present at the death, such as a relative, doctor, the occupier of the building your loved one passed away in, someone who works there, or anyone who is making arrangements with us
  • DWP/Jobcentre. If your loved one was in receipt of any benefits. You will need to fill out a BD8 form (3344SI in Scotland, form 36/BD8 in Northern Ireland)
  • Insurance companies. If your loved one had car insurance, life insurance etc. companies will need to be informed.
  • Employers/educational institutes. If the deceased was working or studying
  • Landlords/mortgage brokers. If the deceased had rent/mortgage in their name

For helpful advice and support when registering a death contact Brunskill Family Funerals.

Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us on 020 3887 2090.