All deaths are required, by law, to be registered. This needs to be within five days for England, Wales or Northern Ireland; within eight days for Scotland. Usually the GP will issue a medical certificate of death, which is then required to be taken to the Register Office in England and Wales; the District Registration Office in Northern Ireland or the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Scotland by one of the following:

  1. A relative of the deceased who is present at death.
  2. A relative of the deceased who was in attendance during the illness.
  3. A relative residing or being in the district where the death occurred.
  4. A person present at death.
  5. The occupier of the house, if he or she knew of the happening of the death.
  6. An inmate of the house, if he or she knew of the happening of the death.
  7. The person dealing with the disposal of the deceased person. (Not the Funeral Director)

The procedure when you go to the Registrar is very straight forward and the following questions will be asked:

  • Date and place of death
  • Full name of the deceased
  • Marriage status of deceased
  • Home address of the deceased

If the deceased is:

  • Male (even if retired) his last occupation.
  • Female (either married or widowed) her maiden name and her husband’s full name and occupation.
  • Female her occupation if any. If married at date of death, the date of birth of the surviving partner.

If available, you should also take their:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • National Insurance number
  • NHS medical card
  • Proof of address, eg utility bill
  • Driving license
  • Passport

You should also bring identification (eg a driving license) to show proof of your identity.

Should the death be notified to the Coroner and, following a post mortem it is necessary for an inquest to be opened and adjourned, then the registration procedure is slightly different and will be explained at the time.

Information courtesy of Murray’s Independent Funeral Directors