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How to register a death

How to register a death?

When someone passes away, it is important to register their death and obtain a death certificate. Once the death is registered, you will receive all the necessary paperwork to proceed with the funeral arrangements.

If you are unsure about the process of registering a death in the UK, we are here to provide guidance. We can help answer questions such as “Who can issue a death certificate?” and “How can I obtain a death certificate?”. Our dedicated funeral directors are also available to assist you throughout this process.

The first and most crucial step after the loss of a loved one is to contact their regular general practitioner (GP), who will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. It is a legal requirement to register every death that occurs in England before a funeral can take place, and the registration should be completed within five working days.

Why do I need to register a death?

Registering a death serves as the official documentation of the event. Through this process, you will receive a certified copy of the death certificate, which is essential for handling subsequent matters such as personal bank accounts, mortgages, wills, and relevant insurance.

How Long do I have to register a death?

The time limit for registering a loved one’s death varies depending on your location in the UK. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you have a period of five days to complete the registration process.

Who can register the death?

The responsibility of registering a loved one’s death typically falls upon a close family member. However, in cases where no relatives are available, there are specific individuals authorized to carry out this task. These include:

  • Someone who was present at the time of the person’s passing
  • Someone residing in the same household as the deceased
  • The individual in charge of organizing the funeral, excluding funeral directors.

What information do I need to register a death?

To register a death, it is crucial to provide the local registrar with comprehensive information about the deceased. Booking an appointment with the registrar is the first step. The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, issued by the hospital or GP, is the most vital document required for registration. Without it, the death cannot be registered.

Having the following documents with you can be helpful, but not all are necessary:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Council Tax bill
  • Driving License
  • Passport
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate (if applicable)
  • NHS Medical Card
  • Proof of address

Not having all of these documents should not cause concern as they are not mandatory for registering a death.

If you have any questions about the registration process or the required documents, please reach out to Brighton Family Funeral Directors. Our compassionate team of funeral directors in Brighton is here to provide guidance and support during this challenging time.

What information will the Registry Office need to know about the deceased?

  • To register a death, the Registry Office will require specific information about the deceased individual. Please provide the following details:

    • Full name of the deceased
    • Date and place of birth (if available, please bring the original birth certificate)
    • Last known address of the deceased
    • Age of the deceased
    • The last occupation of the deceased
    • Information regarding state pension or other benefits received by the deceased
    • Marital status of the deceased (if applicable, please bring a Marriage Certificate)
    • Age of the surviving widow/widower

    Ensuring the accuracy of these details will help facilitate the registration process smoothly.

What will be provided by the Registrar?

  • The Registrar will provide the following documents:

    • A Death Certificate: The cost of a death certificate varies depending on the borough where the death occurred.
    • A Green Certificate: This grants permission for burial or cremation, except in cases of a coroner’s post-mortem or repatriation to another country. If a Green Certificate has been issued, please promptly bring it to us or send it via email.
    • A Certificate of Registration of Death: This is required for social security purposes.

    While you can begin planning a funeral, it cannot proceed until the death has been registered. The registration process varies based on the location and circumstances of the death. The Registrar is responsible for registering the death, and it must be completed within five days.

    Feel free to contact us for guidance on where to go and to schedule an appointment to complete the necessary steps.

What is a Death Certificate?

A Death Certificate is an official record maintained by the registrar, documenting the occurrence of a death. When you request a Death Certificate, you will receive certified copies of the entry from the death register. These certified copies are what banks and other organizations recognize as the “original” death certificate. Each certified copy is personally signed by the registrar and assigned a unique number. Please note that there is a fee for obtaining certified copies of the death certificate. In England and Wales, the cost for a copy is £11.00.

Is it possible to obtain additional Certified Copies at a later date?

Absolutely, you can request more copies at a later time. We recommend considering the complexity of the estate, as it may determine the number of certified copies you require, especially if you choose not to engage a professional estate administrator. While 3 to 5 copies are advisable, it’s ultimately optional.

In the event that you need to purchase additional copies of the death certificate at a later date, they should arrive within 14 working days. However, if you require a copy sooner than that, you have the option to utilize the priority service for £23.40, which guarantees dispatch on the next working day.

Where to register a death?

To register a death, you will need to visit the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, located at the local register office. If the death occurred at home, it must be registered at the local register office in the district where the deceased person resided. If the death occurred in a hospital, nursing home, or any other public building, the registration should take place at the registry office in the district where the facility is situated.

Informing Organizations after Registering a Death

The Tell Us Once service enables you to simultaneously notify multiple government departments about a person’s passing. Please be aware that this service may not be available in all areas of the UK.

When you register a death, the registrar will:

  • Inform you about the availability of the service in your area
  • Provide you with the contact number
  • Issue a unique reference number for using the Tell Us Once service online or via phone

These steps ensure seamless communication and assistance during the registration process.

Tell Us Once will notify the following organizations on your behalf:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Passport Office
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  • The local council
  • Veterans UK

How to find a local Registry Office?

If you’re looking for the nearest Registry Office, simply click on the markers on the map below. Alternatively, you can visit the website of the General Registry Office and search by the postcode of the location where the person passed away. This website will help you locate the correct Registry Office.

Remember, it’s important to contact the Registry Office for the place where the person died, not the one for the place where they lived. This ensures that all deaths are accurately recorded. Make sure to report the death to the local Registrar’s Office within the district where the death occurred.

We trust that this information will prove beneficial to you In such difficult times.

Find a registry office

Brighton & Hove Registry Office

Bartholomew Square, Town, Brighton BN1 1JA

01273 292 016

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Lewes Registry Office

Southover Grange
, Southover Road, 
, East Sussex
, BN7 1TP

0345 608 0198

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East Sussex Register Office

Town Hall,
 Grove Road, Eastbourne, 
East Sussex, 
BN21 4UG

0345 608 0198

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Hastings Registry Office

Town Hall, 
Queen's Road, 
, East Sussex
, TN34 1QR

0345 608 0198

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Worthing Registry Office

Worthing Library, Richmond Road, Worthing, BN11 1HD

01243 642122

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Shoreham-By-Sea Registry Office

Health Centre, Pond Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5US

01243 642122

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