Registering the Death
There is a list of Registrar Offices on the next page
You will need to make an appointment
with the Registrar.
A death must be registered by law within 5 days of the death in the district in which it has occurred and under normal circumstances the doctor's certificate giving the cause of death should be taken to the Registrar's Office with, if possible, the deceased's medical card and birth certificate.
Persons who can register the death:
- A relative
- Someone present at the time of death
- An occupant of the house
- An official from the hospital
- The person making arrangements with the funeral directors.
The procedure for registering a death is a simple question and answer interview between the Registrar and the informant and the following questions will be asked:-
- Marriage status of deceased
- The person's full name at the time of death
- Any names previously used, including maiden surname
- The person's date and place of birth
- Their last known address
- Their Occupation
- The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner
- If the deceased was receiving a state pension or any other state benefits
- Tell the registrar if it is to be burial or cremation
For deceased married women:
Husbands full name - even if he has pre-deceased
Husbands last occupation
Documents and information you will need:
When registering a death you will need to take the following:
Medical certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor)
And, if available:
Marriage or civil partnership certificate
NHS Medical Card
Documents and help you will receive:
If a post-mortem is NOT being held, the registrar will give you:
A certificate for burial or cremation (called the 'green form'), giving you permission for the person to be buried or cremated.
A certificate of registration of death (form BD8), issued for social security purposes.
Certified copies of the Entry of Death can be purchased
You will need more than one copy of the death certificate and many insurance companies and banks will NOT accept photocopies. It is wise to order them at the time of registration as this is much cheaper than going back to obtain further copies. Around 6 copies is about the minimum these days.
In the event of a death being referred to a Coroner the procedure will be different in terms of the certification issued. We will be pleased to advise you in these circumstances.
Who do I need to inform? - Dependent upon the deceased, but will generally include insurance companies, the Department of Social Security, the employer and Banks and Building Societies.
Consult a Solicitor to help you deal with the deceased's estate; you may need a grant of probate if the deceased left a Will or letters of administration if they did not. We can recommend a solicitor if you require one.
Mark Jales Independent Funeral Directors are able to put you in touch with a 'free phone' help service where you will be able to obtain simple legal advice.
Help with Funeral Costs
You may be able to apply for a contribution from the social fund, to help towards the cost of the funeral service. Each application is based on its own merit and funds will be allocated accordingly. The contribution from the social fund will normally only cover the charges of the burial authority or crematorium and a proportion of the funeral directors charges.
It is highly unlikely that the contribution from the social fund will cover the cost of the funeral as a whole. You should tell us immediately if you plan to make a claim.
You can make a claim if you are responsible for making the funeral arrangements and you or your partner are receiving any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based JobSeeker's Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit
- Working Tax Credit where a disability or severe disability element is included in the award
- Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element
When the death is registered the Registrar will provide you with a Registration of Death certificate (Form BD8) which is required to make a claim from the social fund. This should be taken to your local Job centre Plus office with the following documents (if they are available).
- Deceased's Birth Certificate
- A Marriage Certificate (where applicable)
- National Insurance Contribution Card
- DWP Pension or Allowance books
- Social Fund Claim Form (SF200)
- The final account from the Funeral Director
The claim can be made up to three months after the death but it is advisable to do this as soon as possible. The payment from the fund is usually in the form of a Giro Cheque and normally payable to the Funeral Director.
Any payment which is made from the fund can be recovered by the DWP should funds become available from the deceased estate.