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Notifying the Authorities


The first step is to register the death at a Registrars Office, this must be done within five days and can only be done in the borough of where the death occurred, to find the correct registrars office please visit and only once the Confirmatory Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death has been issued by the relevant Doctor.


Who should register the death

A relative should register the death. If a relative cannot register the death, you can do it if you:

  • were there at the time of death

  • are an administrator from the hospital (if the person died in hospital)

  • are in charge of making funeral arrangements

What you need to do

The register office will tell you what you need to do when you contact them.

The register office may also want to see the person’s:

  • Birth certificate

  • Council Tax bill

  • Driving licence

  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate

  • NHS medical card

  • Passport

  • Proof of address (eg utility bill)

Ask the register office what to do if you do not have them.

You’ll need to tell the registrar:

  • The person’s full name at the time of death

  • Any names previously used, eg 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 benefits

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

  • a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) - you may need to fill this in and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a pre-paid envelope so you know where to send it)

You can buy extra death certificates - these will be needed for sorting out the person’s affairs.

Please note: A nominal fee will be charged for the certified copy of entry of death. Financial institutions such as Banks, Building Society’s or Insurers will require official copies of this document, which you can obtain when registering. It is usually cheaper to obtain them at this point and payment for such extra copies can be made by cash or cheque.

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