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Registering the Death

The registration of the death is the formal record of the death. It is done by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

When someone dies at home, the death should be registered at the register office for the district where they lived.

If the death took place in hospital or in a nursing home it must be registered at the register office for the district in which the hospital or home is situated. In England and Wales, if it is convenient, you can go to a different office to register the death and the details will be passed on to the correct office. You should check the opening hours of the office you wish to go to. Some offices have an appointments system.

A death should be registered within five days but registration can be delayed for another nine days if the registrar is told that a medical certificate has been issued. If the death has been reported to the coroner you cannot register it until the coroner’s investigations are finished.

It is a criminal offence not to register a death.

The death should be registered by one of the following (in order of priority):-

  • a relative who was present at the death;
  • a relative present during the person’s last illness;
  • a relative living in the district where the death took place;
  • anyone else present at the death;
  • an owner or occupier of the building where the death took place and who was aware of the death;
  • the person arranging the funeral (but not the funeral director);

You cannot delegate responsibility for registering the death to anyone else.

You must take with you the medical certificate of death, since the death cannot be registered until the registrar has seen this.

If possible, you should also take the person’s NHS medical card and birth and marriage certificates. The registrar will want from you the following information:-

  • date and place of death;
  • the full name of the person (including maiden name) and their last address;
  • the person’s date and place of birth;
  • the person’s occupation and, in the case of a woman who was married or widowed, full name and occupation of her husband;
  • if the person was still married, the date of birth of their husband or wife;
  • whether the person was receiving a pension or other social security benefits;

Forms

When you have registered the death, the registrar will give you a green certificate (for which there is no charge) to give to your funeral director.

This allows either burial or cremation to go ahead. Occasionally a registrar may be able to issue a certificate for burial only (but never cremation) where no one has yet been able to register the death.

The registrar will also give you a form to send to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (In Northern Ireland the Social Security Agency). This allows them to deal with the person’s pension and other benefits.

Death certificate

The death certificate is a copy of the entry made by the registrar in the death register.

This certificate is needed to deal with money or property left by the person who has died, including dealing with the will. We suggest you obtain several copies of the certificate, for which there will be a charge.

About Melia Powell & Family Funeral Directors

We offer affordable excellence. That means we will really listen to your needs, advise and guide you, and provide you with the very best funeral care you need at a family affordable price.

We are a Christian family yet celebrate diversity and are very experienced at celebrating the life of someone irrespective of any or no religious beliefs.

Finally, whatever service or style of funeral is right for you, we guarante to make it perfect for you on the day. Nothing is too much trouble and we will carry you through all your difficult times.

Testimonials & Reviews

(see all of our latest testimonials here)

Dear Brian,

Just a quick email to congratulate you and your team, for what I perceived to be a thoroughly professional and well executed funeral yesterday - it was exceptionally well organised, there was real care and commitment evident, and you were all a pleasure to work with!

Many thanks and well done... You are all welcome back anytime.

Yours

Garry H

Revd Garry AF Hinchcliffe
Team Rector of Knaresborough & AsstDDO

Our Offices

Head Office

Melia House, Bradford Road
Sandbeds, Keighley, BD20 5LY
Telephone 01274 567110

Keighley Office

111-115 Cavendish Street
Keighley (town centre), BD21 3DG
Telephone 01535 280402

Bradford Office

25-27 Westgate,
Bradford, BD1 2QL
Telephone 01274 567110

Crematoria We Serve

Yorkshire & Lancashire

* A surcharge may apply since these councils charge a higher fee