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When someone dies in England or Wales the death must be registered with the Registrar of Births and Deaths.

If the person’s death has been referred to the coroner you will not be able to register their death until the registrar has received the coroner’s
permission to do so.

If the person’s death has not been referred to the coroner then you should contact the registrar as soon as possible to inform them. The death must be registered within 5 days unless the registrar gives permission to extend this time period.

You can give any registrar in England and Wales the information to register a death, all you need to do is go to the registrar’s office and tell them formally about the person’s death.

When you visit the registrar you should take along with you the following:

  • The medical certificate which shows the cause of death
  • If possible the deceased medical card
  • If possible the deceased birth and marriage or civil partnership certificates

You should also provide the registrar with the following information:

  • The date and location the person died
  • The deceased usual residential address
  • The deceased first names and surname or maiden name
  • The deceased date and place of birth
  • The deceased occupation and the name and occupation of their spouse or civil partner
  • The date of birth of their surviving spouse or civil partner

After providing the above documents and information, the registrar who registers the death will give you the following:

  • A certificate for burial or cremation is known as the ‘green form’

This gives permission for the body to be buried or to apply for the body to be cremated, you should take the certificate to the funeral director so that the funeral can be held

  • A certificate of registration of death
  • Leaflets about available bereavement benefits and income tax for surviving spouses or civil partners

Requesting A Death Certificate

A Death certificate is a certified copy of what is written in the death register, You may need a certified copy of the death certificate to execute the deceased Will or to be able to process any claims on pensions, insurance policies, savings bank certificates and premium bonds.

The registrar can let you have a death certificate if you require one, but you will have to pay a fee.

It is often advisable to request multiple certified copies of the death certificate straight away, as the price increases if you need additional copies one, later on, currently these fees are:

Full Certificate of birth, marriage or death (standard service) £9.25 each
Full Certificate of birth, marriage or death (priority service) £23.40 each

Related Links

GOV.UK – Order a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate
GOV.UK – What to do after someone dies
What is Grant of Probate
Probate Options For Swearing An Oath
Making A Will Online