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How to register a death

Once the cause of death has been certified by a doctor (or, in some cases, a coroner), the next step is to get a formal death certificate from your local registrar. Deaths in England and Wales should be registered within 5 days and in the district where the person died.

Who can register a death?

The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. The registrar will normally only allow one of the other people listed below to register the death if there are no relatives available.

If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:

  •  a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an occupant of the house/official from the hospital
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

Deaths taking place anywhere else can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • the person who found the body
  • the person in charge of the body
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

How to register the death

You will need to arrange an appointment with the Registrar to register the death. You can find your local Registrar by clicking on www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/deaths or in the Yellow Pages.

You need to take the medical certificate of cause of death to the register office and tell the Registrar how many copies of the death certificate you need. It’s advisable to get more than one depending on how many organisations you think you are going to have to contact regarding the death (eg insurance companies, credit card companies and so on) as they might each want to see a certified copy of the death certificate.

Certificates are more expensive if you have to order additional copies at a later date, but they can be bought online, by post or telephone, or through the register office where you registered the death.

How to register a death away from home

Here are the instructions from the government’s General Register Office. Click here


If someone has died and you need help right now, call us now free on 0800 85 44 48 (24 hours)

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