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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 register office.

How long do you have to register a death?

Deaths in England and Wales should be registered within five days and in the district where the person died. If a coroner is involved, the process might take longer.

Who can register a death?

The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased (also referred to as the informant).

If there are no relatives available, the register office will normally only allow one of the other people listed below to register the death.

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 your local register office to register the death. You can find out more information on how to register a death in the UK on the Government website.

You need to take the medical certificate of cause of death to the register office and inform the office how many copies of the death certificate you require.

It’s advisable to get more than one death certificate, 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 need 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.

When you book an appointment to register a death, you’ll need the following information to hand:

  • Date of death.
  • Death location (including the address).
  • The deceased’s full name (including if they went by any other name).
  • Gender.
  • Date of birth.
  • Place of birth.
  • Occupation.
  • If they were married, in a civil partnership or widowed.
  • Their home address.
  • Date of birth of surviving partner/spouse.

How much is a death certificate?

Death certificates cost £11 and are sent within four days of application.


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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