Registering a death

A death should be registered before arranging the funeral and is usually carried out by a relative. If no relative is available, the registration can be carried out by any person who is present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death occurred or the person accepting responsibility for arranging the funeral.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the death needs to be registered at a Registrar’s Office within five days, or 8 days if the death occurs in Scotland. Take your time to collect yourself and gather all the documents and information required, as this will make the process much easier for you. In England & Wales you can check which Register Office to apply to on the website or go to separate websites for Scotland & Northern Ireland.

If the death has been reported to a coroner (Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) you cannot register the death until the coroner gives permission.

The death should be registered in the area where it occurred. Most registration offices operate appointment systems so do call before you visit – details of can be obtained from your local authority or county council website.

If you cannot get to a registration office, you can register a death online on the website

The following information about the person who has died will be required to register the death:

  • Full name and any previous names used
  • Date and place of death
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Last address
  • If married, full name, date of birth and occupation of the surviving spouse or civil partner
  • If they were in receipt of any state pension or benefits

They will also need the following documents:

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD)
  • Birth and Marriage certificates of the person who has died (or civil partnership certificate if applicable)
  • NHS medical card and National Insurance number of the person who has died

NHS medical card and National Insurance number of a surviving husband, wife or civil partner

How to pick a funeral director

You can be assured that every funeral home that is part of the Funeral Partners family will provide outstanding client service.

Documents and certificates

Certificates you will need to enable you to start arranging the funeral and sorting out the affairs of the person who has died.

Letting people know

Picking up the telephone to tell close family or complete strangers such as an employer about the death is usually difficult.

Compare Cremation Funeral Services

Cremation services usually involve a gathering of family and friends and a cremation committal to say goodbye to a loved one.

Further Reading: Arranging a funeral

Read about how funerals are arranged and what services you can expect to get.