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Registering a Death

By law a death has to be registered before the funeral can take place. It is not necessary to register before starting to make provisional arrangements, however, funeral arrangements should not be treated as confirmed until the death has been registered.

In most cases a Medical Cause of Death Certificate will have been issued by the doctor who had been treating the deceased immediately before death.This certificate is collected from the Bereavement Officer if death occurred in hospital or from the normal doctor’s surgery if death occurred in a nursing home or private house.

It is not advisable to attend the Register office without an appointment, you may have to wait for a long time, or not be seen at all. You will not be given an appointment until you know when the Medical Cause of Death Certificate will be available to you.

Registering a death will take under half an hour and will consist of an interview where you will be asked for the following information –

  • The date and place of death
  • The full name of the person who has died
  • Their name before they were married, if this was different
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Their job and, if they were a married woman, the full name and job of their husband
  • Their usual address The date of birth of their husband or wife (if they were married)
  • Their National Health Service Medical card, if you have this.

After the death has been registered, the Registrar will issue a document which allows the funeral to take place. This should be handed to the funeral director. He / She will also issue copies of the entry in the register which may be required for bank accounts, insurances etc.. (There will be a charge for these.)

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