All deaths have to be registered by the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, in the county where the death has occurred. Ideally this should be within 5 working days of the death.
For the registration to take place, the Medical Practice the deceased was registered with needs to have emailed the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) to the registrars. It is advisable to phone them to see if this has been sent.
If the person died in hospital, they usually let you know once this has been done.
Once you know the MCCD has been emailed, you can make an appointment to register:
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Frequently Asked Questions
No, you must visit one of the registration offices in person.
During the pandemic, registration could be done over the phone or online, but this is no longer permitted.
The Registrar will ask you for certain information and it may be helpful for you to jot this down before you go:
- The deceased’s date of birth and place of birth
- Their full name
- Their occupation or former occupation
- If applicable, their maiden name
- The name and date of birth of a surviving spouse
It would be helpful to bring their:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage / Civil Partnership certificate.
Please do not worry if you do not have any of these documents- you can still attend the appointment.
They will give you the login details to use the Tell Us Once service which is linked to the Department of Work and Pensions. It means you can cancel things such as their driving license and passport in once easy application.
They will also advise you on how many Copies of an Entry (sometimes called a Death Certificate) you may need. They are £11 each, and many places do not accept photocopies. They are used to close down things like bank accounts.
Finally, they will provide the Registrar’s Certificate for Burial or Cremation. If you tell them that we are looking after the arrangements, they will email it directly to us.
Registration does not notify every company. Once you start the process of notifying different places of a death, it can seem overwhelming.
Life Ledger is a fantastic way of notifying hundreds of organisations in one simple online application. We can send you a link to directly arrange this, or you can do it yourself through their website.
Trust Inheritance is another fantastic way to talk through any concerns regarding registration and other bereavement questions. We can arrange a phone call for you at a time that is convenient to you.
Both of the above are completely free of charge, please talk to us if you would like to discuss them further.
The Coroner is responsible for the investigation of violent, unnatural or sudden deaths, deaths of unknown cause and deaths in custody.
If a death has been reported to the Coroner, there may be a post-mortem or inquest. In this case there will be no Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and you won’t be able to register the death until the Coroner gives permission to proceed. The time that this takes can vary and you may have to delay your plans for the funeral. Under these circumstances, Rosedale will keep you informed at every stage of the proceedings and can advise on any possible delays.
Ideally, registration would have taken place within 5 days of the death so this is not usually a problem. However, sometimes there is a delay and it is important that you keep us informed if this is the case.
Most crematoriums require the Registrar’s Certificate for Burial of Cremation at least three full working days prior to the funeral date. This is because it needs to be approved by the medical referee. If it is not approved, or received in time, then the funeral cannot take place.
For burial, it very much depends on where it is taking place. Most churches require it on the day of the funeral itself, however, town councils (if the burial is in a cemetery) often need it in advance.
If you cannot travel to the county of death to register, then you need to ‘register by declaration’. You will need to make an appointment at the registry office of your choice and the registrar will then send the details to the registration office in the county of death. They will then complete the registration process and it is at this point that you will receive the relevant documentation.
If the death happened abroad, then the registration will take place in the country of death. We can advise you on this along with other aspects of the repatriation process.