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Registering a death in England and Wales

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  • Registering a death in England and Wales

    Where and when to register a death

    In England and Wales, you normally need to register the death within five days. It's best to go to the registry office in the area in which the person died, otherwise it may take longer to get the necessary documents and this could delay the funeral arrangements.
    Registering the death will take about half an hour; you may need to make an appointment beforehand. You'll find contact details for local register offices in the local area phone book or you can search online here.

    Who can register a death

    Most deaths are registered by a relative - the registrar would normally only allow other people (listed below) if there are no relatives available.
    If the person died at home or in hospital, the death can be registered by:
    • a relative
    • someone present at the death
    • an occupant of the house
    • an official from the hospital
    • the person making arrangements with the funeral directors

    Documents and information you will need


    When registering a death you'll need to take the following with you:
    • medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor)

    And if available:
    • birth certificate
    • marriage/civil partnership certificates
    • NHS medical card


    You'll need to tell the registrar:
    • the person's full name at time of death
    • any names previously used, including maiden surname
    • the person's date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad)
    • their last address
    • their occupation
    • the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner
    • whether they were receiving a state pension or any other state benefit

    Documents you will receive

    You will receive a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (called the 'green form'). This gives permission for the body to be buried, or for an application for cremation to be made.
    You will also receive a Certificate of Registration of Death (Form BD8 - commonly called a 'Death Certificate'). This is issued for social security purposes if the person received a State pension or benefits (please read the information on the back, complete and return it, if it applies).
    You'll be able to buy one or more Death Certificates at this time. These will be needed by the executor or administrator when sorting out the person's affairs.
    The registrar will also give you a booklet called 'What to do after a death'. This offers advice on probate and other administrative issues that will need to be done around this time.

    You can do a search for the local registry office HERE

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