When someone dies there are practical arrangements to be made. For many people this can provide a useful focus and help them to cope in the initial weeks, whilst for others it can seem overwhelming. The following is a simple guide to registering a death and arranging a funeral in the UK, although you may need to consider other issues which our Links section can help you with.
1. Firstly obtain the death certificate from the doctor who saw your departed last (this will need to have been in the last two weeks if they were visited whilst ill). If the death was sudden then a post mortem may need to be carried out - this can take several weeks before the body is released for internment.
2. The death needs to be registered within 5 days (8 days in Scotland), this must be done at the nearest registrar's office (the doctor's surgery or hospital will tell you where they are or their telephone number will be in the telephone directory under Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages). It is best to make an appointment as you can wait all day to be seen otherwise.
3. You will need the following information about the deceased: their full name, maiden name if married, date of death, date of birth, sex, place of birth, last occupation (even if retired), marital status, address, informant (person registering the death) full name, address and relationship to the deceased.
4. You will then need to work out how many copies of the Death Certificate you require, normally 4 will be enough but the amount depends on how many insurance policies, mortgages, loans, etc. the deceased has as a copy will need to be sent to each one.
5. Utility companies do not usually require a copy of the death certificate, just inform them as soon as possible and take a meter reading if this is appropriate. See below for a checklist of Who to Inform of the Death
6. You will also be given a Green form to be given to the undertakers and a White form to be sent to the Benefits Office regarding state pension or Benefits.
7. When you go to the Funeral Directors give them the green form.
Who to contact when registering a death will depend on where you live. You should contact your local Registry Office for further information. You can search for your local registry office by clicking here. Further information on registering a death can be found by clicking here (link to Registering a Death on http://www.nhs.uk/).
Who to Inform of the Death* Send the White form from the Registrar to the Benefits Office
* Place of work and trade union
* Doctor, dentist, optician, other medical professionals and hospital if attending
* Landlord or Council Housing Department if renting
* Council Tax Office
* The Inland Revenue
* Send a copy of the Death Certificate to: Mortgage, loan and credit card companies and insurance companies
* Utility companies ? take a meter reading if necessary or arrange to transfer the bill to sole name
* Return the following documents with a note explaining the date of death
- Benefit and Pension books
- Driving Licence
- Car registration documents
- National Insurance Papers
* Membership of any clubs, library, season tickets, trade associations, unions. Check to see if a refund is due.
You may wish to put a notice in the paper informing people of the death and inform any clubs, pubs or associations where the person was well known. Make a list of any associates, relatives, friends and anyone in your address book who may write to you, even if only occasionally.
You can download a 'Who to Inform...' checklist in the Member's area.