How to register a loved one’s death
The paperwork following a death in the family is often a big surprise to those left behind.
Among other things, arrangements need to be made regarding insurance, banking, domestic matters, and of course the funeral.
The priority is to register the death; this is a legal requirement, and nothing can happen until a death certificate has been issued.
If the cause of death is unknown, sudden or unexplained it may be reported to the coroner.
In this case, registering the death cannot take place until the coroner gives permission.
However, in most cases registration is a relatively simple procedure which takes about thirty minutes, and can be carried out at any register office in the UK.
Using the office in the area in which the death took place means all relevant documents will be issued on the day.
In most cases the procedure is straightforward, and may be carried out by a relative of the deceased person, someone who was present at the death, an administrator from the hospital if that is where death occurred, or the person making arrangements with the funeral directors.
First, the registrar will need to see the medical certificate showing the cause of death, signed by a doctor. Other paperwork should include the deceased person’s birth certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate, driving licence, NHS medical card, passport, council tax bill, and a proof of address such as a utility bill.
The registrar will need to know the deceased person’s full name at the time of death, previous names, date and place of birth, last address and occupation, and whether they were receiving benefits such as a state pension. The name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner will also be required.