Register the death within 5 days in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (8 days in Scotland) – this includes weekends and bank holidays.
What do you need to register a death?
Before you can register the death you’ll need either:
- a medical certificate – ask the GP or hospital doctor
- permission from the coroner that you can register the death – if the death was reported to a coroner (Procurator Fiscal in Scotland)
You’ll get a ‘certificate for a burial’ to give to the funeral director, or an application for cremation which you need to complete and give to the crematorium.
You must do one of these before the funeral can take place.
Where to register a death
When someone dies at home, the death should be registered at the register office for the district where they lived. If the death took place in hospital or in a nursing home it must be registered at the register office for the district in which the hospital or home is situated.
In England and Wales, if it is convenient, you can go to a different office to register the death and the details will be passed on to the correct office. You should check the opening hours of the office you wish to go to. Some offices have an appointments system.
Who can register a death?
Most deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. However, if the deceased has no relatives or none are available, any of the following people can register the death:
- any relative of the deceased – including a relative by marriage
- a person present at the death
- a person taking care of the funeral arrangements
- the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate
- the governor, matron or chief officer of a public building where the death occurred
- a person living in and responsible for a house, lodgings or apartments where the death occurred
- a person finding, or a person taking charge, of the body