What to do
When someone passes away at home
If your loved one died at home, the death was expected and a doctor had recently seen the deceased, you should call their doctor to inform them. The doctor will issue a medical certificate which will show the cause of death. This will either be given to you personally or you may be asked to collect it from the GP’s receptionist. This is needed to register the death.
If this is outside normal surgery hours, please call 111. It is important at this point to inform them that the death was expected, otherwise they will assume that it has been an unexpected death and will call the emergency services.
Once the doctor has been
Call the allocated Funeral Director (details on the Plan Certificate) to arrange collection of the deceased. If the deceased is collected by a different Funeral Director other than the one on the Plan Certificate, this will incur extra costs.
To register the death
(This needs to be done within 5 days in England/Wales, 8 days in Scotland)
Your NOK can go to any register office but if you use the one in the area where the person died you’ll be given the documents needed on the day. An appointment may be needed to do this as it usually takes around half an hour.
A relative should register the death, however if this is not possible, another nominated individual can do it as long as they:
• were there at the time of death
• are an administrator from the hospital (if the person died in hospital)
• are in charge of making funeral arrangements
What to take with you
The medical certificate showing the cause of death – It is vital this is taken.
Other documents to consider taking (if they are accessible) are the deceased’s:
• Birth certificate
• Council tax bill
• Driving licence
• Marriage or civil partnership certificate
• NHS medical card
• Proof of address (e.g. utility bill)
You’ll need to tell the registrar:
• the person’s full name at the time of death
• any names previously used, e.g. maiden name
• the person’s date and place of birth
• their last address
• their occupation
• the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
• whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits
What you will receive:
In England when the registration is complete you will receive:
• a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) – gives permission for burial or an application for cremation.
• a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a prepaid envelope so you know where to send it).
In Scotland when the registration is complete you will receive:
• A certificate of registration (form 14) this will allow the funeral to go ahead.
• a social security of death (form 334/SI) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting social security benefits.
• On payment of fee, an extract of the entry recorded in the Register of deaths. This will be needed by the executor or administrator when sorting out the person’s affairs.
In Northern Ireland when the registration is complete you will receive:
• A form GR021 giving permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made.
• a Certificate of Registration of Death (form 36/BD8) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a prepaid envelope so you know where to send it).
You only get one free Death Certificate, but extra copies can be purchased – these will be needed for sorting out the person’s affairs.