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How do I Register a Death?

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Published 23/08/2021
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When a loved one passes away, it's hard to bring yourself to do anything. Unfortunately however, there are many administrative tasks which will need to be completed. One of the most important of these is registering the passing.

But how do you register a death? Well, that's what I'm going to cover in today's blog, which will hopefully prove useful if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate position.

How to Register a Death

Simply put, the death is registered by a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. These are more often associated with formally confirming a couple's marriage but also deal with the births of children and officially recording a passing.

As they cover three such important and common occurrences, as you would imagine there are many registrar offices located across the UK. Simply searching for the most local on Google Maps - or taking a look in the phone book for the more traditional among us - is the best way to find your local office.

It is important to note that there is a strict time limit on officially registering a death. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland it must be done within five days, whereas in Scotland you have eight days to do so.

Registration can be delayed for another nine days if the registrar is informed that a medical certificate has been issued. Also worth knowing is that if the death has been reported to the coroner it cannot be registered until the coroner's investigations are finished.

It is a criminal offence not to register a death and you can be fined up to £200 for not doing so within the time limit provided. So when it comes to admin which has to be conducted after someone has passed away, this needs to be at the top of the list.

Who's job is it to register the death?

In order of priority, Citizens Advice says that the death should be registered by one of the following:
  • A relative who was present at the death
  • A relative present during the person's last illness
  • A relative living in the district where the death took place
  • Anyone else present at the death
  • An owner or occupier of the building where the death took place and who was aware of the death
  • The person arranging the funeral (but not the funeral director)
Finally, the information which will be needed by the registrar includes the date and place of death, the full name of the deceased and their last address, their date and place of birth, job, status of a spouse or partner, marriage status and if the deceased were receiving a pension or social security.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog, I hope you found it interesting and helpful. For more blogs on a wide range of interesting subjects, please visit
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