Some of the practical things that you do when someone dies have changed because of the ongoing coronavirus situation. For the latest information, please contact us and we will guide you through the process.
When to register a death
This must be done within five days in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and within eight days in Scotland.
Weekends and Bank Holidays count within these periods. It is possible tha the registrar agrees to extend this period, or if the death has been referred to the coroner. If the death has been referred to the coroner, you will need to wait for them to give you permission before you can register the death.
Registering a death does not cost anything. You will need to pay to get copies of the official death certificate. Many organisations, such as banks and insurance companies, will want an original of the certificate, so make sure that you order enough.
How to register a death
The registration process is slightly different depending on how the person passed and where you live. You should always try and register the death with the registrar closest to the region where the person passed. You Funeral Director will be able to provide you wit the contact details.
Many registration offices will only see someone by appointment - this is the case with those based in East Sussex. It will usually take around 30 minutes for the registration of the death.
The local registration offices covering the Wealden and surrounding area are:
At the moment you are not expected to visit a registration office. You will make an appointment for the registrar to perform the registration over the telephone. Please make sure that you provide a call back number that will have good reception when the call back occurs.
Who can register a death
Most deaths will be register by the next of kin, or a close family member. If for some reason this can not be performed by a family member, it can be registered by the following people:
- Someone who was present at the death
- The person's executor or other legal representative
- An owner or occupier of the part of the building where the death took place if they are aware of the death
- The person arranging the funeral
- The funeral director
If any any doubt you should contact the registry office.
What you'll need to register a death
If you're registering the death you must have the medical certificate of cause of death to hand. The GP or hospital doctor through bereavement department will give this to you.
You should also try to find the person's:
- birth and marriage or civil partnership certificate
- NHS medical card
- proof of their address, such as a utility bill
- documents relating to government pension or allowances
- driving licence
Don't worry of you cant find these documents - you'll still be able to register the death without them. The registrar will want to know:
- the person's full name (at the time of their death)
- any other names that the person used (eg a birth or married name)
- their date and place of birth, including the town and county of they were born in the UK, or just the country of they were born abroad
- their last address
- their occupation, or last occupation if retired
- the full name of their husband, wife or civil partner, of they've died
- details of any state pension or other state benefit they were receiving
Forms you will get from the registrar
The registrar will issue two documents:
- A Certificate for Burial and Cremation. This is often known as the green certificate or form. It gives permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made, and you should give this to the funeral director.
- A Certificate for Registration of Death (form BD8). This is also called a death certificate. You’ll need this to deal with the person’s affairs if they were getting a pension or benefits.
You should think carefully about how many of these you order. A number of organisations such as banks, insurance companies, premium bonds and pension providers will want to see an original of the form. Whilst they will eventually return them, it could delay processing the estate if you do not have an original for each of them