How to register a death

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Registering a death in the UK is straightforward. But when you’re dealing with the death of a family member or friend it’s helpful to have all the info you need before you go to the register office. This will make things easier. Use our guide below to make sure you’re prepared before your appointment.

Who can register a death?

The death can be registered by:

How long do you have to register a death?

In England and Wales you have to register the death within 5 days. In Scotland you have 8 days to register the death. But if a coroner has to carry out an investigation to find out the cause of death you’ll be given an extension.

Where do you register a death?

You’ll need to contact the register office in the area where the person died. Find your local register office and call them to make an appointment. They’ll explain what you need to do and what you’ll need to bring with you to register the death.

What documents do you need to register a death?

Once you’ve made an appointment with the register office you’ll need to get the necessary documents ready. Without the right info at the appointment the registration could be delayed and you may have to book another slot.

Important: You must have a medical certificate of cause of death. You can’t register the death without it. The doctor may have sent it directly to the register office, or they may have given it to you. If they’ve given it to you, you must take it with you to register the death. Read our guide for more info about getting a medical certificate for cause of death.

Make sure you have the following documents ready as well (if relevant to the person who passed away):

Don’t worry if you can’t find all of the documents above or if they don’t all apply. And don’t let that stop you from making an appointment to register the death either. The above documents will make it easier for the registrar to get all the info they need but they’re not all essential.

It’s also a good idea to take your own passport or driving licence with you just in case the registrar asks for identification.

What info do you need to register a death?

The registrar will need the following details about the person who died:

These details can usually be noted down from the documents you’ve provided. But having them written down may help you stay on top of things too, especially if you need to organise the person’s affairs and contact banks and other organisations at a later date.

What do you get when you’ve registered the death?

Once the death is registered you’ll get:

How much does it cost to register a death?

There’s no cost for registering a death in the UK. But you’ll need to pay for copies of the death certificate. Each copy costs £11. It’s sensible to get copies so that letting other organisations know about the person’s death is more straightforward.

How long does it take to register the death?

It will only take about half an hour. But make sure you book a slot as soon as you can because you may not be able to get an appointment for a couple of days.

Check if your register office also offers the Tell Us Once service. This may take a bit longer. But it means that the registrar can help you contact several government organisations about the death of the person at once. That way you have more time to concentrate on saying goodbye to the person who died and making funeral arrangements.

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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