Within the first few days after someone dies, there are 3 things you must do
Get a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor. You’ll need this to register the death.
Register the death within 5 days. You’ll then get the documents you need for the funeral. (click here for details)
Arrange the funeral - you can use a funeral director or arrange it yourself.
YOU DON’T NEED TO DEAL WITH THE WILL, MONEY AND PROPERTY STRAIGHT AWAY.
If the death has been reported to a coroner you can’t register the death until the coroner gives permission.
Who can register the death, the documents you’ll need and documents you’ll get depend on the circumstances of the death.
CLICK HERE TO TO REGISTER A DEATH WITH THE GOVERNMENT WEBSITE OR TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION
A doctor may report the death to a coroner if the:
cause of death is unknown
death was violent or unnatural
death was sudden and unexplained
person who died was not visited by a medical practitioner during their final illness
medical certificate isn’t available
person who died wasn’t seen by the doctor who signed the medical certificate within 14 days before death or after they died
death occurred during an operation or before the person came out of anaesthetic
medical certificate suggests the death may have been caused by an industrial disease or industrial poisoning
The coroner may decide that the cause of death is clear. In this case:
The doctor signs a medical certificate.
You take the medical certificate to the registrar.
The coroner issues a certificate to the registrar stating a post-mortem isn’t needed.
The coroner may decide a post-mortem is needed to find out how the person died. This can be done either in a hospital or mortuary.
You can’t object to a coroner’s post-mortem - but if you’ve asked the coroner must tell you (and the person’s GP) when and where the examination will take place.
IF THE CORONER DECIDES TO HOLD AN INQUEST
A coroner must hold an inquest if the cause of death is still unknown, or if the person:
possibly died a violent or unnatural death
died in prison or police custody
You can’t register the death until after the inquest. The coroner is responsible for sending the relevant paperwork to the registrar.
The death can’t be registered until after the inquest, but the coroner can give you an interim death certificate to prove the person is dead. You can use this to let organisations know of the death and apply for probate.
When the inquest is over the coroner will tell the registrar what to put in the register
The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased at a registrar office. A relative should be the nearest of the deceased.
We will gently guide you through the arrangements.
We understand that each family is unique with their own traditions and requests.
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