When someone dies, there are some things you have to do by law, before you can Register the Death
Since 26th March 2020, emergency legislation (Coronavirus Act 2020) came into force to allow death registrations to take place over the telephone rather than in person. Therefore, until further notice, all death registration appointments will take place over the telephone and no appointment will be seen in person.
The medical certificate cause of death will be sent to the register office electronically and we will contact the next of kin provided to us from the GP surgery/hospital.
Report the Death
Tell the doctor of the person who has died (if they don’t already know). If the death is sudden or unexpected, you also need to contact the police.
You should also choose and contact a funeral director, if you want to use one.
Get a Medical Certificate showing the cause of death
This will usually be created by a doctor (and must be signed by one to be valid). If the coroner is involved, then they will tell you what to do.
Register the Death
You usually need to formally register a death within five days.
Once the Medical Certificate has been completed, then it is passed to us. We will contact the person on the Medical Certificate, who is named as the Next of Kin. We will arrange with that person, a telephone appointment where they can Register the Death.
Who can register a death
It's preferable for a close relative of the deceased to register the death. However other people can do so, such as:
- A person who was present at the death
- The person arranging the funeral (not a funeral director)
- The occupier of the premises where the death occurred
Please remember, if the Coroner is involved in the death, then they will tell you what to do – in these cases, we will not contact the Next of Kin until the Coroner has completed their investigations.
If the Coroner is NOT involved, and you haven’t heard from us 4 days after the death, then you can call our contact centre on 01925 443322 to get an update.
If the death is COVID-19 related, please call 01925 442194 instead.
How to register a death
After you register the death, you’ll be given the certificates and forms which you’ll need to arrange the funeral and to deal with the person’s affairs and their estate.
Arrange the Funeral
You’ll need to decide what kind of funeral it will be, where it will be, what you’d like to include in the service, and whether it will be a burial or cremation. Check the person's will for any special requests. Find out more about planning a funeral. In many cases, you will appoint an Undertaker who will advise you of the choices you have. But you can also choose to arrange a funeral yourself or what will happen if there is no-one who can arrange the funeral.
Death in Childbirth
A stillborn child is a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy who did not show any signs of life. When a child is stillborn the midwife or doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Stillbirth. This certificate will be required to complete Registration and will be sent to the Register Office.
Wills and Probate
You should also contact the executor of the will so they can apply for probate if necessary. Probate is the legal right to deal with the person’s property, money and other assets.
You may be able to get some help from the government with funeral or living costs:
- Funeral Payments - if you are arranging the funeral and you receive certain benefits
- Bereavement Allowance - if you are widowed between the age of 45 and State Pension age, and you have no dependent children
- Widowed Parent's Allowance - if you are widowed under State Pension age and you are pregnant or have dependent children
Tell Us Once - government support service
Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.
Watch the YouTube video on reporting a death using the Tell Us Once service.
When you register a death the registrar will:
- let you know if the service is available in your area
- give you the phone number
- give you a unique reference number to use the Tell Us Once service
Organisations 'Tell Us Once' will contact:
- HM revenue and customs - to deal with personal tax
- Department for work and pensions (DWP) - to cancel benefits and entitlements like universal credit
- Passport office - to cancel a British passport
- Driver and vehicle licensing agency - to cancel a licence
- the council - to cancel housing benefit, blue badges and to remove the person from the electoral register
- Veterans UK - to cancel armed forces compensation scheme
Death Notification Service
The Death Notification Service is a free online service which, by filling in an online form allows you to notifying participating banks and building societies of a death. For further information on how the service works and how to submit a form, please watch the following Youtube video or to submit an application please visit deathnotificationservice.co.uk.
Death by suicide
When someone dies by suicide there are a number of additional practical steps that need to be taken, including dealing with the police and coroner's office, and attending an inquest.
AMAPRO is a local service available to support you if you have been affected by suicide, providing confidential, practical and emotional support. You can contact AMPARO by completing the online form on their website. Or you can email email@example.com or call 0330 088 9255.
There is also lots of information about bereavement services available to Warrington residents, on the Happy?Ok?Sad? website.