When someone dies, there are some things you have to do by law, before you can register the death.
As of 21 March 2022, all deaths that occur in Warrington will need to be registered in person by appointment at the register office at 1 Time Square.
The medical certificate cause of death will be sent to the register office. Once we receive it from the GP/hospital, we will contact the next of kin to arrange an appointment at the register office. You do not need to call us.
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.
Register the death
You are required to register a death within five days.
Once the medical certificate has been completed by the doctor it will be sent to us directly by email, along with the contact details for the next of kin. We will contact the next of kin and arrange an appointment to register the death at the Register Office at 1 Time Square.
There are reforms planned to the death registration process – and these are likely to happen later this year. You can read more about the changes here: An overview of the death certification reforms - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
After you have registered the death
After you register the death, you can purchase copies of the death certificate during your appointment. With your permission, we will send the forms which you’ll need to arrange the funeral directly to your funeral director. It would be helpful if you have decided which funeral director you will be using before your appointment, though not essential.
You can also purchase copies of the death certificate after your appointment.
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. 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 will be required to complete registration and will be sent to us. You will be contacted by us and an appointment for you to register will be made for you.
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 notify 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 Youtube video. To submit an application please visit the death notification website.
Death by suicide
When someone dies by suicide there are a number of additional steps that need to be taken. This can include dealing with the police, coroner's office and attending an inquest.
AMAPRO is a local service available to support you if you have been affected by suicide, providing private, practical and emotional support. You can contact AMPARO by completing the online form on their website. Or you can email them or call 0330 088 9255.
There is also lots of information about bereavement services available to Warrington residents, on the Happy?Ok?Sad? website.