There are many things to organise when someone dies and it is easy to forget vital steps or become overwhelmed.
There are various administrative tasks that need to be undertaken and one of the most important ones is to obtain the death certificate.
The death certificate is an essential document as it enables other essential procedures to happen.
When someone passes away, the doctor will issue a medical certificate stating the cause or causes of death, along with a notice setting out who is eligible to register the death with the local Registrar of Births and Deaths.
In England & Wales the death must be registered within five days and within eight days of the death in Scotland.
The medical certificate must be taken to the Registrar of Deaths, or written notice must be sent to the Registrar.
In England and Wales, the deceased’s medical card should be given to the Registrar as well.
If the person died in a house or hospital (including a hospice), the death can be registered by:
This person is called the informant.
If the person didn't die in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:
In Scotland, the death must be registered by:
The Registrar will ask for the following details about the deceased:
Once you have registered the death, you will be given a death certificate, which is a copy of the register entry.
In Scotland, you will also be given a certificate for the funeral director dealing with the funeral, a free abbreviated death certificate, and a Social Security notification of death form to assist in obtaining or adjusting benefits.
There is a small charge for each copy of the full death certificate, and it’s sensible to get three or four copies.
The executors may need to send copies to the deceased’s bank, to the registrars of companies in which the deceased held shares, to insurance companies holding policies written in trust and, in England & Wales, to the Probate Registry.
Although you can have the death certificate returned to you once it has been inspected, it may be more convenient to circulate several copies at once.
Remember that a while after the death, the cost of a copy of the death certificate can increase. The period varies depending on the register office, so it’s worth checking if it’s likely that you will need further copies.
Published on: May 22, 2012