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Registering a death

When someone dies the death must normally be registered within 5 days. This guide sets out the procedures involved and provides the relevant contact details for registering a death within the Tamworth area.

When the death occurs at home

The nearest relative and family doctor should be informed.

The doctor will complete a certificate stating the cause of death. If cremation is desired, two doctors are required to sign a certificate.

When the death occurs in hospital

A certificate will be issued but the hospital may wish to carry out a post mortem examination of the deceased. Before this occurs, consent must be obtained from the nearest relative.

When the death occurs suddenly

If the death was sudden, and the doctor had not seen the patient within 14 days of death, the coroner must be informed. The coroner will decide if it is necessary to carry out a post mortem examination.

Who can register the death?

The death can be registered by a relative, someone present at the death, an occupant of the house/official from the hospital (if that is where the death occurred), or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

Most deaths are registered by a relative.

When should the death be registered?

In England and Wales a death needs to be registered within five days unless the coroner is investigating the circumstances of the death.

Where is the death registered?

The death is registered at the register office of the district in which the death occurred.

You can register the death at a different office if it is more convenient, but the process will take longer because the registrar will need to forward your information to the original district.

A burial or cremation cannot take place until the registrar has issued the necessary paperwork.

The address of the local register office is:

Tamworth Registrar of Birth and Deaths, Church Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7BX
• The contact telephone number is 0300 111 800

Email enquiries: registrarsenquiries@staffordshire.gov.uk

Contact the registrar to make an appointment to register the death.

Details of a local register office for births deaths and marriages can be obtained from the appropriate County Council website which includes a full postcode search facility. Alternatively, the address and phone numbers for local register offices can be found in the local area phone book.

What documents do I need to take to register the death?

You will need the medical certificate of cause of death issued by the doctor treating the person who has died. The registrar cannot proceed without this.

If possible, you should also take the deceased’s NHS medical card.

If available, it is helpful to take the deceased`s birth certificate and marriage/civil partnership certificates.

What will the registrar ask me?

The interview with the registrar is held in private and usually lasts about 30 minutes.

The registrar will need to know:-

• The date and place of death
• Full name of the deceased (and maiden name if a married woman)
• Occupation
• Usual address
• If married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse
• Whether the deceased was receiving a state pension

The details are entered on to a computer. After you have approved the entry, the registrar will print the death certificate and any certified copies that you request.

Official certified death certificates cost £4.00 each.

Usually, it is necessary to obtain one official death certificate for each bank account, share holding company or life policy held by the deceased.

What documents will I receive after registration?

The registrar will issue:-

• A certificate for the burial or cremation of the body (known as the `green form`)
• A certificate for social security benefits (form BD8)
• Certified death certificates on payment of the fee

The certificate for burial or cremation is normally passed to the funeral director.

If the deceased is survived by a spouse or partner, or someone who was financially dependent on the deceased, they may be able to claim certain benefits depending on their income and circumstances.

Benefits include Bereavement Allowance, Widowed Parent's Allowance and/or the one-off Bereavement Payment (if you are widowed or become a surviving civil partner), and a Funeral Payment to help with funeral costs if the survivor or dependent is on a low income.
To check your entitlement, contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.

Arranging the funeral

Before arranging the funeral, it is important to check if the deceased left any instructions with the will regarding their wishes.

Funeral arrangements may have already been made using a pre-payment plan, or specific instructions may have been left concerning the funeral ceremony itself.

If there is a will, the executor has the right to decide whether it should be a burial or cremation (even if the will expresses a particular wish). If there is no will, the next of kin should decide.

Frequently asked questions: 

  • When the death occurs at home
  • When the death occurs in hospital
  • When the death occurs suddenly
  • Who can register the death?
  • When should the death be registered?
  • Where is the death registered?
  • What documents do I need to take to register the death?
  • What will the registrar ask me?
  • What documents will I receive after registration?
  • Arranging the funeral

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