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Registration of deaths

By law all deaths must be registered. You need to register a death to obtain documents for the funeral director and for dealing with the deceased's estate.

Legislation

The main Act and Regulations governing the registration of Births and Deaths are

  • Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 (as amended)
  • The Registration of Births and Deaths Regulations 1987 (amended)
  • The Registration of Births and Deaths (Welsh Language) Regulations 1987 (as Amended)

The Registration systems in Scotland and Northern Ireland are different from that in England and Wales and each has it's own General Register Office.

When and where should a death be registered?

  • a death should normally be registered within 5 days unless agreed otherwise with the registrar.
  • a death should be registered in the District where it occurred. Details of the death may be given at another register office in England and Wales by making a declaration which will be forwarded to the district where the death took place. However documents may be delayed as these cannot be issued until the death has been registered.

Who can register a death?

The following people, in order of preference, are legally required to register a death.

  • a relative,
  • a person present at the death,
  • the occupier of the premises where the death occurred, if he/she was aware of the death,
  • the person arranging the funeral (this does not mean the funeral director).

You must bring a medical certificate of cause of death issued by the doctor who was treating the deceased. The funeral director will advise you what to do if the Coroner has been informed of the death.

What information will be needed about the deceased?

A registrar will interview you in private and ask questions about the person who has died. You will need to know the following information.

  • the date and place of death,
  • the full forenames and surname. If the deceased was a married woman, the surname used before marriage,
  • the date and place of birth,
  • the occupation. If the deceased was a married man or woman or widower or widow the name of their spouse and occupation.
  • the usual address,
  • if the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower whether the deceased received a pension or allowance from public funds.

Documents issued by the Registrar

  • a form to enable you to make the funeral arrangements. If the death was referred to the Coroner they may issue this form.
  • a form for Social Security purposes.

Both these documents are free of charge.

Death certificates

You will not be given a death certificate free of charge. You may purchase certified copies of the original register entry. Additional copies can be purchased at any time afterwards.

Please telephone for an appointment to register a death.

You can apply for a death certificate on-line. To do so you will need to fill in the online form, print it off, sign it and send it to us, together with payment and any other documentation requested. The details you supply will be held up until we receive your signed copy and payment.

How to register a stillbirth or infant death

For information or an appointment regarding the above please telephone the Register Office and our staff will offer advice.

Guidance and advice for the bereaved

For guidance on what needs to be done after registering a death, plus useful contact information, please see our Bereavement Handbook.

Benefits for the widow or widower based on the National Insurance record of the person who has died and other conditions. For full details see the links above.

Funeral payment is a one-off payment to help towards the cost of a funeral, dependant upon your circumstances (not those of the person who has died).

The Life for a Life web site has information on a local scheme for planting commemorative forests and nature parks. The scheme is non-profit making and Bury related proceeds are donated to Bury Hospice.

In your area

Position of Bury in the North West
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