Registering a death

The death must be registered by the Registrar for the area in which death occurred. In Devon this can be by appointment at any one of the Registrar's offices. If you live away in a different part of the country, registration can be done by declaration. However, if you decide to do this, the funeral service will be delayed, but we can advise you on this. The death must be registered within 5 days of death (unless the Registrar says this period may be exceeded).

A relative of the deceased usually registers the death. If no relative is available, then the duty may be performed by any person present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death took place, or the person who is accepting responsibility for arranging the funeral.

If you feel you would like support in doing this task, we can arrange for someone to accompany you to the Registrar’s Office.

The Registrar will need to know the following information about the deceased:

        The date and place of their death

        The deceased’s full name (and maiden name where appropriate)

        The date and place of their birth 

        The deceased’s occupation

        The deceased’s last (usual) home address

        Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension

        If married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse.

The Registrar will also require the following documents:
        The Medical Certificate of cause of death
        The deceased’s NHS medical card (if available)
        Blue disabled badges (if applicable)
        Bus pass (if applicable)
        Library card (if applicable)

We suggest you also take with you the following documents:
        The deceased’s birth certificate
        The deceased’s marriage mertificate (if applicable)

Please note that the Medical Certificate of Death must be completed by the GP or Hospital Doctor prior to making the appointment.

The Registrar may issue a green Certificate for Burial or Cremation (a white Certificate of Registration of Death if in Scotland) which is required by us prior to the funeral taking place. They will also give you the Death Certificate which you may need for legal or financial purposes. They will produce copies for you at a small cost.

If the Coroner is involved then the registration process may vary; we will advise you accordingly.

The affairs of the deceased
After the funeral arrangement, it is important to attend to the legal, tax and administration matters concerning the deceased’s affairs and estate, many of which need to be attended to immediately.

Who needs to be notified of the death? 

Many organisations will need to be notified of the death, depending upon the circumstances.These may include:

        Insurers of the house and motor vehicles
        Banks and building societies for savings and investments
        Utility companies for change of name
        Employer, tax office, pensions, DVLA, family doctor and DSS/DWP

It is important also to inform the insurance company if the property is to remain unoccupied as they will insist on a number of conditions carried out on the property.

Please click on this link for a downloadable list of “Things to do, People to tell”.

Stopping unwanted mail can be done simply. We work with the Bereavement Register and have forms you can send off to do this. Please click on the link.

There are many advice centres who will be able to provide support: 

        Citizens Advice
        Bereavement Advice Centre
        Government Website 

Serving North Devon

from our

Braunton, Barnstaple and

 Great Torrington Offices

Registering a Death