What needs to be considered following a death

Once the Doctor or Hospital has issued the Medical Certificate, the Informant must register the death within 5 days at the Registry Office for the sub-district in which the death occurred. If this is not possible the Registrar must be informed in writing. The registration will need to be completed by the immediate next of kin or the responsible person arranging the funeral (the Informant), and an appointment will need to be made with the Registrars Office.

A full list of Somerset Registrar offices can be found at the Registrar’s Offices

The Medical Certificate and the deceased’s Medical Card (if available) must be given to the Registrar.

The person registering the death will be asked for the following information about the deceased:

  • The date and place of death
  • The full name and usual address (and maiden name if applicable)
  • The date and place of birth
  • The occupation (and name and occupation of the spouse if applicable)
  • Details of any pension or allowance from public funds
  • The date and place of birth of any surviving spouse
  • The full name and usual address of the Informant
  • The qualification of the Informant
  • A Death Certificate can then be obtained on payment of the prescribed fee. This will be needed for obtaining; Probate or Letters of Administration, closing bank accounts and making claims on insurance policies.

The Registrar will also issue a green Registrar’s Certificate for Burial or Cremation which will be needed by the Funeral Director, and a white Certificate of Registration of Death – Form 344/BD8 – which is for Social Security purposes to cancel the payment of pensions and allowances from public funds.

Without a Cause of Death the Registrar cannot allow the death to be registered

The Registrar will give you a DSS Form. This should be taken or sent to your DSS Office with any pension or benefit books in the deceased’s name, or in joint names. This is also used to assess whether a surviving partner is eligible for benefits such as Widows Benefit.

Funeral Director’s Form

This is the green form, and should be given to your Funeral Director to allow the funeral to take place. NB: If the Coroner has investigated the death, and cremation is required, this will be replaced with a form which the Coroner will send direct to the Funeral Director.

Death Certificates

These are copies of the Register Entry, and are the Certificates required by Banks, Insurance Companies etc. to attend to the deceased’s affairs. These are currently £4.00 per copy at the appointment. Costs for duplicate copies at a later date can be significantly higher – either £7 or £10 depending on whether or not the certificate has been sent to the archives for storage

You don’t have to wait until the Registrar has formally registered the death before you can start arranging the funeral.

Arranging the funeral involves your Funeral Director discussing with you the type of funeral required, and offering you advice and information as appropriate. This can be done as soon as you have made certain decisions about the funeral – e.g. whether it is to be a burial or cremation.

Then, once you have registered the death, you can arrange with your Funeral Director for the green form to be handed over or collected.

A useful on line tool is available at https://www.gov.uk/register-a-death which will take you through the process step by step