How, When and Where to Register a Death

Category: What To Do When Someone Dies


If you have the task of registering a death, there are a number of important factors and steps that you need to be aware of during the process.

It’s an unfortunate job to have to complete as it is the first thing to do after the passing of a loved one, however, this guide will tell you exactly what you need to do and how to do it.

The first step to registering a death is to get a death certificate from a General Practitioner (GP) or a doctor if your loved one has passed away in a hospital, if this is the case, we have a dedicated section explaining what to do which you can access here.

Once you have the death certificate, simply click here and follow the steps to register the death with the government.

The steps to take in alternative circumstances are listed below.


When a person passes away at home

If the passing of a loved one was expected and a doctor had been in recent contact with the departed, simply call the doctor to inspect the body and issue a medical certificate to confirm the cause of death.

You can then register the death at any point five days after the passing.

Remember to tell the doctor if you plan to have the deceased cremated.

However, if there is an unexpected death, you will need to call the police first.


When a person passes away abroad or away from home

In the case of somebody passing away in another country or away from their home area, the local authorities will take responsibility for the formalities and you must register the death with them.

However, in a lot of foreign countries, you are allowed to register the death with the British authorities.

There are a number of options when dealing with a death of a loved one abroad and everything is listed on the Gov.uk website which you can read by clicking here.


When you think somebody has died after going missing

If somebody has been missing for a large amount of time and a body is not recovered, it is possible to get a declaration of presumed death.

However, that only way to make a claim is by applying to the High Court and the individual has been missing for over seven years or they have disappeared during a natural disaster.

The process of getting a declaration of presumed death is complex, so make sure to read the government’s guidelines here if you are considering making a claim.


Help and support

Having to deal with administrative duties after the passing of a loved one seems like an unjust form of punishment and it can be difficult to manage amongst making all of the funeral arrangements, so make sure to get in touch with our team if you need any extra information on any of the issues covered above as well as anything else you need support with.