What to do When Someone Dies


What to do when a person dies

If a person dies at home, you will need to contact their GP (or district nurse if they have been involved) to certify death. Once this has been done, you should contact a funeral director who will come and take the person to a chapel of rest.  If the person dies in hospital a funeral director will need to be contacted so that they can collect the person from the hospital. 

Registering a death

Generally, a death needs to be  registered within five days and it is advisable to do this at the office in the area in which the person died. 

You can use the  ‘Register a Death’ page on the gov.uk website that will guide you through the process. 

The following people can register a death:

  • Any relative of the person who has died
  • Any person present at the death
  • A person who lives in the house where the person died
  • The person arranging the funeral (not the funeral director)

You will need to have a simple interview with the registrar but this is nothing to worry about - it is just to gather information.  The information that the registrar will need is: 

  • The full name of the person who has died.  If the person has always been known by a nickname or a shortened version of their Christian name, it is important that you give the full, correct name. 
  • Their full address
  • Their date of birth
  • Details of where and when the person died
  • Their occupation if any

If the person who has died is a married woman you will need to give her maiden name and her husband's full name and occupation.

The registrar will already have the death certificate but there are other documents you need to give the registrar:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership certificates
  • NHS number (available from GP)

At the register office you will be issued with:

  • A "Certificate for Burial or Cremation" (also called a green form).  You should give this to the funeral director as soon as possible
  • A "Certificate of Registration of Death" which you will need to fill in and send to the social security office for the area where the person died
  • A "Tell Me Once" form.  This is to inform authorities such as DWP, DVLA, etc.

Extra copies

It may be necessary for you to close bank accounts, close down pension schemes, claim insurance etc. and you will need to have copies of the Death Certificate for this.  You may buy copies from the registrar and fees will vary from one area to another. 

To make an appointment to register a death, please contact your nearest registration office from the list below.  The telephone number for ALL offices is: 0845 603 7632

All meetings are by appointment only

Brentwood Registration Office:  Monday to Friday 09.00 - 17.00

1 Seven Arches Road, Brentwood, CM14 4JG

Basildon Registration Office:  Monday to Friday 09.00 - 17.00

Basildon Centre, St. Martins Square, Basildon, SS14 1DL

Billericay Registration Office:  Tuesday 09.00 - 17.00

Burghstead Lodge, 143 High Street, Billericay, CM12 9AB

Castle Point Registration Office:  Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.00

Kiln Road, Thundersley, SS7 1TF

Rayleigh Registration Office:  Monday - Friday 09.00 - 13.00

The Robing Room, District Council Offices, Hockley Road, Rayleigh, SS6 8EB

The British Humanist Association can also help with non-religious funerals.