Arranging a Funeral
Registering A Death
We are not allowed to register the death on your behalf.
To view a list of local registrars please go to our 'Useful Contacts' section.
You should register the death within five days at the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the district in which the death occurred. Please contact us, and we will advise you regarding the location of the Registrar’s office, their opening times and how to make an appointment.
The Registrar will require the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death issued by the doctor (or the certificate issued by the Coroner - sent directly to them by the Coroner) and the deceased’s Medical Card (if available), together with the following information:
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- Full Name
- Date and place of death
- Home address
- Date and place of birth
- Maiden name, if applicable
- Former occupation, where relevant
- If married/Civil Partner – date of birth of surviving spouse/partner
- Name and address of Informant
- Informant’s qualification for registering (eg: next of kin)
The following persons may act as Informant, when registering:
- A relative/Civil Partner of the deceased present at the death
- A relative/Civil Partner of the deceased in attendance during the last illness
- A relative/Civil Partner of the deceased residing or being in the district where the death occurred
- A person present at the death
- The person causing the disposal of the deceased (eg. Person responsible for payment of funeral expenses)
The Registrar will usually issue:
- A (Green) Certificate for Burial or Cremation (free of charge) – this allows the funeral to proceed and should be given to us at the earliest opportunity
- Certified Copies of the Death Certificate – which are purchased from the Registrar for the general administration of the estate (currently £11.00 per copy)
- A Certificate of Registration, or Notification of Death (free of charge) – for you to send to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with any pension or allowance books.
Tell us Once
This service makes things a little easier when you are coping with a death. The Tell Us Once team will notify all participating government departments and organisations of the death. This includes council housing, adult services, income support, libraries, driver and vehicle licensing agencies and passport services. This will save you numerous calls and letters to each individual department.
How does it work?
When you register the death the Registration service will register you onto the free Tell Us Once Service. You will receive a letter with a reference number and instructions on how to use the service. It is not essential to do this straight away; but it’s advisable to do this within a week of making the registration.
You’ll need to gather some documents and information then go online or call 0800 085 7308. You will need to answer questions relating to organisations that the deceased had contact with. Tell Us Once will then notify those departments and they will amend their records.
What you will need
Information you will need when you go online or call:
- Tell Us Once reference number
- Death certificate information
- Deceased’s National Insurance Number
- Deceased’s surviving husband, wife or civil partners’ National Insurance Number or date of birth
- Next of kin’s name, Address and telephone number
- Information about any benefits and services the deceased may have been receiving (e.g. state pension, income support, housing benefit, library card etc)
- Name and address of the person dealing with the deceased’s estate (if different to the next of kin)
- Driving Licence (if held) or Driver Number if the licence not available
- Passport (if held) or passport number if passport not available
(If the deceased lived in Telford & Wrekin, Shropshire, or in a participating council area)
- Housing Benefit Office
- Council Tax Payments and Benefits Office
- Council Housing
- Blue Badge
- Adult Social Car
- Children’s Services
- Collection of payments for Council Services e.g. assisted bin collection
Identity and Passport Service:
- Passport Cancellation
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency:
- Driving Licence Cancellation
Department for Work and Pensions:
- Pension, Disability and Carers Services
- Jobcentre Plus
- Overseas Health Team
Ministry of Defence, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency:
- War Pensions Scheme
HM Revenue and Customs:
- Personal Taxation
Registering by Declaration
Where a death from natural causes occurs in England and Wales and the principal Informant lives a distance from the Registration district in which the death must be registered, it is permissible for the registration to take place ‘By Declaration’ at a convenient registry office within England and Wales.
Before using this procedure the Informant should contact the Registry office nearest to where the death occurred (‘Registrar A’) for guidance and clearance.
The informant then makes an appointment with the convenient Registry office (‘Registrar B’) and attends with the necessary information and the ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’ issued by the doctor. As this certificate is normally located at the place of death it must either be forwarded to the Informant or it can be handed to the Registrar A who can fax it to Registrar B (in the interests of security a fax can only be accepted if sent from Registrar A to Registrar B).
If the Coroner is involved, the form that replaces the doctor’s Medial Certificate must be faxed instead from Registrar A.
Once the above certification or fax has been received by Registrar B and the declaration has been made by the Informant, the document(s) will be sent by first class post to Registrar A who will register the death and dispatch, by return first class post, the Green Certificate (if applicable): the DWP form, and the Certified Copies of an Entry of Death, if paid for.
Whilst the procedure may be more convenient for the Informant, it will result in an additional delay before the funeral takes place. A return journey to Registrar A may be well worthwhile to avoid unnecessary hold-up.