Register a death
We appreciate registering a death is a difficult thing to do, and we are here to help make the process as simple as possible.
Changes to registration of deaths and still births
All deaths and still births must now be registered by a face to face appointment. The hospital where the death took place, or issuing GP will guide you on the next step. Once they have scanned the Medical Cause of Death Certificate to our office, one of our team will call you to book an appointment.
Most deaths occur in a house, a hospital or a residential or nursing home. The law states that, in order of preference, a death may be registered by:
- a relative
- a person present at the death
- the occupier of the house or institution where the death took place
- the person who is instructing the funeral director
The process of registering a death
In normal circumstances you should arrange to register the death within five days. This does not apply when the coroner is involved.
The registration takes about 30 minutes if all the necessary information about the deceased is available. This will include:
- Date and place of death
- Name, address, date of birth and place of birth
- Maiden name, in the case of a woman who has been married or formed a civil partnership
- Occupation, and the name and occupation of their husband/wife/civil partner
- If the deceased was still married or in a civil partnership, the date of birth of their spouse
- The medical card or NHS number, if readily available
- Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or benefits.
On completing the registration, the registrar will give you the form for you to take to your funeral director, which gives permission for burial or cremation.
You will also be able to buy death certificates, which will be required for dealing with the deceased’s estate. These cost £11 each, we only accept payment by credit/debit card.
On weekends and bank holidays, a registrar is on duty 10am to 12pm to issue paperwork for any urgent burials to take place. The registrar will contact the individual whose details were provided by the hospital/GP.
What will I need to bring to the appointment?
We recommend you bring all of the following documents of the deceased to your appointment. Don't worry, if you cannot provide the following, we will still be able to process the registration. However, any errors will incur a fee and could delay the funeral.
- a passport, driving licence or birth certificate
- marriage certificate if applicable
- a document with an NHS number (prescription/doctors letter)
On the day of your appointment
- Only the person who booked the appointment will be allowed to attend
- We recommend you wear a face covering whilst in the building
- If you develop symptoms of coronavirus please do not attend - call us on the number below to rebook.
In some circumstances the registrar may have to refer the death to the coroner. Only provisional funeral arrangements should be made until the death has been registered and then confirmed when the authority for the funeral has been issued.
A death may be referred to the coroner for a number of reasons:
- The death was unexpected; the doctor is unsure of the precise cause of death or the doctor was not in medical attendance during the deceased's last illness
- The coroner feels that for legal reasons the circumstances of the death requires further investigation, for example following an accident.
Once a death has been reported to the coroner one of three things will happen. The coroner may decide:
- no action is necessary therefore a doctor can issue the cause of death certificate and the death can be registered
- to investigate. When this happens there will be a delay while the cause of death is established. During this time the death cannot be registered
- to hold an inquest. The death cannot be registered until the inquest is completed. Prior to the inquest the coroner may release the body to allow the funeral to take place. The coroner may also issue an interim death certificate which is accepted by some organisations.
The coroner’s address is H.M Coroner, Town Hall, Leicester LE1 9BG. The contact number is 0116 454 1030.
Telling other services about a death
When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them. One of these is contacting government departments and local council services.
When you register the death the registrar will give you a 'tell us once' service number that you can use on the internet or by phone, to enable various government departments and local council services to be informed at the same time.
Write to us: The City of Leicester Register Office, Town Hall, Town Hall Square, Leicester, LE1 9BG
Ring us on: 0116 454 1000
Send us a message