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.
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
Where can I register the death?
The death has to be registered before a registrar for the district in which it took place. If that is in Leicester, you will need to make an appointment to go to Town Hall.
You can go to a different office to make a declaration if it is more convenient, but the registration process will take a few days longer, and this may cause a slight delay to the funeral.
An appointment is required at most register offices. You can contact us on 0116 454 1000.
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 a form to take to the funeral director, which gives permission for burial or cremation. You will also be given another form, which you should take or send to the benefits agency, in respect of state pensions and benefits.
You will also be able to buy death certificates, which will be required for dealing with the deceased’s estate. These cost £4 each.
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
- The coroner may decide 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
- The coroner may decide 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