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Registering a death

When someone dies, the doctor who was treating the deceased will issue a medical certificate of cause of death. The person registering the death must do so within five days of the death happening. They must take the doctor’s certificate with them to the appointment with the registrar, together with some additional documents.

A small number of deaths have to be reported to the coroner before they can be registered. This may unfortunately lead to a delay in registering the death. If the coroner is involved the coroner’s officers will keep you informed of progress.

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Tell Us Once

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 informing government departments and local council services.

South Gloucestershire Council, in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions, is providing access to the Tell Us Once service which will make this easier.

How the service can help you

When someone has died, their death needs to be registered with a registrar. Once that’s done, you can use the Tell Us Once service to give relevant information to the Department of Work and Pensions who then passes it on to other government departments and council services on your behalf.

This service is voluntary and free to use and will be offered during your appointment with the registrar.

Where to register a death

You can register a death that took place in South Gloucestershire at one of our registrar offices. These are located at the Yate One Stop Shop (West Walk, Yate shopping centre) and Kingswood Civic Centre. You should telephone to make an appointment or make an appointment online.  In the event of an emergency, where you need to contact us out of normal office hours please use 01454 868009.

If the death took place outside South Gloucestershire you can still provide us with details. We will pass the information you provide to the registrar for that area. They will register the death and send you a form for the Department of Work and Pensions, together with the form for the funeral director.

Who can register a death

  • a relative of the deceased
  • a person present at the death
  • the occupier of the institution, home or hospital in which the death occurred
  • the person making the funeral arrangements. This does not include an executor, unless they are also making the funeral arrangements

Documents needed to register the death

You will need to bring

  • the medical certificate for the cause of death (issued by the doctor)
  • the deceased’s medical card

Please also bring the following documents/information with you:

  • the deceased’s birth certificate and marriage certificate (if you have them)
  • the deceased’s passport
  • the date and place of the death
  • the full names and surname of the deceased together with any other names they have ever used
  • the place of birth of the deceased and their age (or date of birth)
  • the maiden surname of a woman who has married
  • the occupation of the deceased
  • the name and occupation of the deceased’s husband or wife or surviving civil partner
  • the deceased’s home address, including postcode
  • the date of birth of any surviving spouse
  • the deceased’s NHS number (from the medical card)
  • details of any pensions or allowances paid from public funds to the deceased
  • ID documents and proof of address for yourself (this helps us avoid mistakes in recording spellings of names and addresses)

It is important that the information provided and the entry in the register is correct. You should check the register before you sign it.

Issue of certificates

Once a death has been registered you will be issued with

  • a form for the funeral director
  • a form to send or take to the Department for Work and Pensions with any state pension or benefit books

You may request as many certified copies of the entry in the death register (certificates) as you will need to deal with the deceased’s affairs. Each one costs £4.00 if purchased at the time of the registration. This rises to £7.00 immediately after the registration from a current register, then £10.00 after the register is deposited with the superintendent registrar. We can accept cash, cheques, postal orders and card payments for certificates.

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