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Find out more about making a will, inheritance tax, and government assistance such as Funeral Payments and Bereavement Payments

Registering the Death


Registering a death must, by law, be carried out within five days of its occurrence unless a Registrar says that this period may be extended.


You can do this at the Register Office in the district where the death occurred. Alternatively, you can go to any Register Office in England and Wales and make a declaration of the particulars required for registration purposes.


If you opt to make a declaration, the Registrar will send the details to the appropriate Register Office. Any certificates you require will be sent to you by post, therefore delays in organising a funeral may occur.


The Coroner service


In certain circumstances a death will have to be referred to a Coroner. He may do one of three things:


  • He may decide that no action is necessary and inform the Registrar accordingly.
  • He may decide to hold a post-mortem examination, in which case the cause of death will be notified directly to the Registrar instead of through a medical certificate.
  • He may decide to hold an inquest. The Coroner's Office or the Registrar will advise you what to do in these circumstances.


What the Registrar will need to know


It may help you to prepare for your visit to know that the Registrar will require the following information:


  • The date and place of death.
  • The full name of the deceased (and maiden name if appropriate).
  • The date and place of birth of the deceased (a birth certificate would be helpful).
  • The deceased's occupation and the full name and occupation of her husband, if she was a married woman or a widow.
  • The deceased's usual address.
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension from public funds.
  • The date of birth of the deceased's spouse, if alive.
  • Either the deceased's NHS number or medical card. However, please do not delay registration if the medical card is not available.


Coping with the loss


If you would like help in coping with your sad loss there is a bereavement counselling services that may be able to help you:


Cruse Bereavement Care
Tel: (01384) 898812


Making a will


You don't have to make a will, but experts may advise you to do so for more information on 'How and Why' to make a will visit the Directgov website.


Inheritance Tax


How and when you have to pay Inheritance Tax - an explanation of the exemptions and the role of the personal representative or executor


Funeral Payments


If you are getting Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or certain other benefits, you could get help towards funeral payments of a partner, a close relative or a close friend


Bereavement Payments


A Bereavement Payment is a £2,000 lump sum to help you at the time of your husband's,  wife's or partner's death.


What to do when someone dies


The Department for Work and Pensions has published a guide entitled, 'What to do after a death in England and Wales' which you can download from the link below.



If you experience any problems with the links on this page then please contact us and we will aim to rectify any problem(s) as soon as possible.


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