Registering a Death in The South Hampshire Area
When Death Occurs and Registration
When a loved one passes away those who are bereaved are often upset and not sure of what needs to be done. We can be contacted at any time day or night to help and answer any questions you may have.
If a loved one should pass away in a Hospital
The Hospital staff will advise you regarding whom to contact to obtain the Medical Certificate which will be required prior to registering a death.
Please contact us as soon as you feel ready so we can then liaise with the relevant Hospital department on your behalf. If a death occurs at Southampton General Hospital the team from the Bereavement Care Department at Victoria House will make contact with you to arrange a suitable time for you to go to Victoria House to collect the documentation that will be needed for the purposes of registering the death.
If a loved one should pass away at home
If a death should occur during the deceased’s GP Surgery opening times please contact the surgery to advise the registered GP. The GP should normally come out to certify the death and should then be able to advise you when the Medical Certificate will be ready for collection from the Surgery. If a death should occur outside of the deceased’s surgery opening times or at the weekend, contact the NHS 111 service and they will arrange for the out of hours Doctor to come to verify the death.
Once a death has been verified by a Doctor or qualified person we are able to attend and bring the deceased into our care. We do not have to be called straight away as sometimes family or friends may wish to come and pay their respects before we attend. Again, we can be contacted at anytime to discuss your wishes.
If a loved one should pass away in a Nursing or Care Home
The staff at the Nursing or Care Home will normally contact us to arrange for your loved one to be brought into our care. This would be after the death has been verified by a Doctor or qualified member of the Nursing Team.
The Medical Certificate will normally be available from the Doctor’s Surgery or sometimes may be handed to the care home for you to collect. If any family members or friends should wish to pay their respects prior to our attendance please advise the Nursing or Care Home staff and they will advise us of your wishes.
Registering a Death When a Medical Certificate Has Been Issued
Please find below some information that may assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can be of any assistance regarding the registering of a death.
A Death should normally be registered within 5 working days of the death occurring. This is not always possible if the medical certificate is not available straight away, or if appointments are not available in the time scale at the Registrars Office.
A Death can be registered by:
- a close relative or Executor
- a person who was present at the time of death
- the person who will be making the arrangements with the Funeral Director
Contacting the Registrar’s Office
Please contact the relevant Registrar’s to the district where the death occurred as an appointment is usually required with the Registrar’s Office to register a death.
Registering a Death
The medical certificate stating the cause of death, issued by the Doctor who had attended the deceased during their last illness, will be required by the Registrar.
Other documents that are required, if available:
- Birth Certificate – If not available the Registrar will need to know the date and place of birth of the deceased.
- Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate
- NHS medical card or NHS number
- Passport or driving license
- Utility bill or bank statement with last address
The Registrar will need to know the following:
- The deceased’s name in full
- Names by which the deceased has previously been known, such as their maiden name, or surnames of a previous marriage
- The deceased’s date and place of birth
- The address where they were last residing prior to death
- Last occupation
- If married or in a civil partnership – the name, date of birth and occupation of the surviving spouse
Once The Death is Registered
Once a death is registered the Registrar will issue you with the following documents:
- Certified copies of the Death Certificate (there is a charge for each copy that is required; the Registrar will be able to advise you on the cost per copy that is required. The quantity required will depend on the deceased’s affairs. Normally banks or building society’s and other financial organisations will require an original certified copy. If you are unsure it is best to purchase additional copies when at the Registrar’s office as opposed to a later date)
- Certificate for Cremation or Burial – this is a green-coloured certificate and is one of the documents required by the Funeral Director to make the funeral arrangements on your behalf
- Form BD8 – this is a white form which needs to be completed and returned if the deceased was receiving a state pension or other benefits.
Tell Us Once Service
Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council Registration Services offer the ‘Tell Us Once’ Service.
Before you use Tell Us Once, you’ll need the following details of the person who died:
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number
- Driving licence number
- Vehicle registration number
- Passport number
You will also need:
- details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting, for example state pension
- details of any local council services they were getting, for example Blue Badge (disabled driver)
- the name and address of their next of kin
- the name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
- the name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘Executor’ or ‘Administrator’
- details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying into.
Please note that you need permission from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator or anyone who was claiming joint benefits or entitlements with the person who died, before you give their details.
Organisations Tell Us Once Will Contact
Tell Us Once will notify:
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – to deal with personal tax (you need to contact HMRC separately for business taxes, such as VAT)
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – to cancel benefits, such as Income Support
- Passport Office – to cancel a British passport
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – to cancel a licence and remove the person as the keeper of up to 5 vehicles (contact DVLA separately if you keep or sell a vehicle)
- the local council – to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
- Veterans UK – to cancel Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments
Tell Us Once will also contact some public sector pension schemes so that they cancel future pension payments. They will notify:
- My Civil Service Pension
- NHS Pension Scheme
- Armed Forces Pension Scheme
If A Death Is Referred To The Coroner
A death may be reported to the Coroner if:
- The cause of death is unknown
- The cause of death was violent or unnatural
- A sudden and unexplained death and the person who has died was not visited by their doctor or medical practitioner during their last illness
- The doctor or medical practitioner is unable to issue the medical certificate because the deceased has not seen by their doctor within 14 days before death
- Death occurred during an operation, or if the death may have been caused by an industrial disease.
If the Coroner decides that the cause of death is clear the registered doctor of the deceased will be able to sign the medical certificate which should be taken to the Registrar’s Office.
The Coroner sometimes may issue a certificate to the Registrar stating that a post-mortem is not required.
If the cause of death is not known a post mortem may be needed to find out how the person died.
The Coroner’s Office will liaise directly with the deceased’s next of kin and keep them informed regarding the results of the examination and when they will be able to register the death.
Inquest Into Death
An inquest will be held if the cause of death is still unknown, or if the person died as the result of an accident, unnatural or violent death.
If an inquest is requested the Coroner will issue an interim death certificate. This can be used as a temporary death certificate to inform relevant organisations of the death.
A death cannot be registered until after the inquest. In this instance the Coroner will send the relevant documentation to the Registrar.