Registering a death

What to do after a death has occurred.

Most families contact us initially by telephone. Outside office hours, day or night, our calls are answered by one of our team.If someone has died at home you have to contact their doctor. Once the doctor has certified death you would contact us to remove the deceased to our premises.We would then wait for your further instructions. Similarly if someone has passed away at a local hospital or nursing home we are unable to collect them until a qualified person has certified death and given us authority to collect the deceased. Larger hospitals have their own mortuary and bereavement service. You should remember to let them know which funeral director you are going to use and tell them if the deceased is going to be cremated. This will enable them to arrange the necessary paperwork.It is then usual for you to make an appointment to meet with us to discuss further arrangements this is usually at our premises or we can also arrange to meet you at your home if preferred. If a death occurs suddenly, or if the deceased has not been attended by his/her own doctor at some time during the previous 14 days, the death will be reported to Her Majesty's Coroner. It is the duty of the Coroner in these circumstances to establish the cause of death, normally by ordering a post-mortem examination, and only once this has been done will the funeral be able to take place. Usually, the Coroner's procedures takes a few days to complete and the relatives will be kept informed of the situation by the Coroner's Office and told at what stage they are able to register the death and make the funeral arrangements.

 If the death is due to unnatural causes an Inquest is necessary. This may be completed quickly, or opened and adjourned to a later date, in which case the Coroner will normally release the body to enable a funeral to take place and an interim certificate can be issued to assist with estate matters. When the Inquest is complete the death is automatically registered by a procedure of the Coroner.

 You must register a death with a Registrar of Births and Deaths for the area in which the death occurred.  You will have to make an appointment to do this. Contact the Registrar as soon as possible. The death must be registered within five days. If the death has been referred to the Coroner, it cannot be registered until the Registrar has received authority from the Coroner to do so.

 Once you have registered the death you will be given a death certificate (you have to pay a fee), a green certificate for the funeral director and forms relating to the DSS and pensions where necessary. The Death Certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the death register.

You may need extra Death Certificates for the will and for any pension claims, insurance policies, savings, bank certificates and premium bonds.

Who can Register the death?

Normally a relative of the deceased would register the death . If there is no relative available the registrar may allow someone present at the death or the person who found the body,  an occupant of the house or official from the hospital or the person making the arrangements with the funeral director to register. The funeral director cannot register the death.

When you go to the Registrar you should take the following:-

  • The Medical Certificate of the cause of death. This is normally sent directly from the Doctor to the Registrar however it is sometimes given to you by the Doctor and is addressed to the Registrar.
  • The Medical card of the deceased, if they had one.
  • Any War Pension order book of the deceased.
  • The Pink Form (Form 100), if one has been given to you by the Coroner

You should tell the Registrar:-

  • The date and place of death. The last (usual) address of the deceased.
  • The first names and surname of the deceased and the maiden name if the deceased was a woman who had been married. The date and place of birth of the deceased.
  • The town , county and country if born abroad.
  • The occupation of the deceased and his or her spouse.( if they were married. )
  • Whether the deceased was getting a pension or allowance from public funds.
  • If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower.


All Registration Service Points in the nine Registration Districts within Oxfordshire operate an appointment system, and all appointments have to be made through the central number.

You can book an appointment online at




0118 937 3533


Howard Chadwick Funeral Service was originally founded in 1991 by Howard Chadwick, his wife Sandra and nephew Alistair Cox


33 Benson Lane
Oxfordshire, OX10 8ED
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Tel: 01491 825222
Fax: 01491 839615