1. Who should register a death?

When someone dies in England or Wales the death needs to be registered at the register office for the district in which it happened. There is a legal requirement to register the death within five days.

If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an occupant of the house or official from the hospital (if that is where the death occurred)
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

Deaths which occur anywhere else can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • the person who found the body
  • the person in charge of the body
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. The registrar will normally only allow one of the other people listed above to register if there are no relatives available to register.