Who should register a death?

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

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.