What to do next
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The Death of a loved one, whether expected or sudden can be a very distressing and
troubling time. This page aims to guide you through the necessary aspects of the
arrangements that will have to be made and explains some of the administrative
What to do first
If the death has occurred in a private residence you will need to contact the persons G.P. or their
out of hours service. If the death occurs in a nursing home or hospice generally they will summon
a Doctor or other qualified person on your behalf. In both instances if practical, this should be the
Doctor that looked after the person during their last illness.
(N.B. If the doctor or qualified person who certifies death, is not the patient's normal Doctor, the necessary documentation
will need to be collected from their normal Doctors surgery)
The Doctor will issue the following documentation: -
· A Medical Certificate that states the cause of death
· A Formal Notice that states that the Doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and informs you how to register the death.
Once the doctor has attended, you will need to make arrangements for the deceased to be taken to
the Funeral Directors Chapel of Rest.
If the Doctor cannot certify as to the cause of Death, i.e. the deceased died suddenly, they will notify
the Coroner. It is the duty of the Coroner to investigate the circumstances of the death in order to try
to establish the cause. Once the Coroner has been informed, they will arrange for the deceased to
be taken to the local hospital for a post mortem examination.
A post mortem examination is a medical examination of the body to establish more about the cause
of death. In most cases this will not delay the funeral arrangements.
Registering the Death
You are legally required to register the death within 5 days except in certain circumstances, where
the period may be extended to 14 days. If the Coroner is investigating the death, he will issue the
Death Certificate to you directly and you will then be required to register the death once the Coroners
Certificate has been received.
Who can register the Death?
People with legal responsibility to register include:
· A Relative
· A person present at the death
· The occupier of the premises where the death occurred if he/she knew it was happening.
· The person arranging the funeral. (This does not mean the funeral director.)
(See also the list on the notice to Informants attached to the Doctors Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.)
Where do I register the Death?
All Deaths must be registered in the district in which they occurred:
For Deaths occurring in
Hadleigh, Benfleet, Canvey, Rochford, Rayleigh, Wakering & Barling
The Robing Room,
District Council Offices,
Telephone: 01268 776362
Hours of attendance
An appointment system operates
Monday - Friday 9.30 a.m. to 12 noon
For Deaths occuring in
Southend, Leigh, Westcliff, Shoeburyness and surrounding areas
The Civic Centre
Telephone: 01702 534350
Hours of attendance
An appointment system operates and Deaths are only registered in the afternoon
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 7pm
What Documents will I need for the Registration?
· The medical certificate of cause of death issued by the doctor treating the person who has died. This is essential - the Registrar cannot register the death without it. (If the Coroner is involved, he/she will advise you what to do.)
· The deceased person's birth certificate or passport if available.
· The deceased person's medical card if available.
What Questions will the registrar ask me?
· The date and place of death
· The full name and surname, (and maiden surname if a married woman) of the person who has died.
· The occupation of the deceased. (If the deceased person was a married woman or widow the full name and occupation of her husband will be sought)
· The usual address of the deceased
· If the person who has died was married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse.
· Whether the person who has died was receiving a pension from public funds.
What Documents will the Registrar give me?
· A Green Form which enables you to arrange the funeral. (If the Coroner is involved, different procedures may apply). Preliminary funeral arrangements can be made before the Green Form is issued.
· A form for Social Security purposes.
· Certificate of Registration, certified copies of the entry (death certificates) can also be obtained upon payment of the statutory fee.
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