It’s an unfortunate reality that when someone dies, there are legal formalities that need to be completed shortly after. While these can feel like the last thing you want to be doing at a time of mourning, they’re a necessary step before you can start making funeral arrangements.
In most cases, registering a death is straightforward and simple to take care of. Here’s what you need to do:
The first thing you’ll need to get is a medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD). If your loved one died in hospital and the cause of death is clear, their doctor will normally give you this automatically, together with information about how to register the death.
However, if they died at home or somewhere else, you’ll need to contact the deceased’s GP. They’ll normally visit to establish the cause of death and issue the certificate in-person on location, or you might need to visit the GP surgery to collect it later.
Occasionally, the GP can’t give you the certificate immediately as they’re unsure of the precise cause or circumstances of death. In this case, they’ll refer to a coroner to investigate the death which may involve a post-mortem or inquest. Usually, the coroner will issue an interim death certificate so you can go ahead with funeral arrangements and organising probate.