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If someone dies at home you must call a doctor who will sign a medical certificate confirming the cause of death, unless they decide to refer the matter to the coroner.


If the death happens in hospital the doctor there will issue the certificate. The medical certificate must be taken to the registrar within five days of the death.


Frederick Butcher & son can give you the registrar’s address and telephone number, or you can find it on our ‘Useful Contacts’ Page. It is a good idea to phone to make an appointment so that you are seen promptly. Take the medical certificate giving the cause of death with you and the deceased’s medical card, birth and marriage certificates, if available. The registrar will also need other information about the person who has died such as their usual address, and whether they were receiving a pension or any other welfare benefits.


The registrar will give you a certificate of registration of death (white form) for social security purposes and the certificate for burial or cremation (green form) which should be given to the funeral director. You may need several copies of the death certificate – perhaps for the will, and for settling any pension claims, insurance policies and investments. You will have to pay for any extra copies so ask the registrar for guidance on how many you will need.

If the death is sudden or unusual it will be reported to the coroner who may call for a post-mortem and, in some cases, an inquest. In most cases this is merely a formality so don’t be too alarmed.

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