The death of a loved one can cause a great deal of emotional stress and trauma. In addition there is the task of dealing with the deceased’s financial and legal affairs.

At Macks, the first steps that we would suggest that you take are:

  • Collect the “Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death” from the Doctor on the ward or family GP or the Coroners Office. This will be required before you can register the death.
  • Make an appointment at the Register Office for the area in which the deceased died or, if available, at the hospital where the death took place. James Cook University Hospital has an on-site registrar four days a week.

The death must be registered within 5 days.

The following people can register a death:

  • A relative – usually the closest
  • Someone present at the time of death
  • Someone who is organising the funeral

At the appointment the Registrar will ask for the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death, the deceased’s birth certificate, marriage/civil partnership certificate and NHS card.

You will be asked to confirm the deceased’s full name (and maiden name if applicable), date and place of birth, last address, occupation, the full name, address, occupation and date of birth of any surviving spouse/civil partner, tax reference number and whether he/she was in receipt of any state pension or benefit.

The Registrar will produce, free of charge:

  1. A Certificate for burial or cremation – Form 9 – known as a “green form”. This gives permission for a burial or cremation to take place and needs to be given to the funeral director.
  1. A Certificate of Registration of Death – Form BD8 – known as a “white form”. This needs to be completed and posted to the local Jobcentre Plus or social security office to claim any arrears of state pension or benefit.

You will sign the Register and confirm all the information is correct. The Registrar will produce an official copy of the entry in the Register of Deaths known as a Death Certificate. The fee is £4.00 at this stage. For copies requested at a later date this fee increases to £7.00. A death certificate will be required by pension providers, banks, building societies and financial institutions so it is easier and cheaper to obtain copies at the time of registration.

  • Arrange the funeral

The funeral cannot be arranged until the death has been registered.

Are you aware of any specific instructions regarding the funeral arrangements or wishes for donating the body or organs or tissues? These may be set out in the Will or Letter of Wishes to be found with the Will.

Did the deceased leave any funeral plan? Reference may be made in the Will or the document may be lodged with the Will or the deceased’s Solicitor.

Make an appointment to see a funeral director at home or at their premises.

Choosing a funeral firm can be difficult and it is unusual to ask for a quote or ring round for quotes. If you have no guidance from the deceased as to which funeral director to use, you could ask relatives and friends for their recommendations or choose a funeral director who is a member of:

  • The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD)
  • Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors

At Macks we have a list of local funeral firms ranging from small local firms to large regional and national organisations.

  • Make an appointment to see a specialist solicitor at Macks to discuss the steps you need to take to administer the deceased’s property, bank accounts and investments (their “Estate”).

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