How to get a Death Certificate in the UK
In order to obtain a Death Certificate in the UK, you will need to register the death at a local register office. After you have registered the death, the registrar will give you a Death Certificate which means you can then proceed with the funeral arrangements.
What is a Death Certificate?
A Death Certificate is an official notification issued by a registrar declaring that a death has occurred; this is also required subsequently for managing an estate. It is a statutory certificate issued at the time in which a person taking responsibility for the funeral arrangements registers the death.
The certificate offers the name and surname of the deceased, their sex, age, birth details, occupation, the cause of death, when and where the person died, a description and residence of the informant, when the death was registered and the signature of the registrar.
When registering a death, it is important to ask for additional copies of the Death Certificate as you may need to give them to insurance, bank or pension companies. You may also be required to give copies to the executor or administrator of the Will who is dealing with the property and finances of the person who has passed away.
How much is a Death Certificate?
The cost of a Death Certificate varies across the UK. Each certified copy will cost £4.00 in England and Wales, £8.00 in Northern Ireland and £10.00 in Scotland.
If you do not purchase additional copies when you register a death, extra certificates will be more expensive to purchase at a later date. If this is the case, you can get copies from the General register Office (England and Wales), the General Register Office Northern Ireland or National Records Scotland.
Please be aware that photocopies of a Death Certificate are not typically accepted by legal, financial or insurance companies.
Who can collect a Death Certificate?
The following people can register a death and therefore will be able to collect a Death Certificate:
- A relative
- Someone who was with the person when they died
- Someone who lives at the address where the person died
- Someone who is arranging the funeral, but not the funeral director
How long does it take to get a Death Certificate?
If a loved one has passed away, you must register the death within five days, or eight days if you live in Scotland. The Death Certificate will be issued at your appointment and you will be able to purchase additional copies at the register office.
If you purchase copies at a later date, they are sent after 14 working days. Should you require a copy sooner than this, you can use the priority service for £23.40 and it will be sent the next working day.