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Registering a death in Scotland

When someone passes away in Scotland, you must register the death as soon as possible. Once the death has been registered, you will receive a number of documents which are required to make any necessary funeral arrangements. This guide will explain everything you need to know about registering a death in Scotland.

How to register a death in Scotland

Any death which occurs in Scotland must be registered within eight days.  Cremation or burial cannot take place until the death has been registered. A death which happens in Scotland must also be registered in Scotland; even if the deceased’s usual residence was elsewhere in the UK or abroad.

These steps will guide you through the process of registering a death in Scotland:

  1. 1. Discover who can register the death

The death may be registered by any of the following people:

  • Any relative of the deceased
  • Any person present when the person died
  • The executor or other legal representative
  • The occupier of the property where the person died.

If there is no such person, then the death may be registered by anyone else who possesses the information required for registration.

  1. 2. Find a registrar and book an appointment

A death which occurs in Scotland should be registered by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. You should register the death in the registration district where the death took place or, if the deceased lived elsewhere in Scotland, in the registration district closest to their home address.

You can find the address of your local registrar in Scotland by asking your local funeral director, doctor or hospital. You will need to book an appointment; the registration process should take approximately 30 minutes.

View the Directory of Registrars in Scotland

  1. 3. Take any necessary documents

The registrar will require the following documents:

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death – signed by a doctor
  • Birth Certificate
  • NHS medical card
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate, if available
  • Any documents relating to any pension or allowance from public funds.

If you do not have all of these documents, please do not worry; the most important piece of paperwork is the signed Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.

  1. 4. Provide information about the deceased

You will also need to provide the registrar with the following information:

  • The full name of the deceased
  • Their full home address
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Date, time and place of death
  • Their occupation, if applicable
  • If they were receiving any benefits, including pensions or allowance from public funds
  • Details of the deceased person’s parents
  • The name, occupation and date of birth of their spouse or civil partner, if applicable

  1. 5. Collect legal paperwork

Once you have registered the death, you will be given a number of documents by the registrar. These include:

Certificate of registration of death (Form 14)
A white form which you will need to give to your funeral director so that the funeral can go ahead.

Form 334/SI
“Registration or notification of death” for use in obtaining or adjusting Benefits or for National Insurance purposes.

An abbreviated death certificate
An extract of the entry recorded in the Register of Deaths. You can obtain a full extract of the Death Certificate for a fee.

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