In Times of Bereavement
When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to be made. Unfortunately these often have to be made at a time of personal distress. This page gives you help and guidance about what to do from the moment of a person’s death.
If Death Occurs At Home
1. Telephone the doctor who will visit to confirm that death has taken place.
2. Contact a funeral director.
3. Arrange to collect the doctor’s Medical Certificate of Death (usually from the surgery).
4. Take this to the Registrars’ Office, (together with the deceased’s Medical Card and Birth Certificate, if available) for the area in which the death took place. Alternatively you can register by declaration at any convenient Registrars’ Office but certificates will not be available as these will have to be posted to you a few days later.
5. The Registrar will normally issue a Green coloured certificate for you to give to your funeral director who will look after necessary arrangements for the funeral. The Registrar will also issue a white notification certificate for the DSS. They will also enquire as to the number of Certified Copies you require for dealing with the deceased finances (a fee is payable for each copy).
If The Death Occurs In Hospital
1. Contact a funeral director to inform them their services are required.
2. Collect the certificate from the hospital then follow 4 – 5 as above
Note For Cremation
Your funeral director will usually liaise directly with the surgery regarding the additional certification required.
For complete guidance, visit the what to do after a death section of the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/after-a-death/overview
How to register a death in Lichfield District
By law you must register a death within five days, unless a Registrar says that this period may be extended.
The local register office is:
Lichfield Register Office (inc. Tamworth)
The Old Library Building, Bird Street, Lichfield, WS13 6PN
Tel: 0300 111 8001
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm (Alternate Wednesdays until 6pm)
Telephone Enquiries: Mon – Fri 8.00am – 6.00pm & Saturday 9.00am – 5.00pm
You can register a death at any Register Office in England or Wales. To find other offices visit the Staffordshire County Council website: http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/community/lifeevents/offices/offices.aspx
What the Registrar will need to know
It may help you to prepare for your visit to know that the Registrar will require the following information:
- The date and place of death.
- The full name of the deceased (and maiden name if appropriate).
- The date and place of birth of the deceased (a birth certificate would be helpful).
- The deceased’s occupation and the full name and occupation of her husband, if she was a married woman or a widow.
- The deceased’s usual address.
- Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension from public funds. The date of birth of the deceased’s spouse, if alive.
- Either the deceased’s NHS number or medical card. However, please do not delay registration if the medical card is not available.
Who do I need to tell?
The County Council offers a Tell Us Once service which means you will be able to just tell them once about the death, and then they will tell other government departments and local authority services for you.
Your local registrar will give you a unique reference number to access the Tell Us Once service online or by phone. You will need the deceased’s:
- date of birth
- National Insurance number
- driving licence number
- passport number
- details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting, eg State Pension
- details of any local council services they were getting, eg Blue Badge
- name and address of their next of kin
- name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’
You need permission from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator or anyone who was claiming joint benefits or entitlements with the deceased, before you give their details. More information about the Staffordshire County Council Tell Us Once service can be found at:
Organisations Tell us Once will notify:
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – to deal with tax and cancel benefits
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – to cancel benefits, eg income support
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – to cancel a driving licence
- Passport Office – to cancel a passport
- the local council – to cancel housing benefit, council tax benefit, a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
You’ll have to let the relevant organisations know about the death yourself if your local register office doesn’t offer the Tell Us Once service or you choose not to use it.
Lichfield Cruse Bereavement Care 01543 433479.
East Staffordshire Cruse Bereavement Care 01283 509098 Geoffrey Hodges Wing, Queens Hospital Belvedere Road, Burton upon Trent
You can find more information on the national Cruse Bereavement Care website: www.cruse.org.uk or for young people: www.rd4u.org.uk
The Child Bereavement Trust Provides support for bereaved families. The website is at: www.childbereavementuk.org/
Samaritans You can also contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 08437 90 90 9.