Register a death

Register a death

Dealing with the death of someone you care for is a difficult time. We aim to make it as easy as possible and our staff will help guide you through the process.

A death must be registered before a funeral can take place. It must be registered within five days in the local authority are in which it took place.

It is free to register a death but there are fees associated with obtaining copies of the death certificate. When we receive the notification of the death,  we will contact the next of kin and arrange a suitable appointment for you to attend the Register Office to register the death.

The Council offers a limited service at weekends and on public holidays for emergency burials.

Emergency burial service

This service is for the issue of emergency burial certificates only. The service is usually available: 

  • 12 noon to 4pm on Saturday afternoons, and
  • 9am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

If you need this service,  please contact the on call registrar during the operational hours on 07801 244 805.

You must then arrange an appointment and go to the East Ham Town Hall to register the death during the following week. 

Who can register a death?

This is usually done by a relative but the following people can also register a death:

  • a person present at the death;
  • a person who lived at the same address, if they are aware of the death;
  • the person arranging the funeral.

If English is not the first language of the person registering the death they can ask a friend or relative to be with them when making the registration.

If you are arranging a funeral you can apply for specialist parking permits for funerals.

Information you will need

The registrar will be sent the medical certificate issued by the doctor showing the cause of death. If the death has been referred to the coroner, the Coroner’s Office will advise you what to do.

The registrar will need to know the:

  • date and place of death;
  • full name and surname of the deceased;
  • maiden surname (if applicable, and if it is different from their married name);
  • deceased person’s date and place of birth;
  • deceased person’s job;
  • usual address of the deceased;
  • full name and job of her husband if the person who died was a married woman, or a widow;
  • date of birth of the surviving widow/ widower if the person who died was married. 

Documents you will receive

You should receive the following three documents from the registrar:

  • Death certificate - issued at the time of registration or at a later date for £12.50 card payment only
  • Certificate for burial or cremation – This will normally be passed to the funeral director. It allows the funeral to take place. If a death has been reported to the coroner they may issue the certificate instead;
  • Certificate for applicable Social Security benefits – The person registering the death will be issued with this certificate so it can be sent to the Department of Social Security.  

You must pay for a death certificate using a credit or debit card. 

Copy of a death certificate

You can request a copy of a death certificate should you need one, for things like:

  • Bank and building society accounts
  • Insurance companies who have issued policies covering the deceased
  • Dealing with any stocks and shares owned by the deceased
  • Probate or letters of administration
  • Application for tax rebate if appropriate.

You may buy certified copies of the death entry from the registrar at the time of registration or afterwards. They can be provided in printed or handwritten form.

Visit our copy certificates page for details of how to purchase copy certificates.