Registering a Death

When someone dies in England or Wales the death needs to be registered within 5 days at the register office for the district in which it happened.

For information about copies of entries registered within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead contact us at:

The Superintendent Registrar
The Register Office
Town Hall, St. Ives Road
Maidenhead SL6 1RF
01628 796422 : registrar@rbwm.gov.uk

Who should register?

If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an occupant of the house or official from the hospital (if that is where the death occurred)
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

Deaths which occur anywhere else can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • the person who found the body
  • the person in charge of the body
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. The registrar will normally only allow one of the other people listed above to register if there are no relatives available to register.

Where do I go?

There are two register offices in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. They are at Maidenhead and Windsor, you can choose to register at whichever office is most convenient for you.

You will need an appointment to register and should telephone 01628 796422 to make one. It will not be possible to register unless you have made an appointment by phoning this number.

You can go to an office in a different district if it is more convenient, however that office will have to send the details that you give, to this district by post and all paperwork will also have to be sent to you by post. As you can imagine this may take several days and might hold up the funeral arrangements as a burial or cremation cannot take place until the funeral director has received the necessary documentation from the registrar.

For out of hours emergency death registrations only please call 01753 853517

What documents do I need?

Unless the coroner is involved (see later paragraph) you just need the medical certificate of cause of death which was issued by the doctor treating the person who has died. The registrar will need to refer to it when making the registration. If possible you should also bring the deceased's NHS medical card.

What information will I be asked for?

The registrar will ask you for the following details:

  • the date and place of death
  • the full name and surname of the deceased and any other names they may heve been known by
  • the maiden surname of a married woman
  • the date and place of their birth
  • their occupation
  • the name and occupation of husband or wife if the deceased person was a married
  • their usual address
  • whether the deceased person was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  • if the deceased person was married, the date of birth of a surviving widow or widower

You will not be asked about the cause of death, as the registrar will take this information from the certificate issued by the doctor.

It is very important that all the information in the register is completely correct as mistakes can take quite a bit of time and trouble to put right. This is why the person registering the death should check the information very carefully before signing the register.

When do I get the death certificate?

After giving the registrar all the necessary information, the person registering the death signs the register and has the opportunity to buy one or more death certificates at a cost of £4.00 per certificate.
Any certificates required after the point of registration, even from an active register, will cost £7.00.

All certificates are certified copies of the entry in the register and may be needed for various administrative purposes. It is possible to order further certificates later, at a cost of £7.00 per certificate while the register which contains the entry is active, should you need more.

What other paperwork will I be given?

The registrar will issue a certificate for cremation or burial which is normally passed to the funeral director. Without this certificate the funeral director cannot proceed with the funeral, although arrrangements can be made before it is issued.

If registration of the death is delayed for any reason, it is possible in certain circumstances for a certificate for burial to be issued before registration. A certificate for cremation cannot be issued before registration unless the delay is caused by involvement of the coroner, in which case he or she will usually issue a certificate for cremation to avoid delaying the funeral.

The registrar will also issue a certificate for social security. This certificate needs to be filled in and sent or taken to your local benefits office. The Department for Work and Pensions (formerly the Department of Social Security) will then be able to sort out what happens to any benefits and state pensions.

The Tell us Once service

Informing a government or local authority department when someone has died.

How the service works

When someone dies you may have to inform several different government and local authority departments of the death so that they can update their records. The Tell Us Once Service will notify those departments on your behalf, and you will recieve written confirmation of which departments have been informed.

How to use the service

You will be offered the service when you make an appointment to register the death, and the Tell Us Once service will be part of the registration process.

Or

You can access the service by telephone after registering. The registrar will give you details and the number you need to call, you can also use this service online.

If you wish to use the service at registration you will be asked to bring with you the following information about the person who has died.

  • National Insurance Number and the National Insurance number of a surviving husband, wife or civil partner
  • Details of any benefits and services the deceased was receiving (e.g. housing benefit, carers allowance)
  • The name of their closest relative (normally known as 'Next of Kin')
  • The name of a surviving husband, wife or civil partner
  • The name of the person dealing with the estate of the deceased (which might be one of the above)
  • Their passport (Please bring this with you to the appointment)
  • Their driving licence (Please bring this with you to the appointment)

If you don't have all these items to hand, please bring as many as possible with you.

If you are not the next of kin, you will need to have their permission to give the information to the registrar.

The registrar will guide you through the process and give you written confirmation of the departments who have been informed.

Please remember that you will need to make an appointment to register a death which occurred in Windsor, Maidenhead or Ascot and can make that appointment by calling 01628 796422.

Why is a coroner sometimes involved?

Some circumstances require the registrar to report a death to the coroner before it can be registered. Examples of this include:

  • where there is no doctor who can issue a medical certificate of cause of death
  • where the person was not seen by the doctor issuing the certificate after he or she had died, or during the 14 days before the death
  • where the cause of death is unknown
  • where the cause of death is believed to be unnatural or suspicious
  • where the death happened during an operation or before recovery from an anaesthetic
  • where the death is due to industrial disease or industrial poisoning

The coroner must then decide whether there should be further investigation into the death - and the registrar cannot register the death until the coroner notifies him / her of their decision. Coroner's Services

Can I change the death record at a later date?

Each entry in the death register should be an accurate and historic record of the facts as they were at the time of death. If errors are discovered later, the law allows for details to be added or amended. Corrections of this kind should be arranged with the registrer office where the death was registered - but sometimes paperwork will need to be sent to the Corrections and Re-registration Section at the General Register Office for authorisation.
Wherever possible, applications for corrections should be made by the person who gave the information for registration and signed the register entry. He or she will be asked to provide documentary evidence to prove an error was made at the time of registration. For further information about corrections in registers held by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Registration Service call 01628 796422

To repatriate or remove a body from or to England or Wales

For any details of repatriation or removal of bodies in the first instance you should contact you Funeral Director for advice. Details on the repatriation of a dead body.

Mortuary Services

Further details on the Mortuary service.

Civil Funerals

A civil funeral is a celebration reflecting the wishes of the deceased and their family. It is a personal and dignified tribute created by a professional celebrant who works closely with the family or executor and funeral director. The celebrant will aim to create a highly personal ceremony with the help of family and/or friends - recounting the person's experiences, attributes and qualities, using music, poetry, readings and personal anecdotes. The civil funeral may be held anywhere except religious buildings and churches. The ceremony is appropriate for cremation or burial in a non-religious burial ground.

The Registration service of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead does not currently offer this service so you will need to make your own inquiries into who may provide this service

Intestacy

The registration service do not hold details or a list of people who have died without making a will (intestate). However the government do publish a list and this can be found by following this link http://www.bonavacantia.gov.uk/

How do I get a copy of a certificate?

Copies of certificates from current or archived registers can be obtained by applying to the Register Office which has custody of the register and paying the appropriate fee.

Register offices have the facility to supply a copy of any certificate from a register in their custody. They can check for you whether a particular event has been registered in that district by checking their register indices. You can ask for a check to be made by telephoning or writing.

If you are looking for a lot of certificates over different dates (for family history) it is better to send your request by post as checking may take some time.

Copy certificates from an archived register held at the register office will cost £10.00 each for the standard (5 working day) service and £15.00 for the express (2 working day) service.
There is no facility for a 'while you wait' service for personal callers.

There is also a facility to search the register indices (but not the actual registers) yourself. There is a fee chargeable for this service, please telephone for further details. Alternatively you can apply to the General Register Office. General Register Office.


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Modified: 2013-09-04
Published: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:01:35
Author: Allison Helyer
Editor: Allison.Helyer
LGSL PID: 321
RDCMS ID: 5949
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