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Registering a death

COVID-19 update

Until further notice, we will be registering deaths only and this will be completed over the telephone. GP surgeries have been contacted and asked to send any paperwork to the register office electronically and to include the details of the next of kin.

Any customers who have already collected a medical certificate of cause of death from a GP should write their name and phone number on the envelope, post it in the letterbox outside Wesley House and await contact from a registrar.

Alternatively, please post it to us at Register Office, Wesley House, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HF.

When a registrar contacts the next of kin to register a death, they will be able to purchase one certificate by card over the phone, which will enable access to funeral funds. The certificate will be posted out to you. Further certificates will be available to purchase at a later date.

In line with the government's advice on social distancing, we are contacting all couples and venues to advise them of the government's decision to postpone all weddings.

We are not currently taking any appointments for Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership.

All birth registrations have been deferred until further notice.

These arrangements may change in the coming weeks, so please keep checking this section for updates.

Information for funeral directors

The Coronavirus Act 2020 enables local authorities to electronically transfer documentation. During the pandemic, St Helens Register Office will register all deaths by telephone, and a scanned and emailed version of the 'green form' is acceptable under the emergency legislation. 

It is for each local authority to determine the best use of their limited resource when deciding where the 'green form' will be emailed to. For burials and cremations within Liverpool, Sefton and St Helens, Knowsley, Halton and Cheshire West, it will be the relevant cemeteries and crematoria authority.

These emergency procedures have been agreed by SAIF and NHS have been informed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a small number of cases, some deaths have to be reported to the coroner. The coroner must then decide if there should be further investigation.

The registrar cannot register the death until the coroner's decision is made.

If you have been advised the coroner is involved, please contact the register office on 01744 676789 to advise us of your contact details. Once the necessary paperwork is received, we will contact you to make a mutually convenient appointment. 

Situations reportable to the coroner

  • There is no doctor who can issue a medical certificate of cause of death
  • Where the deceased was not seen by the doctor issuing the medical certificate after death nor within 14 days before death
  • Where the cause of death is unknown
  • Where the cause of death is believed to be unnatural or suspicious
  • Where the death occurred during an operation or before recovery from an anaesthetic
  • Where the death is due to an industrial disease or industrial poisoning

Taking a body out of England and Wales

If you need to move a body out of England and Wales, you need permission from the coroner in the district where the body is.

You will need to complete a Form of Notice - Form 104, available from the register office or the coroner. Once completed, you need to take or send the form to the coroner. The coroner will take the notice and will say when the body can be removed; this will usually be four clear days later. For more urgent requests you should contact the coroner's office directly.

After a death has been registered, the registrar will issue:

  • A certificate for burial or cremation (green form), giving permission for the body to be buried or to apply for the body to be cremated
  • Certified copies of the death registration (death certificate); there is a fee of £11 per copy of certificate
  • A certificate of registration of death (form BD8), issued for the Department of Works and Pensions  
  • A Tell Us Once registration form, quoting a unique reference number

Documents

When registering a death, you'll need to take the following:

  • Medical certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor)

And, if available, identification belonging to the person who has died:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • NHS medical card
  • Utility bill

Also, identification for yourself:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Utility bill 
  • Bank statement

Information

You’ll need to tell the registrar:

  • The person’s full name at time of death
  • Any names previously used, including maiden surname
  • The person’s date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad)
  • Their last address
  • Their occupation
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • If they were getting a state pension or any other state benefit

Please check carefully before signing the register to ensure the information recorded in the death register is correct. If any mistakes are made, you will need to apply to the General Register Office (GRO) for any amendments. The amendments, if allowed by the GRO, will be added onto the record as a note in the margin – the original records will not be altered. The GRO charges a fee of £90 for consideration of corrections. 

If English is not your first language and help is needed, a relative or friend may act as an interpreter.

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
  • An official from the hospital
  • The person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

Deaths that occurred 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

Most deaths are registered by a relative. The registrar would normally only allow other people if there are no relatives available.

If English is not the first language of the relative or person registering, someone else can accompany them to the registrar's office to interpret. However, the relative must register the death.

The time after someone passes away is very difficult for family and friends. However, there are many people who need to be informed and things you will have to do.

Who to inform

Within the first five days of someone passing, you will need to contact:

  • Family doctor
  • Registrars – to register the death 
  • Funeral director – to begin the funeral arrangements
  • Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) 
  • Tell Us Once  

For deaths, we advise you to consider carefully who you may need to inform and who may need to see a certified copy of the death certificate. These can include:

  • Bank, building societies or post office  – to close down accounts, stop direct debits
  • Probate 
  • School or employer
  • Insurance companies
  • Mortgage provider or landlord
  • Dentist
  • Royal Mail – to redirect post
  • Stocks and shares 
  • Solicitors
  • Private pensions  
  • Premium Bond 
  • Other legal contracts and agreements

Things to return

Some organisations require that you return documentation to them:

  • Passport Office – to cancel and return a passport
  • DVLA – to cancel and return a driving licence, cancel car tax, return car registration/change ownership detail

To stop unwanted mail, you can contact the Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service to remove the deceased person’s details from mailing lists and databases or you can come into the crematorium office and pick up a leaflet.