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Registering a death

In England and Wales, you normally need to register a death within five days. It's best to go to the register office in the area where the person died, otherwise it may take longer to get the documents you need and this could delay the funeral.

To register a death at St Helens Register Office please telephone 01744 676789 to arrange an appointment. 

Your appointment will be between 9.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 9.00 am to 12.30 pm on Wednesdays.

The registration will take approximately 30 minutes.

St Helens Register Office, Central Street, St Helens WA10 1UJ   

Alternatively you can email us

 

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.

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 then take the notice and say when the body can be removed, this will usually be 4 clear days later. For more urgent requests you should contact the Coroner's office direct.  

After a death has been registered the registrar will issue:

  • 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 Death Registration (Death Certificate) there is a small fee 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.

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.

What to do when someone dies

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

After this period you may need to contact some of the following organisations:

  • Department of Works and Pensions (DWP)
  • Tell us Once  
  • Bank – to close down accounts, stop direct debits
  • School or Employer
  • Insurance companies
  • Mortgage provider or Landlord
  • Dentist
  • Royal Mail – to redirect post 

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.