It can be very hard to know what needs to be done when someone close to us dies. Paperwork and practicalities are often the last things on our mind. That’s why we have made a simple and clear set of instructions as to what you need to do next.
From obtaining the death certificate, to who you need to contact, to arranging a funeral, we’ve got you covered with all you need to know in Essex.
Obtaining a Death Certificate in Essex
When someone has died a doctor should be called to issue a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death. They will also provide you with a document outlining who is eligible to register the death. If your relative has died in a nursing home or hospital then members of staff may have called a doctor on your behalf.
In some circumstances, a coroner may need to be involved. This could be because the doctor the person has died earlier than they were expected to, or the doctor is unsure of the precise cause of death. If you need to contact the Essex Coroner’s Service then you can call them on 0333 0135 000 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registering a Death in Essex
It is essential that you register the death within 5 days of it occurring. All deaths in Essex should be registered in Essex, preferably in the area in which the death occurred. For more detailed information about registering a death, you can read Age Space’s Guide to When Someone Dies.
Who can register the death
The death is usually registered by a relative of the person who has died, or a funeral director. If they are unavailable then the death can be registered by somebody that was present at the death, an administrator from the hospital or care home in which they died, or the person responsible for the deceased’s funeral arrangements.
What you need to register the death
You will need a copy of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD), as provided by the doctor or coroner, to take to your appointment.
You will also need:
- the person’s NHS number
- the person’s birth certificate, if possible
- the name, email, and address of your funeral director
Where you can register a death
Below we have listed the locations at which you are able to register a death in Essex.
South Benfleet Library
264 High Road
Castle Point & Rochford:
8 Roche Close Rochford
Chelmsford Library County Hall
21 Trinity Square Colchester
St John’s Road
The Council Offices
If the death occurred in Southend or Thurrock then it must be registered separately with their local council. You can use the links below to find out the process of registering a death in Southend or Thurrock.
Once the death registration is completed the registrar will send the necessary paperwork to the funeral director so you can move ahead with the funeral.
The registrar will also post you the death certificates. These are needed to resolve the finances and managing the estate of the deceased, and may be required by banks, insurance companies and pension providers. You may need to buy a number of original copies from the registrar – they will be able to advise you.
Organisations to Contact
Tell Us Once
In the past, you needed many copies of the death certificate in order to inform all of the relevant organisations and government departments about the death. This is no longer the case due to the Tell Us Once scheme.
The Tell Us Once scheme reduces much of the hassle and paperwork by allowing you to provide the details and death certificate to the Department for Work and Pensions only once, and they will then notify the majority of other relevant other organisations that need to know.
The registrar should inform you about how to use the Tell Us Once service, and will be able to give you a unique reference number to access the service online or over the phone. You can find out more from the Tell Us Once website.
Arranging a Funeral in Essex
Most people enlist the help of a funeral director in arranging the funeral of a loved one, who will be able to help you with some of the practical aspects of it. Using a funeral director help you to ensure the service is as special as it should be, and allowing you to focus on the service itself and not the practicalities.
To find a funeral directors in your local area, you can consult these directories for funeral directors in Essex.