It can be very hard to know what needs to be done when someone close to us dies, with paperwork and practicalities often being the very last things on our mind. That’s why Age Space 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 and arranging a funeral, we’ve got you covered with all you need to know in Essex.
When someone has died, a doctor should be called to issue a Medical Certificate of their 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 it is likely that members of staff will have called a doctor on your behalf.
In some circumstances, a coroner may need to be involved. This could be because 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 [email protected].
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
- Basildon Registration Office, Basildon Library, St Martin's Square, Basildon, SS14 1EE
- Billericay Registration Office, Burghstead Lodge, 143 High Street, Billericay, CM12 9AB
- Braintree Registration Office, Braintree Library, Fairfield Road, Braintree, CM7 3YL
- Brentwood Registration Office, Brentwood Library, New Road, Brentwood, CM14 4BP
- Chelmsford Registration Office, Chelmsford Library, Market Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1GE
- Clacton Registration Office, Clacton Library, 96 Station Road, Clacton on Sea, CO15 1SF
- Colchester Registration Office, Colchester Library, 21 Trinity Square, Colchester, CO1 1JB
- Dunmow Registration Office, Great Dunmow Library, 47 White Hart Way, Dunmow, CM6 1FS
- Epping Registration Office, Epping Library, St John Road, Epping, CM16 5DN
- Harwich Registration Office, Harwich Library, 33-5 Kingsway, Dovercourt, CO12 3JT
- Harlow Registration Office, Harlow Central Library, Cross Street, Harlow, CM20 1HA
- Maldon Registration Office, Carmelite House, White Horse Lane, Maldon, CM9 5FW
- Rayleigh Registration Office, Rayleigh Library, 132-4 High Street, Rayleigh, SS6 7BX
- Rochford Registration Office, Rochford Library, 8 Roche Close, Rochford, SS4 1PX
- South Benfleet Registration Office, South Benfleet Library, 264 High Road, South Benfleet, SS7 5HD
- Uttlesford Registration Office, Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden, CB11 4ER
- Witham Registration Office, Witham Library, Newland Street, Witham, CM8 2AQ
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 manage the estate of the deceased. They may also be required by banks, insurance companies and pension providers. You will be able to buy a number of original copies of the certificate from the registrar – they will be able to advise you when this is necessary.
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. They will then notify the majority of other, relevant 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 to arrange the funeral of a loved one. They will be able to help you with some of the practical aspects of it and ensure that the service is as special as it should be. This allows you to focus on the service itself, rather than the practicalities.
To find a funeral director in your local area, you can consult these directories for funeral directors in Essex.