When a relative dies it is a time of high emotion and great sadness. There are, unfortunately, important decisions and arrangements to be made soon after.
The following Age Space guide aims to help you through the things you need to do if your relative has died in Surrey, starting from from getting a medical certificate.
Please also visit our page on Bereavement Support Services in Surrey, if you would like to find support during this difficult time.
- Obtaining a Medical Certificate of Death in Surrey
- Registering a Death in Surrey
- Tell Us Once
- Surrey Coroner’s Office
- Arranging a Funeral in Surrey
What to do After a Death in Surrey
Obtaining a Medical Certificate of Death in Surrey
The medical certificate of death is a document issued after someone has died. It details the cause of death and you need it in order to register the death. Only after registering the death can you arrange the funeral or deal with all the administration of someone’s affairs.
A doctor must issue a medical certificate of death. If your relative died at home you must call for a doctor. If a doctor is unsure of the cause of death, they will refer the death to the Coroner’s Office.
If your relative died in a care home, then they may well have called the Doctor for you.
Registering a Death in Surrey
After you have obtained a medical certificate, you have to make an appointment to register the death. Unless the death has been referred to the coroner, it is a legal requirement to register the death within five days. This process is completely free.
The doctor who issued the medical certificate of death will send an electronic copy to the Register Office. To give the doctor time to send this copy, it is recommended that you book an appointment for the next working day.
If the death was referred to a Coroner, they will give you a relevant reference number to use when booking an appointment.
There are 5 register offices in Surrey: Camberley, Guildford, Leatherhead, Reigate or Weybridge. Your telephone appointment will be allocated to one of these offices.
Please note: only a relative of the deceased, or someone present at the death, can register the death.
What the Registrar needs to know
The registrar will ask you the following information on the telephone, so make sure you have it to hand.
- Date of Death
- Place of Death
- Name and surname of the deceased
- Sex: Male or Female
- Maiden surname of woman who has been married or civil partnership
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth
- Occupation (most recent occupation – please record if deceased was retired)
- Marital Status
- Spouse/Civil Partners Name and Surname
- Spouse/Civil Partners Occupation
- Usual Address
What the Registrar will give you
The registrar will:
- Issue the Certificate for Burial or Cremation. This is also known as the Green Form. They will email it directly to the Funeral Director (unless the coroner has issued an Order for Burial or a Certificate for Cremation already).
- Register you for the Tell Us Once service and give you a reference number. This enables you to inform multiple local and central government departments of the death in one contact.
Tell Us Once
Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government and local council organisations in one go. It means you won’t have to send a copy of the death certificate in the post.
The Tell Us Once service notifies most organisations, however Surrey County Council provide the following checklist, to help you remember any other smaller organisations.
Surrey Coroner’s Office
HM Coroner’s Court,
Telephone: 01483 404530
Open Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm.
Arranging a Funeral in Surrey
The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people enlist the support of a funeral director. This is because they take charge of the practical arrangements, meaning you can focus on the personal aspects. Choose a funeral director who’s a member of either:
- National Association of Funeral Directors
- The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
These organisations have codes of practice – they must give you a price list when asked. The Funeral Guide is a directory of funeral services in the UK. You can search by area and filter by cremation or burial.