Information for families

Registering a death

While a death typically needs to be registered within five days, this does not apply when there is an ongoing Coroner’s investigation. You will not be able to register the person’s death until the cause of death is known. Your Coroner’s Officer will keep you updated about the progress of this. Read more about getting updates on a case.

It is recommended that you do not book a date for the funeral until you have discussed it with your Coroner’s Officer.

Getting an interim death certificate

If it is decided that more work is needed for the investigation, for example if an inquest needs to be heard, your Coroner can give you a ‘Coroner’s certificate of the fact of death’ (sometimes called an interim or temporary death certificate) until the investigation is complete. You can use this temporary death certificate to help resolve the deceased's affairs.

Please speak to your allocated Coroner’s Officer if you require an interim death certificate.

Tell Us Once

Following a death, there can be a lot to do. Tell Us Once is a free service that lets you report a death to multiple government organisations in one go.

These departments include:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Passport Office
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  • Veterans UK - to cancel or update Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments

HMRC and DWP will contact you about the tax, benefits and entitlements of the person who died.

For more information, read the guide to the Tell Us Once service

Your unique reference number

At the end of the death registration appointment the registrar will give you a unique reference number so you can access the Tell Us Once Service online or by telephone.

Access Tell Us Once online