A death should be registered within five days unless a coroner is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death. Deaths are registered at the local register office for the area where the death took place.
A medical certificate of cause of death will be issued by the certifying GP or hospital doctor, who will send it directly to Knowsley Register Office. Once received, family will be contacted by telephone to make an appointment to attend the office for the death registration.
Who can register a death?
- A relative
- A person present at the death (only in the absence of a relative)
- The person arranging the funeral - this does not mean the funeral director (only in the absence of a relative)
- The occupier of the premises where the death occured, if they were aware of the death. For example, the matron of a nursing home or Hospital Administrator (only in the absence of a relative)
What information will I need to provide when registering a death?
You will need to provide the registrar with the following details about the deceased:
- Full name, surname and any previous names (i.e. maiden name if married).
- Date and place of death.
- Date and place of birth.
- Occupation and whether the deceased was married or had a civil partner.
- Name, occupation, and date of birth of spouse or civil partner (if applicable).
- Home address.
- Whether the deceased was receiving a pension or public fund allowance.
What documents do I need to bring to the appointment?
It would be helpful to bring along supporting documentation to ensure information recorded in the register is accurate. Don’t worry if any of these documents listed below are not available as the registrar can still complete the registration.
Documentation relating to the deceased such as their:
- Driving licence
- Utility bill
- Birth and marriage/civil partnership certificates
- NHS medical card
- Deed poll
- Driving licence
- Proof of address (for example utility bill or council tax statement)
You can purchase a death certificate for a fee of £11 when you register the death.
What happens next?
We will give you a document at the registration appointment which allows burial or cremation to take place, unless the coroner has already done so. Alternatively, the Registrar can scan this document to the crematorium or burial authority with your consent. We will also issue a form that you need to return to the Department for Work and Pensions if the deceased was receiving a state pension or other benefits.
Urgent death registrations
Sometimes a burial needs to take place within 24 hours of the death occurring. This can be because of the deceased religious beliefs. You will need to speak to a Registrar who can provide further information. Please contact the office on 0151 443 2900. If you call out of office hours please follow the instructions provided on the telephone message.
Tell us once
Tell Us Once is a free service offered by HM Government.
When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them.
Tell Us Once is voluntary to use and very helpful. It enables you to report a death only once, telling central and local government services securely and confidentially without you having to inform them individually.
A short information video explaining the Tell Us Once service can be viewed via YouTube.
Many services can be notified and these include:
- The local council - to update services such as Council Housing, Housing Benefit, Council Tax, Blue Badge and remove the person from the Electoral Register
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax and to update regarding Child Benefit and Tax Credits claims (contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to update benefits information for example: State Pension, Universal Credit
- Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and to remove registered keeper details, possibly for up to five vehicles
- Public Sector or Armed Forces Pension Schemes - to update pension records
How do I use the service?
After you have registered the death, the Registrar will provide you with a unique Tell Us Once reference number, which will enable you to access the service Online via GOV.UK.
If you have been issued with a Coroners Fact of Death (Interim Death Certificate) you may still be able to use the service and the Registrar will advise you how to do so.
It will help you to have all the relevant information listed below about the person before using Tell Us Once:
- date of birth
- address of the deceased
- National Insurance number
- driving licence number
- vehicle registration number
- passport number
You will also need
- details of any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, for example State Pension, Universal Credit
- details of any local council services they were receiving, for example Adult Social Services, Blue Badge, travel pass
- the name and address of their next of kin
- the name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
- the name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’
- details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying into
Permission is required from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator and anyone who was claiming benefits or entitlements jointly with the person who died, before you give their details.
There is no need to follow-up contact after you have used Tell Us Once unless you don’t receive a confirmation from the relevant department after a reasonable period of time, in most cases a calendar month.
Once the various agencies informed by Tell Us Once have received notification of the death, they will make any further contact if necessary with the bereaved family.
Tell Us Once is not a claim to benefit, therefore please contact GOV.UK or the relevant department for advice.
Tell Us Once does not notify any commercial organisations of the death. Please inform the landlord of the person who has died.
Tell Us Once cannot arrange for redirection of post.
Knowsley Council uses the information you provide for the 'Tell Us Once' service to enable us to notify a range of council and central government services on your behalf.
The council uses a secure network to share your information and we will only pass on the minimum amount of information that is necessary.
If you have any comments, queries or concerns about Data Protection, please visit the data protection page.