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Register a death

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When to register the death

You should register the death within 5 days unless the coroner has requested a post mortem or an inquest. They will then advise you when the death can be registered.

When someone dies, registering the death is one of the first things to do. The Government has a useful step by step guide on what to do when someone dies.

Where to register the death

If the death took place in Cornwall you will need to book an appointment with Cornwall Registration Service.

If the death took place outside of Cornwall you should register the death in the district where the death took place.

Who can register a death

You can register a death that occurred at home or a communal establishment (hospital, nursing home etc) if you are:

  • a relative of the deceased. A relative is someone that is connected by blood, marriage or civil partnership, or by adoption
  • someone who was present at the death
  • the occupier of the property where the death occurred
  • the person arranging the funeral

You can register a death that occurred elsewhere if you are:

  • a relative of the deceased
  • someone who was present at the death
  • a person finding or taking charge of the deceased
  • the person arranging the funeral

Making an appointment to register the death

Appointments are available in all our offices across Cornwall. 

To book an appointment please contact Cornwall Council Contact Centre on 0300 1234 181. 

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday 9am to 6pm
  • Tuesday 9am to 6pm
  • Wednesday 10am to 6pm
  • Thursday 9am to 6pm
  • Friday 9am to 6pm

Information you need to provide

You will need to have the following information ready for your appointment.

  • Date of death.
  • Place of death. - This will be the:
    • name of the hospital or nursing home
    • name or number of the house
    • name of the street and village town etc.
      If the death took place in an ambulance, car etc then you need to provide information about the locality of the vehicle when the death occurred. As well as its intended destination
  • Name and surname. - This should be the name they were known as at the time of his or her death. You should also establish if they are known by any other name currently or previously. You need to record those details together with some notes as to the circumstances. This will help the registrar ascertain how to record the information in the entry.
  • Sex. - Male or female
  • Maiden surname of woman who has married.  This is the surname in which a woman contracted her (first) marriage.
  • Date of birth. - Please provide approximate dates if exact date not known.
  • Place of birth. - Town and county/London borough or country of birth. You only need the country if they were born outside UK
  • Occupation. - Provide as much information as possible relating to the most recent occupation. Please also record whether the deceased was retired.
  • Deceased's spouse or civil partner. - Provide full name, occupation and date of birth of the deceased's spouse or civil partner
  • Burial or cremation.
  • Usual address. - This should include the name or number of the house, name of the street and village or town. Where the death occurred in a hospital the deceased’s usual address should be recorded.

Certificates

After the death has been registered, the Registrar will issue the following documents. These will be needed to help sort out the persons affairs. 

  • A Certificate for Burial or Cremation
    This is often known as the 'Green Form' and is free of charge. This form is needed before the burial or cremation can take place. In some circumstances this is issued by the Coroner. We can give this to you at your appointment or at your request send to the authority affecting the disposal of the body e.g. Crematorium or Cemetery. Please let us know the details at your appointment.
  • Standard Death Certificates
    Death certificates are available at £12.50 each. You can pay by Debit, Credit Card or Cash at your appointment. Death certificates will be issued to you at your appointment. 

Order a copy certificate

Errors and corrections

It is important that the information recorded in the register is correct. The Registrar will give you an opportunity to check the information before the Register page is signed and the registration is complete. If you notice a mistake, however small, after the registration is complete, there will be a correction fee. The fee to apply for a correction will be £83 or £99 depending on the nature of the correction. Some corrections require evidence of the correct information to be presented and some require authorisation from the General Register Office. 

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