Registering a death

The death of a loved one can be a very distressing, troubling time and it can be hard to know what to do next. This page aims to guide you through the necessary steps that will have to be made after someone close passes away, and to explain the administrative procedures involved.

If the death was expected and has occurred in a private residence you will need to contact the person’s GP, or the out of hours service. If the death occurs in a nursing home or hospice the staff will call a Doctor or other qualified person on your behalf. In both instances, if practical, this should be the Doctor that looked after the person during their most recent illness.

(N.B. If the Doctor or qualified person who certifies death is not the patient’s normal Doctor, the necessary documentation will need to be collected from their normal Doctor’s surgery)

The Doctor will issue the following documentation:

  • A Medical Certificate that states the cause of death
  • A Formal Notice that states that the Doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and informs you how to register the death.

Once the doctor has attended, you will need to make arrangements for your loved one to be taken into the care of the Funeral Director and their Chapel of Rest.

If the Doctor cannot certify as to the cause of Death, i.e. if the person died suddenly, they will notify the Coroner. It is the duty of the Coroner to investigate the circumstances of the death in order to try to establish the cause. Once the Coroner has been informed, they will arrange for the deceased to be taken to the local hospital and it is possible that a post mortem examination may take place. A post mortem examination is a medical examination of the body to establish more about the cause of death, contact details for the Coroner’s service are below:

Suffolk Coroners Office
Landmark House, 4 Egerton Road, Ipswich, IP1 5PF
Tel: 01473 613888 (ext 3159)

Next Steps

Registering a death

You are legally required to register the death within 5 days except in certain circumstances, where the period may be extended to 14 days. If the Coroner is investigating the death, they will issue the death certificate to you directly and you will then be required to register the death once the Coroners certificate has been received.

Who can register a death?

People with the legal authority to register a death include:

  • A relative of the deceased
  • Any person present at the time of death
  • The occupier of the premises where the death occurred if he/she knew it was happening
  • The person arranging the funeral (not the funeral director)
  • See also: the list on the “Notice to Informants” information that is usually attached to the Doctors Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

Where can a death be registered?

All deaths must be registered by appointment in the district in which they occurred. Appointments can be made over the telephone using the information below, or online by clicking the following link:


St Peter House, 16 Grimwade St
Suffolk, IP4 1LP

Phone: 0345 607 2050

Bury St Edmunds

7 Angel Hill
Bury Saint Edmunds
Suffolk, IP33 1UZ

Phone: 0345 607 2060


Saddlemakers Ln
Melton, Woodbridge
Suffolk, IP12 1PP

Phone: 01394 387876


5 Milton Rd
Suffolk, IP14 1EZ

Phone: 01449 612054


The Old Market Place
Town Hall, Sudbury
Suffolk, CO10 1TL

Phone: 0345 607 2080


Stanwell House, Stanwell St
Essex, CO2 7DL

Phone: 0845 603 7632

What documents are required for the registration?

  • The medical certificate of cause of death issued by the doctor treating the deceased. This is essential – the registrar cannot register a death without it. (If the Coroner is involved, he/she will advise you what to do.)
  • The deceased person’s birth certificate or passport if available.
  • The deceased person’s medical card if available.

What questions will the registrar ask?

  • The date and place of death
  • The full name and surname (and maiden name if a married woman) of the person who has died
  • The occupation of the deceased. (If the deceased person was a married woman or widow the full name and occupation of her husband will be sought)
  • The usual address of the deceased
  • If the person who has died was married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse
  • Whether the person who has died was receiving a pension from public funds

What documents with the registrar give me?

  • A Green Form which enables you to arrange the funeral. (If the Coroner is involved, different procedures may apply). Preliminary funeral arrangements can be made before the Green Form is issued
  • A form for Social Security purposes
  • Certificate of Registration, certified copies of the entry (death certificates) can also be obtained upon payment of the statutory fee

Arranging the funeral

At Southgate & Roberts, our team will answer all of your questions without obligation or cost. We take time to listen to your needs and tailor our services to suit your exact requirements. Get in touch with our team for more information, or visit our funeral services page.

Get in touch

If you need help arranging a funeral or need some advice around future planning, please feel free to contact us. More than just a funeral service, we are here to answer all your questions without obligation or cost.


A personal approach

We truly do take a caring and personal approach with every family that we meet.

Respect for the person

We care for the person who has died as if their family or friends were standing beside us.


We provide only what you want or need, and never sell unnecessary, expensive packages.


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