Family Funeral Directors & Memorial Craftsmen

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How to Register a Death

In Scotland, a death may be registered in any registrar area office of Births, Marriages and Deaths and is normally registered by a relative, executor, legal representative or any other person possessing the information required by the Registrar. All deaths must be registered before burial or cremation can take place. The death must be registered within eight days of death but it is desirable to have the death registered as soon as possible. If the death is referred to the Procurator Fiscal, our funeral director will advise on the appropriate registration procedures.

What should you take with you?

  1. Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Death Certificate);
  2. The deceased’s Birth Certificate;
  3. Marriage Certificate, if appropriate;
  4. N.H.S. Medical Card (if available);
  5. Any Pension Books or documents relating to the receipt of a pension or allowance from government funds;
  6. Names of any Insurance Companies.

The registrar will issue

  1. A Certificate of Registration of Death (Form 14);
  2. Abbreviated extract of the death entry.
  3. Full Extracts for Insurance Companies, Banks, etc. (A charge is made per extract).
  4. A Social Security registration or notification of death certificate for use in obtaining or adjusting Social Security benefits. This should be handed in to the local job centre. Please note, when you take this form to the job centre, you should advise them if you intend to make a funeral costs claim from the DWP social fund department.

Following the introduction of new legislation, from 13 May 2015, Healthcare Improvement Scotland will review a random sample of medical certificates of cause of death. If the death you are registering is selected for review you may not immediately be able to complete the death registration. These reviews are designed to check the quality and accuracy of death certificates and to improve how this information is recorded. You can still make initial funeral arrangements while the review is underway. However, the funeral itself cannot take place until the review is completed.

If you need the funeral to go ahead quickly, in special circumstances you may be granted advance registration. Special circumstances include:

  • religious/cultural (such as faith requirements to bury a person quickly);
  • compassionate (where delays would cause significant and unnecessary distress); and
  • practical/administrative (for example, family have travelled from abroad to attend the funeral)

Our funeral director will explain the review process, timescales and the circumstances in which you can apply for advance registration. Deaths which are reported to the Procurator Fiscal will not be included in those selected for review.