Register a death
Before booking your appointment to register a death, you should:
- Read all of these guide pages, to be sure you have everything needed to register.
- Contact the Medical Examiner or medical practice who has sent the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) to the Registrar. They should be able to confirm they received an auto-response from us.
As soon as you know that the MCCD has been received by us you can book an appointment to register a death.
- If you have any concerns please call 0345 60 80 198 during normal working hours.
Please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your appointment.
Our offices are small, only those essential to the registration should attend.
A death is usually registered by a relative by blood or marriage of the deceased, but other people who can register include:
- A person present at the death.
- The owner or manager of the residential home where the death occurred.
- The person responsible for organising the funeral.
If you are unsure who should register, call us on 0345 60 80 198.
If the death occurred outside of East Sussex, it should be registered with the local registration service to where it happened.
If the death occurred overseas, the process of registration is different. For advice visit Register a death (gov.uk).
If the Coroner’s office is involved, for example if the death was sudden or unexpected, they will advise you of when/if you need to register.
Usually the doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). You must check they have sent it directly to us before you book your registration appointment.
When you register, it may be useful to bring the deceased’s:
- Driving licence
- Utility bill
- Birth and marriage certificates
However, if these are unavailable we can still register without them.
After registering the death, you can access Tell Us Once, a free Government service.
This allows you to notify local and central government about a death, in one simple step.
Agencies that can be notified through the scheme include those responsible for,
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credits
- Council tax
- Housing benefit
- Other state benefits
- The electoral register
- Disabled blue badges
- Bus passes
- Driving licences
The Registrar will give you a unique reference number. This will enable you to access Tell Us Once (gov.uk).
To use Tell Us Once, you should have the deceased’s;
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number
- Driving licence number (if applicable)
- Vehicle registration number (if applicable)
- Passport number (if applicable)
You will also need:
Details of any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, for example:
- Details of any local council services they were
receiving, for example:
Adult Social Services
- Name and address of the next of kin
- Name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
- Contact details of the ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’ (if applicable)
- Details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying into
Before you give their details, you will need permission from:
- The next of kin
- The executor or administrator (if applicable)
- Anyone who was claiming benefits or entitlements jointly with the person who died
Agencies informed by Tell Us Once may contact the bereaved family as necessary.
Tell Us Once is not a claim to benefit, please contact Benefits (gov.uk) or the relevant department for advice.
Tell Us Once does not notify any commercial organisations of the death.
Tell Us Once cannot arrange for redirection of post.
After you have registered, you can buy death certificates.
These are needed for notifying banks, insurance, probate and other services. These are charged for at the statutory fee of £11 each.
Authorisation for burial or cremation will be issued directly to the funeral director of your choosing.
Life Ledger is a free service that notifies 750 companies of a death from one place.
You can use Life Ledger to inform UK companies, ranging from banks, insurers and pension providers to gas, water, telecoms and social media. You can track the progress of your notifications, directly contact the companies and upload required documents in one place.
Life Ledger is not provided or endorsed by East Sussex County Council.
East Sussex Register Offices are open between 9am and 5pm daily, excluding weekends and bank holidays.
Telephone 0345 60 80 198 during these hours or book online for an appointment to register a death.
In the event of an emergency which cannot wait until we are next open, telephone 01273 33 70 40.
- This telephone line is only monitored outside of office hours.
- We cannot authorise a burial or cremation until the doctor or coroner has certified the death.
- If your call goes to voicemail, please leave your name and phone number. The Registrar on duty will call you back as soon as possible.
Any person who knowingly and wilfully gives false information to a registrar for the purposes of the registration of a death is liable to prosecution for perjury.
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