How to register a death

Registering a death

By law all deaths occurring in Northern Ireland must be registered in N. Ireland. This should be done as soon as possible to allow further arrangements to be made except when the matter has been referred to the Coroner. Further advice can be given upon request or during funeral aarangements.

Who may register a death

Regulations state that only certain people can register a death with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

  • A person present at the death
  • The executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate
  • Any relative of the deceased who has knowledge of the details required to be registered (this includes a relative by marriage/civil partnership)
  • A person finding the body, or a person taking charge of the body
  • A person living in and responsible for a house, lodgings or apartments where the death occurred.
  • The governor, matron or chief officer of a public building where the death occurred.
  • A person taking care of the funeral arrangements

Take the following:

  • The medical certificate of the cause of death
  • Any forms given to you when the death has been referred to the Coroner

You should tell the Registrar

  • Forename(s) and surname of deceased Date and place of death and address Date and place of birth
  • Status (single, married/civil partner, widowed/surviving civil partner or divorce/civil partnership dissolved)
  • The forename(s), surname and occupation of spouse/civil partner
  • Maiden name (if the deceased was a woman who had been married or in a civil partnership)
  • Name and address of the deceased’s GP
  • Details of pension (exc. state pension) that the deceased may have held
  • The details of the parents if known

Documentation you will receive

Once you have registered the death, the registrar will issue the following forms:


This form gives permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made. This form should be given to the Funeral Director so that the funeral arrangements can be progressed.


This is issued for social security purposes if the deceased received a State Pension or other benefits (fill out and return the form to the Social Security Agency)


You will be able to purchase one or more copies of the Death Certificate at this time. These will be needed by the executor or administrator who is taking care of the deceased’s affairs and will be needed for any pension claims, insurance policies or financial matters. We would normally advise purchasing at least two copies at the time of registration.

Should you require further Certified Copies of Death Certificate at a later date, there may be a significant difference in the cost of purchasing.


Under certain circumstances a death may be referred by the doctor, hospital, police or registrar to the Coroner. This can happen if the deceased had not been seen a doctor within 28 days of the death or the cause of death is unclear. If this happens continue making preliminary funeral arrangements with S. Clarke and Son. We can finalise the arrangements with various authorities when consent has been obtained from the Coroner to proceed with the funeral. The Coroner will allow the death to be registered and certificate issued when all appropriate paperwork is complete.


If you would like to take the deceased’s body away from Northern Ireland we will obtain all the relevant Documentation that is required and make the necessary arrangements on your behalf. If the death has occurred outside Northern Ireland you must obtain appropriate permission for

the body to be transported by the authorities in the country in question. We would suggest that you contact us first for guidance or advice before seeking to engage the services of a local funeral director overseas. This is known as “repatriation.”