You are probably reading this guide because someone close to you has died recently. The death of someone close to you, whether it was expected or sudden, can be an extremely difficult time, and you will experience many different emotions. Help is available.

What to do when someone dies:

When someone dies it can be a very emotional time and this can make it hard to know what practical things you need to do next.

You may wish to book an appointment with the

Tel: between the hours of 09.00 – 15.30 to arrange a mutually convenient appointment time.

The Bereavement Office is situated on Level G in the North Hospital off the main corridor opposite the Eye Department.


Registering a death:

The registration of the death is the formal record of the death. It is done by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages and you will find the address of the nearest register office in the telephone directory.

When someone dies at home, the death should be registered at the register office for the district where they lived. If the death took place in hospital or in a nursing home it must be registered at the register office for the district in which the hospital or home is situated. In England and Wales, if it is convenient, you can go to a different office to register the death and the details will be passed on to the correct office. You should check the opening hours of the office you wish to go to. Some offices have an appointments system.

A death should be registered within five days but registration can be delayed for another nine days if the registrar is told that a medical certificate has been issued. If the death has been reported to the coroner you cannot register it until the coroner’s investigations are finished.

It is a criminal offence not to register a death.

The death should be registered by one of the following (in order of priority):

  • a relative who was present at the death
  • a relative present during the person’s last illness
  • a relative living in the district where the death took place
  • anyone else present at the death
  • an owner or occupier of the building where the death took place and who was aware of the death
  • the person arranging the funeral (but not the funeral director).

You cannot delegate responsibility for registering the death to anyone else.

You will need to make an appointment and register the death with the Registrar

Registrars Services, Seaclose Offices Fairlee Road, , PO30 2QS

Opening Times: Monday – Thursday 8.30am – 5.00pm 
Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm10.00 am)
Appointments 9.00am – 4.30pm.

Practical Support:

What happens, and things you might need to think about, after someone dies.You may find the links below helpful:


Emotional Support:

Although bereavement is a highly personal and often distressing event, many people go through a range of recognisable reactions and emotions when someone they are close to dies.

Sometimes people are shocked and upset by their changing and powerful emotions when they are bereaved. Realising that these feelings are quite normal may help.

Support and Advice is available here:


Bereavement benefits:

In England and Wales, Bereavement benefits are payments made by the Department for Work and Pensions to widows and widowers or to a surviving civil partner.

For more information please visit our page on bereavement benefits

Updated 08/07/2020