HM Insights

How can I register a death during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Prior to the outbreak of Coronavirus, deaths had to be registered in person at the Register Office. The person registering the death (known as the informant), usually a family member or the executor, would sign the register in the presence of the registrar.

However, with the majority of the country in lockdown or in self isolation, face-to-face registration is no longer possible and registration offices are closed. The Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force throughout the United Kingdom on 26 March 2020 and the Remote Registrations system is now live to allow registrars to take 'remote' registration of deaths by telephone or electronic means.

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7 steps to registering a death during coronavirus in the UK

Here we set out the steps required to register a death during the current pandemic:

  1. Doctors will send an electronic copy of the Medical Certificate Cause of Death to the specified registrar and copy in the informant. The scope of individuals entitled to be the informant has been extended to include funeral directors.
  2. The informant should contact the registrar by telephone or email to make arrangements to begin the death registration process.
  3. The registrar will ask for the following information:
    - informants personal details, including phone number and email;
    - details of the deceased's birth and any marriages; and
    - details of any life events of the deceased that took place in another country.
  4. The registrar will complete a template of how the register entry will look and email this to the informant to review and approve. If no email available the details will be read out over the phone.
  5. Once approved, the registrar will write the informant's usual form of their signature in the appropriate space on the form followed by the phrase "(Transcribed)".
  6. A scanned copy of the Certificate of Registration of Death will then be emailed to the informant and/or the funeral director.
  7. The death certificate will be posted to informant in due course.

Get in touch – we're here to help

We understand that dealing with a family bereavement can be an extremely traumatic experience and it can be difficult to cope with the administrative task of winding up an estate at such an emotional time.

Our experienced and approachable team can take care of all matters arising from the death of a family member or friend in a sympathetic, speedy and efficient manner to help ease the burden.

If you would like to discuss your own situation please contact our private client team using the form below or call one of our offices on:

Glasgow: 0141 227 9344                           Inverness & Highlands: 01463 795 035

Edinburgh: 0131 247 2500                         Shetland01595 695 583 

Elgin: 01343 542623

Useful Links

MAKING A WILL IN SCOTLAND

CORONAVIRUS ADVICE HUB