Registering a death in Kent – How to
Before registering a death in Kent, you might want to download a FREE Guide to what to do and free tips on saving money and time HERE. But maybe watch this helpful video first. If you just need the address of the appropriate Registrar in Kent click this link. For family run undertakers go here.
Deaths must be registered with the Registrar of Births and Deaths in the area where the death occurred within 5 days unless a coroner is involved in confirming the circumstances of the death – which is quite common, and nothing to worry about. Please do download our Free Factsheet: “What the Registrar Needs to Know” to the right.
What do I do first when someone dies in Kent?
When someone dies in Kent, a doctor issues a medical certificate detailing of cause of death. Where the death occurred in Kent and you have the medical certificate, ring Kent County Council on 08458 247 400 to arrange to register the death by appointment. Or make an appointment with Kent County Councils online booking service. But don’t rush into that yet.
Who is responsible for registering a death in Kent?
- A relative.
- A person who was present at the death.
- Someone living in the house where the person died.
- The person arranging the funeral.
- A senior person at the hospital or home the person died in.
What do I need to bring when registering a death in Kent?
- The medical certificate of cause of death issued by a doctor (if there has been a post mortem the coroner will send this directly to the Registrar).
- If they are available – birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificates, which confirm the details to be entered into the death register.
- Disabled parking ‘Blue Badge’ if the deceased had one.
- A method of payment for copies of the death certificate (i.e. cash, credit/debit card, cheque book and cheque guarantee card).
What happens when seeing the Registrar in Kent?
The Kent Registrar will need the following information from you:
- Date & place of death.
- Full name that the deceased was using when they died.
- Any other names they may have been known by.
- Date and place of birth.
- Occupation and whether or not they were retired.
- Their normal home address.
- For a married woman or widow, her maiden name plus the full name and occupation of her husband.
- For a man, the name and occupation of the wife.
- For a couple who are registered civil partners, the partner’s full name and occupation.
- Your full name and address and relationship to the deceased.
Confidential information for government statistics:
- Married status of the deceased.
- If spouse or civil partner still alive their date of birth.
- How long were they in hospital or other establishment (e.g. a hospice)?
- Age of person.
- Former occupation and position.
- Did they receive a pension paid by government funds? E.G. civil service, teachers, armed forces. war widows, but not including the state pension or pension credits
- The deceased’s NHS number from their medical card (if possible).
Once the registration is complete you sign the entry. It is crucial the information is accurate: errors discovered later will cause delay and inconvenience.
On registering a death in Kent, the Registrar will give you:
- A green form to for the funeral director. Should the coroner be involved and the funeral is a cremation, the equivalent will be sent by the coroner direct to your funeral director when the coroner is satisfied.
- The BD8 form, which is to be completed and sent by you, together with any benefit and pension information, to the Department of Work & Pensions
Do I have to pay a fee to register a death in Kent?
No. The registration service is free. However, certified death certificates will usually be needed and can be purchased – it is always better to order too many than too few. You will need death certificates when you (or the executors) are sorting out the estate and finances of the deceased (with banks, building societies and insurance companies none of whom may return death certificates promptly or even at all). Too few death certificates can slow down the sorting out of the estate (probate.)
It is also possible to order death certificates online.
I wish to register the death but I am not in Kent.
If the death was in Kent and you don’t live in Kent, you may give the details to any Registrar in England or Wales. This is called “registering by declaration”. The Registrar you give the declaration to will send the information to Kent Register Office, where it will be formally registered. You can also order the death certificates, which must be paid for at the time of the declaration but will be dealt with by the Kent Register Office.
Once the death has been registered you will be sent:
- Any death certificates that you have ordered and paid for.
- A green form for the funeral director, unless the coroner is involved and the funeral is by cremation in which case the equivalent form will be sent direct to the undertaker by the coroner.
- The BD8 form, to be completed and sent with any benefit or pension information direct to the Department of Work and Pensions.
These arrangements apply should you live in Kent but wish to register a death occurring elsewhere in England or Wales.
If you are unsure where to register call 08458 247 400 for advice.
‘In memoriam’ Certificate – a unique Kentish Feature.
Special ‘In memoriam’ certificates can be obtained from the Kent Registrar.
Tell us Once – helps to tell people who need to know.
If the deceased lived in Kent you can take advantage of a service called ‘Tell Us Once’ which saves lots of time by advising central and local government departments of the death.
A Kentish Funeral Ceremony.
Kent County Council offer a special Kentish civil funeral ceremony designed to celebrate a life and reflect the various wishes, beliefs and family values of the deceased. It’s a personal tribute organised by a professional funeral Celebrant with the family or the funeral director. Ask the Registrar for details.
Registering a death in Kent: when the Coroner gets involved:
If a death occurs in these circumstances the corner will be involved:
- Sudden and unexpected death or
- Industrially related deaths or
- Unknown cause of death or
- Suspicious circumstances or
- When a doctor is unable to issue a medical certificate detailing the cause of death.
Deaths reported to the coroner in Kent.
The coroner investigates the circumstances and either:
- Issues a certificate permitting registration of the death or
- Arranges for a post mortem and then issues a cause of death certificate so that the death can then be registered or
- Arranges a post mortem and holds a formal Inquest. The coroner will arrange for the death to be registered after the Inquest.