When a Death Occurs

At Hospital
When a death occurs in hospital, the bereavement office will let you know when the death certificate will be ready for collection. In the meantime you can contact the Funeral Director as soon as you wish to make provisional arrangements.

At a Nursing Home
When a death occurs in a Nursing Home, the staff will contact a funeral director of your choice on your behalf who will then transfer your loved one to their premises. You can then contact the funeral director at your convenience to start making funeral arrangements.

At Home
First contact the deceased’s GP, who will attend and certify the death.  If the deceased has seen their doctor for that illness within the last 14 days, then a death certificate can be issued. (If not, the doctor will may need to contact the coroner via the police.). You can then contact a funeral director of your choice, who will then transfer the deceased back to their chapel of rest

The Coroner
If the death is sudden, unexpected or the deceased has not been seen by their doctor within the last 14 days, the death may have to be reported to the coroner. The doctor or paramedic who attends will decide if the coroner needs to be contacted. If this is the case, then the police will attend, take some details and arrange for the deceased to be transferred to the hospital for an examination. Once the coroner has completed his findings, the coroner’s officer will contact you to let you know that you can proceed with the funeral and when you will be able to register the death. At any time you can contact a funeral director of your choice to make provisional arrangements.

Registration of the death
When you are in possession of a death certificate you will need to register the death. This has to be in the sub-district in which the death occurred; you will need to make an appointment with the registrar (please see Questions the Registrar will ask). The Registrar will need to ask certain questions, which are listed below.  When you have registered, you will be given a green certificate, this certificate is free of charge but if you require copies for your own personal needs such as for banks, insurance companies or probate, there is a charge for the extra copies

Questions the Registrar will ask;

  1. The date and place of death.
  2. Full name & surname (and maiden surname if the deceased is female).
  3. Date and place of birth.
  4. Occupation (name and occupation of husband).
  5. Usual address.
  6. Was the deceased in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  7. If needed, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower.

It would also be useful for you to take with you:

  1. The deceased’s passport or birth certificate
  2. The deceased’s marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  3. The deceased’s medical card and a document with the deceased’s usual address. 

Please note that you are not legally required to take these documents but if you do, they can help to ensure that the registration is completed accurately.

Funeral Arrangements

One of the first things the funeral director will need to know is whether the funeral service is to be a Burial or Cremation, as the time taken to have the necessary certification issued will determine how soon the funeral service can take place.  Other information the funeral director will need is set out below and you may wish to discuss these with the  rest of the family before going to arrange the funeral.

  1. Where would you like the service to be held? i.e. a Church or Crematorium Chapel?
  1. Would you prefer a Religious or Non-Religious Service?
  1. Would you like hymns and music at the service?
  2. Do you require Service Sheets printing, including photos?
  1. Would you like a webcast or visual tribute?
  2. Do you require a Limousine for the immediate family?
  1. Would you like flowers at the service or would you prefer donations to a specific charity?
  1. Would you wish to visit the Chapel of Rest prior to the funeral service, to pay your last respects?
  1. If the service is to be a cremation, where would you like the final resting place for the ashes to be?

Registration Times (Appointment Only)

Bracknell: 01344 352000
Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell. RG12 1JD

Wokingham: 01189746554
Council Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Slough: 01753 787600
The Curve, William Street, Slough, SL1 1XY

Windsor and Maidenhead: 01628 796422
Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1RF

Reading: 01189373533
Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU

Camberley: 0300 2001002
Surrey Heath House, Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3HD

Hampshire: 0300 555 1392 


Useful Numbers

Easthampstead Park Crematorium: 01344420314
Heatherwood Hospital: 01344623333
Royal Berkshire Hospital: 01189875111
Wexham Park Hospital: 01753633000
Frimley Park Hospital: 01276604604
St Peter’s Hospital: 01932872000
Royal Surrey County Hospital: 01483571122
Basingstoke & North Hants Hospital: 01256473202


Probate Offices

Oxford District Probate Registry  – 01865793055
Combined Court Building, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1LY     

Winchester District Probate Registry  –  01962814100
The Law Courts, Southside Offices, Winchester S023 9EL