What to do when someone passes away
There are 3 things you must do in the first few days after someone dies:
- Get the medical certificate of cause of death (Form 11) from the GP or hospital doctor. You’ll need this to register the death.
- Register the death within 8 days in Scotland. You’ll then get the documents you need for the funeral.
- Arrange the funeral – you can appoint a funeral provider before you have registered the death. You might even want to organise everything yourself.
The government have useful information on their website which will be able to help you through the process: https://www.mygov.scot/register-death/
Scottish Gov have a booklet that can be downloaded here.
Ask for a Tell Us Once appointment with the Registrar. This reports a death to most government organisations in one go, saving you valuable time.
Who is responsible for registering a death
You can register a death if you:
- Are related to the person who has died
- Were there when the person died
- Are an executor or solicitor of the person who has died
- Lived with the person who died, if they died at home
If you're none of the above, but no one else can register the death, you can register the death as long as you:
- Know the details of the person who has died
- Have the right documents
What to bring
You must take the medical certificate showing the cause of death with you. You should also try to bring the person’s:
- birth certificate
- NHS medical card
- proof of their address, like a utility bill
- council tax bill
- a driving licence
- marriage or civil partnership certificate
Don’t worry if you can’t find all these documents – you’ll still be able to register the death without them. The registrar will also want to know:
- the person’s full name (at the time of their death)
- any other names that the person used (e.g. a maiden name)
- their date and place of birth, including the town and county if they were born in the UK, or just the country if they were born abroad
- their last address
- their occupation or last occupation if now retired
- the full name of their husband, wife or civil partner, if they’ve died
- details of any state pension or other state benefit they were receiving