Registering the death in Northern Ireland

The death needs to be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages within five days in Northern Ireland. This is a legal obligation.

Who should register the death

There is a specified order of priority that determines who should register the death. The order is as follows:

1. A family member who was present at the death.

2. A family member who was present during the person’s last illness.

3. A family member living in the same district where the death took place.

4. Any other person present at the death.

5. Any owner or occupier of the building where the death took place and who was aware of the death.

6. The person responsible for arranging the funeral (but not the Funeral Director).

Where you should register

Registration should be made with the Registrar’s office for the district in which the death happened or in the district in which the person normally lived.

To find the address of your local District Registrar in Northern Ireland, please click here. The address will also be available in the phone book under Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

The registration will take the form of a short interview with the Registrar lasting about half an hour. You should check when the Registrar is going to be available. Some Registrar’s offices have an appointment booking system.

Documents required by the registrar

The registrar will require the following documents:

1. The Medical Certificate of Death.

2. Birth certificate.

3. Marriage certificate (if applicable).

4. National Health Service number and medical card. It is essential that you take the Medical Certificate with you to the interview. Don’t worry if you are unable to locate the documents in (2), (3) and (4) above.

Take along those documents that you have as the Registrar can still proceed to register the death.

Details required by the registrar

The Registrar will also require the following details:

1. Full name of the deceased (including the maiden name of a married woman).

2. Full address.

3. Date and place of birth.

4. Date and place of death.

5. Recent occupation (if any).

6. Marital status (single, married, widowed or divorced).

7. Full name and occupation of the spouse, where the deceased was married or widowed. If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse.

8. Notification of any public funds the person received such as a state pension.

After you have given the Registrar all the necessary information, you will be asked to sign the Register.

Death certificate

The Registrar will then issue one certified copy of the entry of death in the Register (also known as the Death Certificate). As a number of legal and financial organisations demand sight of this document, you should obtain for a small charge at least six additional certified copies.

Form for burial or cremation

The Registrar will give you a Form 21 which permits the burial or cremation to take place. This certificate should be given to the Funeral Director as the arrangements for the funeral cannot proceed without it.

Social security form

You will also receive Form 36/ BD8 which you should complete and send to the deceased’s local Benefits Office where the Department for Work and Pensions (formerly the Department of Social Security) can work out the position regarding any benefits or state pensions.

Further information

For further information from the government on registering a death in Northern Ireland, please click here.

Please note

The information which we provide through Lasting Post is in outline for information or educational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser. We cannot guarantee that information provided by Lasting Post will meet your individual needs, as this will very much depend on your individual circumstances. You should therefore use the information only as a starting point for your enquiries.