Registering the death in Scotland

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

You should note that burial can take place before the registration but that a cremation can only take place after the death has been registered.

Who should register the death

The death can be registered by one of the following:

1. Any relative of the deceased.

2. Any person present when the person died.

3. The deceased’s Executors or other legal representative.

4. The occupier of the property where the person died, or if there is no such person.

5. Anyone else who knows the information to be registered.

Where you should register

Registration must be made either in the registration district where the death took place or in the registration district where the deceased usually lived.

To find the address of your local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Scotland, 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 also require the following details:

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 of death 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 require the following documents:

1. Full name of the deceased (including the maiden name of a married woman as well as her husband’s full name and occupation).

2. Full address.

3. Date and place of birth.

4. Date and place of death.

5. Time of death.

6. Recent occupation (if any).

7. Details of the deceased person’s parents.

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 issue a white form called the Certificate of Registration of Death. As a number of legal and financial organisations demand sight of this document; you should obtain for a small charge some additional certified copies.

Order for burial or cremation

In Scotland, an order for burial or cremation is not required. The Certificate of Registration of Death is sufficient.

Social security certificate

You will also receive a white certificate (form 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 Scotland, 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.