When A Death Occurs


Most deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. If the deceased has no relatives or none are available then any of the following can register the death:

  • any relative of the deceased – including a relative by marriage
  • a person present at the death
  • a person taking care of the funeral arrangements
  • the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate
  • the governor, matron or chief officer of a public building where the death occurred
  • a person living in and responsible for a house, lodgings or apartments where the death occurred
  • a person finding, or a person taking charge, of the body

Information needed to register a death

To complete the registration you will need to know:

  • full name and surname of the deceased
  • deceased’s usual address
  • date and place of death
  • marital status (single, married, widowed or divorced)
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation of the deceased
  • if the deceased was a wife or widow, the full name and occupation of her husband or deceased husband
  • if the deceased was a child, the full names and occupation of the father will be required, or where the parents are not married, the full name and occupation of the mother will be required
  • maiden surname (if the deceased was a woman who had married)
  • name and address of the deceased's GP
  • details of any pension apart from a state pension that the deceased may have held

Completing the registration

You should register a death within five days, unless it has been referred to the coroner, you will need to:

  • complete the registration of a death form
  • provide the medical certificate of the cause of death, signed by a doctor
  • bring the form and medical certificate to any District Registration Office in Northern Ireland

There is no cost for registering a death. The only cost will be for copies of the death certificates if required.

  • Registration of a death form - GRO 73 (PDF 58 KB)
  • Help with PDF files

Documents you will receive

Once the registration is completed, you will receive:

  • a GRO21 form GR021 giving permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made
  • a certificate of Registration of Death (form 36/BD8) - issued for social security purposes

If the body is to be cremated, the GP or hospital will arrange for a second doctor to sign the cremation certificate.

Death certificates

You’ll be able to buy one or more death certificates at the time of registration. These will be needed by the executor or administrator when sorting out the deceased person's affairs.