How to Register a Death and What You Need First

Register a Death in Eastbourne, Polegate, Hailsham Area.

First steps to register a death in Eastbourne or area:

  • Report the death to the family doctor to get a medical certificate of death from the persons doctor. The Sussex Police should also told  on 101 or 01273 470 101 (for the deaf 18001 101.) Minicom: 01273 483435.
  • If the death was not expected, or the family doctor had not recently seen the person (or is away) then the Coroner will become involved.  This doesn’t mean the death is suspicious, it is just part of the process.
  • If the deceased is to be cremated, a second doctor will have to certify the death too.  The funeral director will advise on any issues regarding the second certificate.
  • Once you have called the doctor and the police, the funeral director should be informed but first check to make sure that there is not a prepaid funeral plan, and whether or not there are any wishes in the Last Will.
  • We can often advise the executors or next of kin how to avoid paying for the funeral out of their own pockets and having to wait months to be paid back from the estate. Having to pay several thousand pounds out unexpectedly is a problem for most people! Give us a ring on 406299 and we’ll try to help (no charge.)
  • If the home is no longer occupied, the property and valuables should be secured. The insurance company must be notified within a few days.  They will have requirements if they are to keep an empty property insured. We would recommend considering changing the locks as all sorts of people may have keys and we have seen houses totally stripped.   The new set should be given to the executors of the Will.
  • Do not allow anyone to remove property without recording it and ensuring they understand it cannot at this time be treated as theirs as it may not be left to them in the Will.  They could be committing a crime.  Tact is called for here.
  • Find and preserve the Will and do NOT destroy any papers as they may be required for probate.  Costs could rise dramatically as the process could become more difficult, and assets could be missed.

Then (and within 5 days) register a death in Eastbourne with East Sussex County Council at:

Eastbourne Register Office Town Hall Grove Road Eastbourne BN21 4UG  Phone: 0345 60 80 198.  Email: eastbourne.registrar@eastsussex.gov.uk. The Funeral Director will not be able to arrange the funeral until the necessary death certificate and permission to bury / cremate is issued.

Who can register a death in Eastbourne, Polegate, Hailsham etc?

If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:

  • a relative.
  • Someone who was present at the time of death.
  • A person living in the same house.
  • An official of the hospital the person died in.
  • The person making the funeral arrangements.

Where the death occurred somewhere else:

  • a relative.
  • Someone who was present at the death.
  • The person who found the body.
  • The person in charge of the body.
  • The person making the funeral arrangements.

If in doubt, check with the Registrar that you are eligible.

Attending the appointment to Register a Death in Eastbourne.

You will need to take the following documents with you/

  • Doctors medical certificate – you must take this or the Registrar cannot register the death.

If possible, also take:

  • Their birth certificate.
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate.
  • NHS Medical card.

The Eastbourne Registrar will need you to advise them of:

  • The deceased persons full name, maiden and any other previous names.
  • Their date and place of birth (in the UK, this will be on the birth certificate anyway.)
  • Their last address.
  • What they did for a living (e.g retired Civil Servant.)
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of any surviving spouse or civil partner.
  • Details of any State benefits, pensions etc – easiest thing is to take the paperwork with you.

Get several copies of the death certificate as lots of people will want them, and they are cheaper at the time of registration than later.  We can certify copies, but some companies insist on originals and don’t return them.

Once the funeral is over, the executors or next of kin may wish to give us a ring and perhaps pop in with a copy of the Will if there is one.  We can then advise if probate will be required, and whether or not there may be a tax liability or indeed a rebate.  We’re happy to do the whole thing, or just provide support to the family executor,  Just ask.  Do bear in mind that the issues may be far more complex than it appears, so even a few minutes advice may save all sorts of problems culminating in charges of theft or tax avoidance.  So please be careful if you are not sure.

Tell Us Once Service when you register a death.

Tell Us Once is a government service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go, which saves lots of time and potential upset.

The Eastbourne Registrar of Births and Deaths will give you a unique reference number to access the Tell us Once service online or by phone. You’ll need the deceased’s:

  • date of birth.
  • National Insurance number.
  • driving licence number.
  • passport number.
  • details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting, eg State Pension.
  • details of any local council services they were getting, eg Blue Badge.
  • name and address of their next of kin.
  • name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator.’

You need permission from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator or anyone who was claiming joint benefits or entitlements with the deceased, before you give their details.

Which Organisations will Tell us Once contact?

Tell Us Once will tell:

You’ll have to let the relevant organisations know about the death yourself if your local register office doesn’t offer the Tell Us Once service or you choose not to use it.