Probate – How many Death Certificates do I need when I register the death?

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How many death certificates do I need?

Death Certificates are issued by the Registrar when you formally register the death. 

Executors will need death certificates to show (‘exhibit’) to the various banks, share registrars, and so on, when they ‘establish the estate’ (ie gather probate values).  In short, they will need one copy per organisation that they will need to show the death certificate to.

How much do Death Certificate cost?

Death certificates £11 each (the cost increased dramatically in 2019).  And so, it can be quite costly if you obtain enough ‘originals’ to send to each interested company.

Is there a cheaper way of doing it?

If you need to send lots of death certificates out, a cheaper way to do it is to just get a couple of originals when you register the death, and then go along to a local solicitor and ask that they provide you with however many you need as ‘certified copies’.  Solicitors generally charge £5 per certified copy – so it may save an amount of money.

However, do tread with caution as some organisations may insist on seeing an original in any event.

Another (very time consuming way) to save money is to order fewer certificates and then just contact each asset holder at a time asking that they return the original death certificate (which you then send on to the next company).  This is horribly complicated and slow.

What will I need to register a death and get the death certificates?

You will need the formal certificate of cause of death (sometimes called the medical certificate) which you must take to your local registrar.  Only certain people are able to register the death.  To find who can register a death, and exactly what the process is, check our article on How to Register a Death.

Will the Registrar give me anything else (as well as the Death Certificates)?

Yes, the registrar will also give you:

  • green form – which gives the funeral directors authority to bury or cremate the body; and
  • tell us once – allowing the executors to notify various Govt agencies in one go (eg HMRC, Benefits office, etc)

Can I get more Death Certificates after Registering the Death?

Yes, further copies of death certificates can be bought online at the Govt website – Order a birth, death, marriage, or civil partnership certificate

Expert Probate Solicitors

We hope you have found this and our many other articles helpful.  Do please remember that this is NOT intended as legal advice specific to you, nor should you take it (or any comments left) as such.  The good news is that if you do want help, QLAW’s expert probate lawyers are here to advise on all aspects of probate, wills, trusts, and more!  So do reach out.  You can call, email us, or leave a comment below.

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