West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

Registering a Death

How to register a death in West Berkshire

A death is required by law to be registered within five days unless the Coroner is involved.

If the death occurred in West Berkshire we will register the death and issue the necessary forms.
If the death occurred somewhere else, we can take the details from you and post them to the relevant district, who will then issue the necessary forms. Please note this can result in a delay with the funeral documentation.

Who can register a death?

The legal order of preference is:

  1. a relative or civil partner of the deceased
  2. someone present at the death
  3. a senior member of staff at the nursing/residential home or a senior member of staff from the hospital where the death occurred
  4. the person making the arrangements with funeral directors
  5. the person who found the body
  6. the person in charge of the body

What does it cost to register a death?

There is no charge to register a death.
You can purchase death certificates. Please see our pdf icon current fees [69kb] for more details.

Booking an appointment to register a death

Please call to arrange a time for an appointment. An appointment takes about 45 minutes.

Appointment locations

Whilst most appointments take place at the Register Office in Newbury, we also have appointments available at Hungerford Library on a Wednesday afternoon.
Please book in advance by contacting the Superintendent Registrar.

Information you'll need to bring about the deceased person

  • the date and place of death
  • their full name and any other names they were known by, including their maiden name, if appropriate
  • their date and place of birth
  • their last occupation
  • if married/widowed or in a formal civil partnership, the full name, date of birth and occupation of their spouse or civil partner
  • their usual address
  • details of any public service pension the deceased was receiving, eg civil service, teacher or armed forces

Information we'll need about you

  • your relationship to the deceased, eg widow, widower, son, daughter, surviving civil partner
  • if you were not related, how you are qualified to give the information eg present at the death, arranging the funeral
  • your full name
  • your usual address

Tell Us Once service

When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them. Tell Us Once is a free service offered by the government, that enables you to report a death only once, telling central and local government services securely and confidentially.

Many services can be notified, including:

  • the local council - to update services such as housing, benefits, Council Tax, Blue Badge and remove the person from the electoral register

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax and to update regarding child benefit and tax credits claims (contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to update benefits information, including state pension and Universal Credit

  • Passport Office - to cancel a British passport

  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and to remove registered keeper details, possibly for up to five vehicles

  • Public Sector or Armed Forces Pension Schemes - to update pension records

How do I use the service?

After you have registered a death with the Registrar, we can complete the Tell Us Once service with you at the same time. Otherwise, the Registrar will provide you with a unique Tell Us Once reference number, which will enable you to access the service on Gov.uk or via telephone, by calling 0800 085 7308.

If you have been issued with a Coroners Fact of Death (Interim Death Certificate) you may still be able to use the service and the Registrar will advise you how to do so.

Before you start, you'll need the following information to hand:

  • date of birth

  • address of the deceased

  • National Insurance number

  • driving licence number

  • vehicle registration number

  • passport number

You will also need:

  • details of any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, for example State Pension or Universal Credit

  • details of any local council services they were receiving, for example Adult Social Services, Blue Badge, travel pass

  • the name and address of their next of kin

  • the name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner

  • the name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their 'executor' or 'administrator'

  • details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying into

Permission is required from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator and anyone who was claiming benefits or entitlements jointly with the person who died, before you give their details.

You don't need to follow up your Tell Us Once submission, unless you don't receive a confirmation from the relevant department, usually after one month. If the department requires further information, they will contact you directly.

Tell Us Once is not a claim to benefits. Please visit the gov.uk website for advice.