Registering the death is the one thing which the funeral director is unable to do for you, and in Scotland it is a legal requirement that this is done within eight days of death. In all circumstances the death must be registered before firm arrangements for the funeral can be made and the funeral can take place; we therefore recommend that registration takes place at the earliest possible opportunity.

When a death occurs in Scotland, the certifying doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD/Form 11). Where the deceased has died in hospital or a care home, this doctor is likely to be one of the doctors who was attending to them; or when the death occurs at home, it is normally the GP who will issue the MCCD. In cases of a sudden death, the certificate may be issued by a pathologist – in such cases this may mean a longer wait for the certificate as the pathologist has to wait for authority from the procurator fiscal to issue the certificate. In such cases the funeral director and police (if involved) will keep you advised on what has to be done.

What documents are required to register the death?

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD/Form 11)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate (if married)
  • NHS Medical Card (if available)
  • Other documents such as divorce papers, change of name by deed pole, etc.

If you are unable to provide these documents this will not necessarily hold up proceedings provided that you are able to provide the details that they contain to the registrar.

Who may register the death?

  • Any relative of the deceased
  • Any person present at the time of death
  • The executor or other legal representative of the deceased
  • The occupier at the time of death of the place where the death occurred (ie: matron, governor, chief officer, etc..)
  • Any other person with the knowledge of the particulars required for registration.

Where can the death be registered?

The death can be registered at any Registrars Office in Scotland. Our funeral director will be able to advise you on the location of your local office. It is strongly recommended that you phone ahead to the registrar to make an appointment.

List of Registrars Website

What documentation will be provided by the registrar?

The registrar will retain the MCCD and give all the other paperwork back to the person registering the death. They will also provide the following:

  • Form 14 (White Form) – must be given to the funeral director as soon as possible to be passed on to the cremation or burial authority.
  • Information on cancelling of state pension and other benefits
  • Abbreviated copy of death certificate.

The registrar will also ask if Extract Copies of the Entry in the Register of Deaths is required. These copies currently cost £10.00 each if purchased at the time of registration, and are required by most banks and building societies, insurance companies, and pension companies to wind up the deceased’s estate. It is usually advisable to obtain at least one or two copies of this.

In a small percentage of cases the death may be selected at random by the registrar for “Review” – this is a totally random procedure and should not be any cause for concern. It can however lead to a delay of between one and three days in the registrar issuing the paperwork.

In cases where the death has occurred outwith Scotland, please speak to our funeral director who will provide guidance on the appropriate procedures to be followed.