In Scotland it is a legal requirement that the death is registered within eight days. 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.
The death certificate will be transmitted electronically by the certifying doctor to the registrars’ office of your choice, and you should contact the registrar to make arrangements for them to call you to complete the registration process remotely. We are able to make the initial contact with the registrar on your behalf if you wish.
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.
What documentation will be provided by the registrar?
The registrar will provide the following:
- Form 14 (White Form) – will be transmitted electronically to the funeral director 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.