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What to Do When a Death Occurs

If the death occurs at home, telephone the deceased’s GP. If the death is unexpected the Coroner may become involved depending upon the circumstances. The death will need to be registered in the local district within 5 days. A decision will also need to be made as to whether the funeral will be a burial or a cremation. If a death occurs in hospital or at a hospice, the bereavement office will advise you accordingly. If you are at all unsure, please give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We are available for advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

H.M. Coroner

There are various reasons why a death may have to be reported to the coroner by a doctor or by the police. This could happen just after a death takes place or some time later after relevant medical personnel have been consulted. The coroner’s duty is to establish the cause of death when a doctor is unable to issue a medical certificate of cause of death. Procedures for registering the death differ when the coroner becomes involved. Should this be the case, we will offer additional advice and information as necessary. Find out more about the Coroner’s Service here.

Registration of Death

The death will need to be registered in the registrar’s office for the area in which the death has occurred.

Click here to register a death in West Sussex. If you are unsure which the correct district is, please check with us. These are our local registrars:-

Haywards Heath Registration District
Tel: 01444 413415 – By Appointment Only
Haywards Heath Library, Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1BN
Times of attendance: Monday to Friday 9.00 – 12.30 and 2.00 – 4.00

Brighton and Hove Registration District
Tel: 01273 292016 – By Appointment Only
The Town Hall, Bartholomews, Brighton, BN1 1JA
Times of Attendance: Monday to Friday 9.30 – 5.00pm 

Lewes Registration District
Tel: 01273 475589 – By Appointment Only
Southover Grange, Southover Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1TP
Times of attendance: Monday to Fridays 9.00 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 4.00

The following documents and information are required to register a death:-

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
    (Issued by the hospital, or the GP if a death occurs at home or in care)
  • Full name of the deceased
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Date of birth of surviving partner if applicable
  • Type of funeral arranged (burial or cremation)
  • Maiden name if applicable
  • Husband’s full name if applicable
  • Husbands last known occupation if applicable

If you have it to hand please also take the medical card of the deceased. It is also helpful to have the deceased’s birth certificate and marriage certificate available for information.

Copies of the Entry of Death in the register, (often referred to as the death certificate) are obtainable from the registrar upon payment of the necessary fee. We recommend that most people purchase between 4 and 6 copies of the entry, as you will need them to notify various people of the death.

The Registrar will also issue you with a green certificate. This is the Certificate for Burial or Cremation which must be delivered to the Funeral Director as soon as possible to enable the funeral to take place.

Name & Registered Office:

Sussex Family Funeral Directors Ltd,
RH16 4EA
Company No. 08950861


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