Births, marriages, deaths and nationality When death occurs

Registration and funeral arrangements

When can I register my relative's death?

If the Coroner confirms death is due to natural causes straight after reviewing the doctor's report, you can then register the death.  You should do this within 5 days of the death and the registrar will give you paperwork allowing you to hold the funeral.

If the Coroner confirms death due to natural causes after a post mortem examination, we will tell you that you can register when we call with the post mortem results.  Again, you should do this within the next few days.  If you have chosen a burial service, the registrar will give you paperwork to allow the burial.  If you have chosen a cremation service, the Coroner's Office will give your funeral director authority for the cremation.  The same will happen if the Coroner opens an investigation and then closes it after their inquiries have shown a natural cause of death.

If the Coroner opens an inquest, you will not need to register the death at all.  We will send you interim death certificates that you can use to manage the estate.  When the inquest hearing has been held, we will register the death for you.  You can then phone the registrar and order final death certificates to be posted out to you if you want them.

Where can I register?

Manchester Register Office is in Manchester town centre at the address below:
The Register Office
Heron House
47 Lloyd Street
M2 5LE
United Kingdom

Registrars also hold sessions at hospitals, which may be more convenient for you.  In addition, there is a special priority service for children's deaths and an emergency weekend service for families needing an urgent burial.  Register a death in special circumstances.

Once you have been told that you can register the death, call the Register Office on 0161 234 5005 to make an appointment.  We strongly suggest that you don't visit without an appointment as you may have a long wait.

If you are not from Manchester and do not plan to travel here, you may be able to register at your local Register Office by declaration.  Call the your local office to arrange this.

What does registration involve?

The appointment will take about half an hour and you will collect copies of the death certificate and, if relevant, paperwork to allow the funeral to proceed.

The Coroner has ordered a post mortem.  What do I do about the funeral?

When the Coroner orders a post mortem, we unfortunately cannot give you an exact date for when the body will be released.  This is because it depends on what the Pathologist finds and what follow-up action is necessary.

We advise families that they can appoint a funeral director and decide everything about how they would like their service to be, but they should not set a firm date.  If you tell the funeral director that the Coroner is involved, they will be familiar with the process and will know what to do.  When we tell you that the Coroner has released your relative's body, you can then confirm the date.

As a rule of thumb to help your planning, it is generally safe to set a provisional date for the funeral 10 or more working days after we inform you that a post mortem has been ordered.  However, this is not a guarantee, and we cannot take responsibility for meeting funeral dates that have been booked against our advice.

The same advice applies to repatriation flights - please do not book the flight until we have confirmed that the body can be released.

Important note on choosing a funeral director

If your relative died outside hospital, they may have been transported to the hospital mortuary by a particular funeral director who has a contract with the Coroner's Office.  This does not mean that you necessarily need to engage them to carry out the funeral.  You are free to choose any undertaker you wish.

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