The process of registering the death of a loved one is a straightforward process but one which is legally required. The next-of-kin must register the death within three months. Alternatively, the person who registers a death can be someone close to the deceased or who was present at the death.
A death notification form will be issued by the doctor who last attended the deceased or the hospital will post it to the next of kin. The second part of the form will need to be filled out to include the deceased's date of birth, occupation and PPS number.
The doctor or hospital will advise you where to register a death, but it can be done at any Register of Birth, Marriages or Deaths. The register must be signed and witnessed by the registrar so photo ID is required. There's no cost to register a death however issuing a deathcertificate costs €20 and at the reduced rate of €1 when it's for social welfare purposes with a letter from the Department of Social Protection required. A copy of the death certificate is available immediately from the registrar.
Before it can be registered a doctor must first be sure of the cause of death. If the doctor has not seen the deceased for 28 days prior to the death, they must inform a coroner who will decide if a post-mortem is necessary. The coroner must always be informed if the death occurred suddenly or following an accident.
If a post-mortem is carried out it will delay the registering process however the coroner will immediately register the death, contacting the registrar with all the details required. In the case of a stillbirth, contact the maternity hospital or the registrar.
Contact information for the local death registry office can be found on www.hse.ie.