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guidance , support and reassurance ...




Funeral Receptions

Telephone: 0151 510 6000 Lowerhouse Lane, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 7DZ Website -


Contents Page 4 Registering a Death Page 6 Coroner’s Involvement Page 8 Tell us once


Page 13 Cemeteries and Crematorium in Halton Page 15 Arranging the funeral


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When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.

Losing someone close to you can be very distressing. You may experience all kinds of emotions and dealing with the practicalities that a death involves can seem overwhelming.

Halton Registration and Bereavement Services are here to provide caring and sympathetic support for you at this difficult time. We have produced this booklet to guide you through the various stages, and further information is also available on our website at www.halton., and at

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Registering a death

A death in England or Wales has to be registered within five days, in the district where it happened. If this is not possible, because it would be very difficult for a close relative to get to the right office, information about the death can be given at any other register office in England or Wales in the form of a ‘declaration’. This can then be forwarded to the Registrar where the death occurred. However, this may delay funeral arrangements, as the necessary documentation will have to be sent by post. Further information on this can be obtained from any register office. For the death to be registered, you need to obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from the doctor who was treating the deceased. This should be in a sealed envelope, and should be handed unopened to the Registrar.

However, if the death was referred to the Coroner, it cannot be registered, until the registrar has received permission from the Coroner to proceed with registration. If the registration is delayed for this reason, you do not need to worry, as this is not your fault. Who can register a death?

Normally, a death should be registered by


A relative of the deceased.

A person present at the death.

The occupier of premises where the death occurred. (e.g. officer in charge at a nursing home or senior administrator at a hospital)

Halton Bereavement Guide

A person arranging the funeral (not the funeral director)

If you are not sure who can register the death, please ask for advice when making your appointment. To register a death occurring in Halton please telephone: 0151 907 8307 for an appointment.

The information you will need to provide about the deceased. •

The medical cause of death certificate from the doctor (if appropriate)

The date and place of death.

The full names and surname of the deceased with maiden surname if applicable.

The date and place of the person’s birth (a birth certificate or passport is useful to bring, but is not essential)

• The former occupation of the deceased. •

Their usual home address.

If the deceased was married, widowed or a civil partner, the full names and occupation of their wife, husband or civil partner.

The date of birth of the surviving widow, widower or civil partner.


Information as to whether the deceased was receiving any public sector pension (e.g. Civil Service, NHS, Forces)

Your relationship to the deceased.

Your full name and usual address.

Certified copies of the death entry (death certificates). These can be purchased at the time of registration (or later, but the cost will be more). The certificates provide acceptable proof of the death for organisations such as banks, building societies, insurance companies etc.

The Registrar will see you in private. Any information you give will be treated confidentially, and will not be passed on to anyone who is not entitled to it by law.


It is very important that the person registering the death checks the registration entry carefully before signing. It is a legal document which becomes difficult to correct at a later date. The documents you will receive from the Registrar. • Certificate for burial or cremation ‘the green form’. This gives permission to the funeral director and cemetery or cremation authorities for the funeral to take place. This form is replaced by a document from the Coroner if an inquest is underway, or there has been a post mortem examination, and a cremation is to follow. •

Certificate of registration/notification of death for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) (Form BD8) may be completed by the next of kin and sent to the DWP to notify them of the death. However it is possible to notify the DWP by telephone.

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Coroner’s Involvement

A Coroner is a senior and independent judicial officer who investigates human deaths. Although most deaths referred to the Coroner are due to natural causes, sometimes deaths may need to be reported because they have happened suddenly or unexpectedly, (e.g. following an accident), or the cause of death is not known. Usually this will be done by the doctor or the police. In some circumstances, the Coroner will allow the doctor to issue a Medical Certificate of cause of death, but will also provide an additional document to the Registrar, giving permission for the death to be registered. Try not to be alarmed, as this is normal procedure, and the Coroner’s office will be able to answer any questions you may have. In some cases, to determine the cause of death, a post mortem examination is needed. The Coroner will decide if this is necessary, after he or his staff have spoken to the nearest relative, and the doctor of the deceased.

After the post mortem, if the cause of death is found to be natural, and there are no other circumstances requiring an inquest, a document instead of the Medical Certificate of cause of death will be issued by the Coroner, allowing the death to be registered. This will be sent directly to the Registrar. Usually the funeral director will contact the Coroner’s office to find out when the body can be collected to prepare for the funeral.


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If the cause of death remains unknown, or if the Coroner suspects that the person died a violent or unnatural death or died in legal custody, he may hold an inquest. This is an enquiry to establish who the deceased was, and how, where and when they died. When there is to be an inquest, the death cannot be registered, but the Coroner will normally issue the necessary documentation to permit a burial or cremation, so the funeral can take place. Also, an Interim Certificate of Fact of Death can be issued by the Coroner, and this is normally accepted by banks and other financial institutions. This certificate can also be used to obtain a form BD8 from the Registrar.

The Coroner’s office will keep you informed about the progress of the investigation, but please be patient, as often the Coroner and his staff are waiting for information from other people. After the inquest, the Coroner will send the result to the Registrar, who will register the death. Death certificates can then be purchased from the Register Office.

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Tell Us Once

When someone has died there are various organisations which need to be advised. Halton Borough Council provides a service which will make the process easier, Tell Us Once, this will automatically advise the following organisations of a death. Department for Work and Pensions • Pension, Disability and Carers Service • Job Centre Plus • Overseas Health Team

Local Council • Council Tax • Housing/Tax Benefit Office • Collection of Payment for Council Services • Libraries • Electoral Services • Blue Badges • Adult Services • Children’s Services

HM Revenue & Customs • Child Benefit • Child Tax Credit & Working Tax Credit • Personal Taxation • Identity and Passport Service • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency • Ministry of Defence, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency


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When you have registered the death the Registrar will issue you with a Tell Us Once reference number this enables you to complete the process by telephone or online. • Telephone the Department for Work and Pensions 0800 085 7308 Halton Borough Council 0151 907 8307 • If you prefer to speak to an advisor you can visit our One Stop Shops Halton Lea Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm Widnes Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm Runcorn (Library) Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30am to 4.45pm Ditton (Library) Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.45pm • Online

In all cases you will need the reference number issued at the registration and the deceased National Insurance Number and date of birth, driving licence, and passport.

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Please note that all Register Offices operate an appointment system for registering deaths so to avoid any inconvenience or delay, please telephone for an appointment before attending. For deaths which have happened in Halton, please telephone 0151 907 8307 to arrange an appointment. For deaths occurring in other local areas, please see below. Other Local Register Offices Knowsley Register Office Priestcote House High Street Prescot Merseyside L34 3LD Tel 0151 443 2900

Cheshire West & Chester Register Office Goldsmith House Goss Street Chester CH1 2BG Tel 0300 123 7037

Warrington Register Office Museum Street Warrington WA1 1JX Tel 01925 442 762

Cheshire East Register Office Delamere House Chester Street Crewe CW1 2LL Tel 0300 123 5019

Liverpool Register Office St George’s Hall Heritage Entrance St George’s Place Liverpool L1 1JJ Tel 0151 233 3004 St Helens Register Office Central Street St Helens Merseyside WA10 1UJ Tel 01744 456 789


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Wirral Register Office Town Hall Mortimer Street Birkenhead L41 5EU Tel 0151 606 2020


Informing Organisations regarding Pensions and Finances Different people have different circumstances and the people you need to contact will vary. The following is not a complete list – but it will remind you of some of the important issues to address. •

Contact the Department for Work and Pensions to get any benefit or pension payments stopped.

Deceased under 60yrs - Tel: 0845 608 8503.

B Deceased 60yrs & over - Tel: 0845 606 0265

Disability Living Allowance - Tel: 0845 7123456

Contact the person’s employer and Trade Union regarding any pensions etc.

Contact the Inland Revenue – there may be an Income Tax refund.

Inform any banks, building societies or credit card companies that the person used.

Contact any insurance companies regarding any policies.

If the deceased had any premium bonds you will need to advise the National Savings and Investments (forms for this can be obtained from any Post Office). is a useful source of information on bereavement issues, e.g. benefits, help with funeral costs, probate

Other people to advise •

Contact the Council for issues including meals on wheels, council tax etc

Family Doctor, dentist etc.

Gas, electricity, water and telephone suppliers.

Contact the Post Office to arrange for any mail to be redirected.

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Documents and items to return • • • • • • • • •

Blue badge.

Return any library books.

Passport should be returned the Passport Agency. Driving Licence to the DVLA.

Registration documents of a car – for change of ownership.

Any season tickets and/or concessionary travel documents, e.g. Bus Pass Any memberships cards (e.g. National Trust) – to claim any refunds.

Return any equipment that was borrowed from a hospital or Social Services.

Car Insurance Certificate (Please note that if you are insured to drive the car under the deceased person’s name, you will no longer be legally insured)


When someone dies you may need to obtain a grant of representation (Probate) to enable you to deal with their estate. You can get advice from the Probate & Inheritance Tax Helpline on 0845 3020 900 or go to for further information and probate forms.


Halton Bereavement Guide


Cemeteries and Crematorium in Halton


Enquiries relating to cemeteries or crematorium can be made between the hours of 10.45 a.m. and 2.45 p.m. Monday to Friday on 0151 907 8307 The council provides Cemeteries within the Borough and Widnes Crematorium. Widnes Cemetery, Birchfield Road, Widnes – opened in 1898 Runcorn Cemetery, Greenway Road, Runcorn – opened in 1860 Halton Cemetery, Holt Lane, Runcorn – opened in 1886.

Widnes Crematorium – a Grade II listed chapel situated within the grounds of Widnes Cemetery. The chapel can accommodate 70 people with additional standing room in the entrance hall.

For disabled visitors to the Chapel there is a ramped entrance, loop system and a wheelchair is available if required. All service books are available in large type and Braille.

Music is a very important part of the funeral service and can provide a fitting background for private thoughts about the deceased. An organ is situated in the Chapel, which is also equipped with a sound system and a library of various musical pieces. Families may provide their own CDs in advance of the service. Gardens of Remembrance

There are two Gardens of Remembrance at the rear of the Crematorium Chapel, both providing a peaceful and tranquil place in which to gather your thoughts and also, if you wish, to have your loved one’s remains scattered.

In order to maintain high standards of maintenance within the grounds, relatives and friends of the deceased are respectfully asked to refrain from placing impromptu memorials in the gardens but are welcome to place flowers on the scattering beds.

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Book of Remembrance and Commemoration

The Book of Remembrance is housed in the Remembrance Hall, next to the Crematorium Chapel, and is displayed in a glass fronted cabinet, with designated areas for you to place floral tributes. On display each day of the year, once an entry has been inscribed, it remains there for all time.

There are various forms of memorialisation available, including bronze or granite plaques, memorial trees, benches and overground vaults for cremated remains. Opening Times

The cemetery grounds, Book of Remembrance and Gardens of Remembrance are open to visitors every day of the year as follows:1st November – 31st January 1st February – 28th February 1st March – 31st March 1st April – 31st August 1st September – 31st October

9.00 am – 4.00 pm 9.00 am – 6.00 pm 9.00 am – 7.00 pm 9.00 am – 8.00 pm 9.00 am – 7.00 pm

Family Research

A charge is levied for family history searches for up to 10 names. Safety inspections of memorials

Safety inspections on all memorials within the Council’s three Cemeteries are being carried out, in accordance with advice issued to local authorities by the Health and Safety Executive and Ministry of Justice. Memorials will be made safe using a temporary support system, or in some cases laying the memorial flat on the ground or setting it into the ground. Any memorial found to be unsafe must be upgraded to the current NAMM (National Association of Memorial Masons) Code of Working Practice. New memorials must be fitted with an approved ground anchor system. For further information on the memorial inspection programme, please contact a member of the Cemeteries and Crematorium staff.


Halton Bereavement Guide



Arranging the Funeral


Some things to check •

Did the deceased have a prepaid funeral plan, setting out their wishes.

Did they leave a will – this may have instructions for the funeral.

What will the funeral cost – funeral directors can give useful help and advice.

Is there enough money in the deceased’s estate to pay for the funeral – if not, the Department of Work and Pensions may be able to help.

When someone dies it is an emotional and distressing time. Families and close friends of the deceased need to make key decisions: whether to have a burial or cremation; where to hold the ceremony; what type of ceremony would the deceased have preferred and who should conduct the ceremony.

Every family is different; some prefer a religious service, and others follow and observe cultural traditions. An increasing number are finding that a civil funeral ceremony is an appropriate choice for them to make.

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Halton Bereavement Guide

BEST WESTERN Forest Hills Hotel

Complimentary Venue situated on Frodsham Hill

Celebration of Life BEST WESTERN Forest Hills Hotel offers a range of complimentary function rooms to celebrate the life of your loved one. Just call Tracey or Charlotte in the Events Office and they will help make your arrangements with the greatest of ease. We have a range of Buffet menus or meal options available, Afternoon Tea with Sandwiches, Cake and Scones at ÂŁ6.50per person, classic buffets starting from ÂŁ10per person. Or a nice hot buffet.......Just ask. BEST WESTERN Forest Hills Hotel, Overton Hill, Frodsham, Cheshire, WA6 6HH Tel; 01928 735255 Email; For more information visit our website;

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Halton Register Office Runcorn Town Hall Heath Road Runcorn WA7 5TN

Tel: 0151 907 8307 Email: 20

Halton Bereavement Guide

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Halton bereavement guide  

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