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Legal Requirements & Documents Following Death (England & Wales)


When a person dies in England & Wales, there are certain legal requirements surrounding documentation. The requirements are as follows:

Medical Certificate

If the death is not referred to the Coroner you will need to obtain a Medical Certificate issued by a doctor (normally the one who treated the deceased) which shows the cause of death. Please make sure that this certificate is in a special sealed envelope addressed to the Registrar. It is important that this envelope is delivered to the Registrar unopened.

Formal Notice

The “Formal Notice” is also given by the doctor and states that the doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and tells you how to get the death registered.

Following the registration a “Certificate for Burial” (also known as the “Green Form”) will be given to you by the Registrar. This form gives permission for the body to be buried.

Notification by the Coroner

If the death is referred to the Coroner but no inquest is to follow, then a pink form P100 B, stating the cause of death, will be sent directly to the Registrar by the Coroner in order to register the death.

If the death is referred to the Coroner for an inquest after which the body is to be buried, an “Order for Burial” form P101 will be given by the Coroner for burial to take place.

The Coroner will also send a “Certificate After Inquest” form 99(rev), stating the cause of death, directly to the Registrar allowing the death to be registered.

Non Viable Foetus and Stillbirth

Non-viable foetus means a child born prior to the 24th week of pregnancy. Stillborn means a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy.

If the stillborn is over 24 weeks then a “Certificate of Still Birth” will be issued by the attending Doctor or Midwife. Registration for the stillborn will also have to take place with the Registrars. If however the stillborn is 24 weeks or less a three-part form will be issued by the hospital and burial can take place immediately as no registration will be necessary.



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Lady Lucie Duff Gordon (1821-1869) lived in Luxor, Egypt from 1862 in the hope that the consumption she was suffering from would improve. She learnt Arabic, and often visited and prayed at the tomb of Sufi Sheikh Yusuf abu’l-Hajjaj.

Letter to her husband, Sir Alexander Duff Gordon, from Cairo 16th October 1866:

'My Reis spoke such a pretty parable the other day that I must needs write it. A Coptic Reis stole some of my wood, which we got back by force and there was some reviling of the Nazarenes in consequence from Hoseyn and Ali; but Reis Mohammed said:

“Not so; Girgis is a thief, it is true, but many Christians are honest; and behold, all the people in the world are like soldiers, some wear red and some blue; some serve on foot, others on horseback, and some in ships; but all serve one Sultan, and each fights in the regiment in which the Sultan has placed him, and he does what does his duty best is the best man, be his coat red or blue or black.”

I said, `Excellent words, oh Reis, and fit to be spoken from the best of pulpits.' It is surprising what happy sayings the people here hit upon; they cultivate talk for want of reading, and the consequence is great facility narration and illustration. Everybody enforces his ideas, like Christ, in parables.'