After the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to think about the practicalities that need to be dealt with. Here are some things that you will need to consider in the immediate aftermath.

Medical Certificate and Belongings

A medical certificate will be issued as soon as possible after a death and you will need this when registering the death. It will state the cause of death and needs to be completed by a registered medical practitioner. Sometimes, the doctor may not be able to issue the medical certificate, usually if cause of death is uncertain or the deceased person has been in our care less than 24 hours. In this case, they will refer the death to the Coroner. Try not to worry if this happens. The Coroner might decide that the cause of death is clear and no further investigation is required, or they may ask for a post-mortem or inquest.

It is important to let the person know who is completing the medical certificate if you are planning a cremation because a second doctor will then need to sign.

While collecting the medical certificate from us, you will also be able to collect any belongings of the person who has died.

Registering a death

You will need to register the death within five working days from the date of death. If the Coroner is involved, registration can be done later than this. Most deaths are registered by a relative.

If the person who has died has no relatives or none are available, then any of the following people can register the death:

  • A person present at the time of death
  • A person arranging the funeral
  • The executor or administrator of the deceased person's estate
  • The occupier of the residence where the death occurred

Deaths will need to be registered at the Registry Office in the area where the person died. Our nearest local registry office is

The Isle of Wight Registry Office

Seaclose Offices

Fairlee Road


Isle of Wight

PO30 2QS

Tel: 01983 823233

This registry office will require you to make an appointment, so please make sure that you give them a call before going in. It is free to register a death, but you will be charged a small fee for the death certificate and any copies that may be needed later.

You will need to take

  • The medical certificate or coroners form
  • Proof of your own identity

The Registry Office may also ask for the following documents. If you have them available, you should also take the person’s

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of address
  • Passport/Photo ID
  • Council Tax Bill
  • NHS Number or Medical Card
  • Marriage/ Civil Partnership Certificate

You can register the person’s death without these documents, but they will be helpful for making sure that the right people are informed about the death as soon as possible.

Tell Us Once

Tell Us Once is a service provided by the Isle of Wight Registry Office to help with your recent bereavement. With your permission, they will inform the relevant Isle of Wight Council Services of the recent death and forward any relevant documentation to them on your behalf. This means that you will not have to inform them separately.

To use this service following the registration of a death, you must bring with you proof of their identity, and where applicable

  • the deceased person's National Insurance number
  • valid passport
  • valid driving licence
  • library card
  • blue badge
  • DWP Benefits letter
  • concessionary travel card
  • vehicle ownership document
  • Arranging the funeral

Before the person died, they may well have made plans for their own funeral, which may be specified in their Will or Advance Care Plan. If this is the case, it is best to let one of our Mountbatten Nurses know and we will contact the funeral directors after death. If no plans have been made, you will need to make decisions regarding the funeral, and it is best to contact a funeral director for advice.

Support from Mountbatten Bereavement

After a person has died, it can be a great help to talk to someone independent who is trained to listen and to support you through your grief. To access our support, you can self-refer by phoning our psychology support line on 01983 217346 or if you feel this is something you want to do later you can be referred from your GP.

Useful contacts

  • Mountbatten Bereavement Support – 01983 217346
  • Coroner's Office – 01983 823010
  • Citizens Advice Bureau - 01983 823898 ext 2828

Alternatively you can visit the website which can give you information regarding work, pensions, taxes and funeral payments.