Service summary:
  1. We need the original death certificate in our office
  2. You can bring it to our office in person, or send it by mail/courier
  3. If we receive your document by 10am it takes 2 days to complete
  4. We legalise your certificate of no impediment with the apostille
  5. Your apostilled certificate is ready to be collected or couriered

You will need an apostille for the death certificate if you wish to use the certificate outside the UK. In addition, you may also need a will and other probate documents legalised for use with an overseas authority.

We can issue an apostille on all registrar issued UK death certificates.

Our standard service ensures that the apostille certificate is correctly issued for use abroad. We accept any document issued in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

What it is:  

A death certificate is a document issued after a death has been registered in the UK. This certificate is a vital part of the probate documents for the deceased person.

Frequently used for:

An apostille certificate attached to a death certificate can be used in other countries to do the following:

  • To claim a pension
  • To handle the property of the deceased.
  • To sell a property.
  • To handle any information on the will and last testament of the deceased.

Original or copy:

An apostille can only be issued to the original document – not a copy.

However, a copy of a foreign death certificate can be apostilled if the copy has been certified by a UK solicitor or notary.

Considerations:

You cannot change a death certificate once it’s been issued, but you can apply to get a note added to the original entry in the death register. [1]

Replacement documents:

A replacement of the death certificate can be ordered from the General Register Office (GRO) if you have a picture of the document or the deceased’s details. [2]

How much does it cost?

A standard FCDO death certificate apostille starts at £79.

Other costs will depend on the service you choose and the number of documents legalised. We also offer notary or solicitor service, embassy attestation if required, and any other apostille services you wish to receive.

How to order:

Order a straightforward apostille for a death certificate on our site. You can choose additional options on the order page. If you are unsure, please call our office and speak to one of our experts.

Call +44 (0) 207 0500 692
Enquire or order a UK apostille

Why is an apostille for a death certificate needed?

You may be asked to get an apostille if you need to use the death certificate in other countries. The apostille certificate will verify the death of a person to the requesting authority in another country. Having a verified document enables you to deal with a person’s assets or bank accounts that are located outside of your own country.

Registering a death overseas with an apostille

In some instances, you may need to register a person’s death overseas. For example, if a person was not born in the UK or held dual citizenship.

Or you may have to register the death of a foreign citizen with overseas authorities. All these examples will require an apostille for documents to validate the death certificate. [3]

Example of what UK death certificates look like
Example of what UK death certificates look like (image credits: see references)

Is a death certificate required by law?

Yes, the registration of a person’s death is a legal requirement in the UK, and it is a criminal offence not to register a death. You need to register a death so that you can legally dispose of the remains (Funeral Burial) for inheritance matters and government administrative purposes. [4]

Who can order a death certificate?

A relative can request a death certificate. This is also the person that registers the death in the UK. Any of the following individuals may also register the death if a relative is not available:

  • Someone who was there at the time of death
  • The administrator from the hospital (if the person died in the hospital)
  • Someone in command of the funeral arrangements

How long does it take to obtain a death certificate?

Death certificates are usually sent 15 days after you register. In case you wish to have it sooner, you will be required to pay £35 for priority service, and in this case, the death certificate will be sent the following day. [5]

How much does a death certificate cost?

A death certificate costs £11. Registering someone’s death is free, but each copy of the death certificate is charged. [5]

How many death certificates are required?

The number of death certificates you’ll need depends on your circumstances. For example, if the estate is particularly complicated, with assets held by numerous financial institutions, obtaining many death certificates might help expedite the probate procedure.

Please note that: Most financial institutions will only accept UK government-issued death certificates – or copies certified by a solicitor or notary public.

Call +44 (0) 207 0500 692
Enquire or order a UK apostille

This article has been written by experts and fact-checked by experts. We only link to high-quality sources like government information & data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. Reputable publishers are also sourced and cited where appropriate to support the facts within our articles.

[1] Correct a death registration
https://www.gov.uk/correcting-a-death-registration

[2] General Register Office (GRO)
https://www.gov.uk/general-register-office

[3] Register a death
https://www.gov.uk/register-a-death

[4] Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/1-2/20

[5] Order a death certificate
https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate

Image credits:

Annette Carell – Death Certificate (1967).jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annette_Carell#/media/File:Annette_Carell_-_Death_Certificate_(1967).jpg

Death Certificate of Evelyn Beatrice Hall.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Death_Certificate_of_Evelyn_Beatrice_Hall.jpg

Death certificate of Thomas Alexander McBean stating ‘ Atrophy from Albuminuria ’ as a cause of death (Crown copyright, with permission).
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Death-certi-fi-cate-of-Thomas-Alexander-McBean-stating-Atrophy-from-Albuminuria-as-a_fig3_236659243