When grieving the loss of a loved one, we know how frustrating it is to get all the legal and financial paperwork in order. So, the best way you can prepare for that is to be aware of the legal processes in advance.
Registering the death of a loved one is one of the most important things that you must do ASAP following their passing. In this quick guide, we’ll take you through the process of registering a death in Singapore.
Step 1: Obtain a Certificate of Cause of Death (CCOD)
Before getting your loved one’s death certificate, you must obtain a CCOD first. This official document certifies that the individual passed away due to natural causes, such as an illness or of old age.
Only a licensed medical professional may issue a CCOD. You can obtain a CCOD from your family doctor, your loved one’s attending physician or specialist, or the mortuary where the body is sent for examination.
You must have your loved one’s medical records, medications, and identification cards on hand, which will be given to the doctor who will determine the cause of death.
Once it’s determined that your loved one has died of natural causes, a CCOD will be issued. Otherwise, the process may take a bit longer if the Coroner will require further investigation, such as an autopsy, for deaths suspected to die of unnatural causes.
If the death occurred overseas, contact the corresponding foreign authorities of the host country, including the Singaporean embassy or consulate, who will help you arrange for repatriation.
Step 2: Collect the Required Documents
Before registering your loved one’s death, be sure to collect the required documents first, as noted below:
- Identification cards/papers of the deceased and informant (i.e. the person who reported the death) such as NRIC, passport, Certificate of Registration of Birth, etc.
If you or a relative is unable to register the death, you may also ask the person in charge of handling funeral arrangements to do it on your family’s behalf.
Before proceeding with the registration, be sure to discuss with your family whether your loved one will be buried or cremated. You’ll need this information upon registering the death.
Step 3: Go to the Designated Areas
All deaths in Singapore must be registered within 24 hours of an individual’s passing. Once you have the documents ready, you can proceed with the registration in designated areas:
- Any neighbourhood police centre or police divisional headquarters found here
- Registry of Births and Deaths, Citizen Services Centre, ICA Building, 10 Kallang Road, Level 3, Singapore 208718
As for the Registry of Births and Deaths, take note that their operating hours are from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (Mon-Fri) and 8:00 am to 12:30 pm on Saturdays. The office is closed on Sundays and public holidays.
If your loved one passed away at a government restructured hospital, you can also register their death there. These hospitals include the following:
- Alexandra Hospital
- Changi General Hospital
- Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- National University Hospital
- Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
- Sengkang General Hospital
- Singapore General Hospital
- Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Otherwise, you don’t need to register the death if the body is referred to the [email protected] since the death will also be registered there.
Step 4: Collect the Death Certificate
Once you’re at any of the designated areas, all you have to do is to present your documents to the registration officer. After they’ve printed the death certificate, verify the information and sign the document.
Once everything is clear, collect the document. You can start making funeral arrangements from there.