Cost of death certificate rises by 175% a week

New death tax for grieving families as cost of certificate rises by 175% just a week after probate charges increased

  • The increase means it will now cost £11 to print a certificate at registration 
  • Comes a week after MPs were accused of sneaking through a stealth ‘death tax’ 
  • Families often need up to 20 death certificates to send to different authorities
  • The increase means those who need 20 certificates will have to spend £220 

The price of death certificates will almost treble from today, adding to snowballing costs for grieving families.

The 175 per cent increase means it now costs £11 to print a certificate at registration, up from £4 a copy.

It comes a week after MPs were accused of sneaking through a stealth ‘death tax’ by increasing probate charges. From April, some families will face bills of up to £6,000 to secure legal control over a deceased relative’s estate.

Yesterday lawyers and funeral directors said the death certificate price rise was ‘unfair’ and ‘highly inappropriate’.

The 175 per cent increase means it now costs £11 to print a certificate at registration, up from £4 a copy (stock image)

Families often need up to 20 death certificates to send to different authorities. Life insurance companies, banks, building societies and investment firms can all ask for them to confirm a former customer’s death.

The increase means those who need 20 certificates will have to spend £220, up from £80.


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Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said last night: ‘This all adds to the cost of death and it prolongs the misery of people going through the most difficult times of their lives. There is no justification for almost tripling the costs of death certificates.’ The cost of ordering a death certificate online from the General Register Office has also increased from £9.25 to £11.

Companies will often insist on originals and refuse photocopies. Relatives also need to supply original certificates when applying for probate.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said last night that the increase will ‘prolong the misery of people going through the most difficult times of their lives’

Christina Blacklaws, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, said: ‘The decision to treble the cost of death certificates comes hot on the heels of the Government’s proposed increases to probate fees.

‘With probate fees set to increase, it seems unfair to raise the cost of death certificates as well, particularly when people have no choice but to register the death of their loved ones and apply for probate.’

Terry Tennens, of the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors, said: ‘In these times of austerity, we think this is highly inappropriate.’

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The changes to the civil registration certificate fees are the first increase since 2010.

‘The fees are set at cost recovery levels only, and registration officers have the power to waive or reduce fees on grounds of compassion or hardship.’

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