In the unfortunate event that a person has passed away, there are three things that must be done.
In the first few days
- A medical certificate will need to be completed the person's GP or hospital doctor.
- You must be register the death within 5 days. You will then receive the necessary documents to make funeral arrangements
- You now will be able to arrange the funeral. The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered.
Register the death
If the death has been reported to the coroner, they must give permission before registering the death. You can register the death if you are a relative, a witness to the death, a hospital administrator or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.
You can use the Register a Death page on the gov.uk website that will guide you through the process.
Most people use a funeral director, though you can arrange a funeral yourself.
Arrange the funeral with a funeral director:
Choose a funeral director who is a member of one of the following:
National Association of Funeral Directors
Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
These organisations have codes of practice - they must give you a price list when asked.
Some local councils run their own funeral services, for example for non-religious burials. The British Humanist Association can also help with non-religious funerals.
Arrange the funeral yourself:
Contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your local council to arrange a funeral yourself.
Funeral costs can include the following:
funeral director fees
things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called disbursements or third-party costs - ex. crematorium/cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement)
local authority burial or cremation fees
Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quotes.