In times of Bereavement

In the unfortunate event that a person has passed away, there are three things that must be done in the first few days;

  • Get a medical certificate from your GP or hospital doctor (this is necessary to register the death)
  • Register the death within 5 days (8 days in Scotland). You will then receive the necessary documents for the funeral.
  • Make the necessary funeral arrangements.

Register the death:

  • If the death has been reported to the coroner (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) 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. This will also explain the registration process for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Arrange the funeral:

The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people use a funeral director, though you can arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral directors:

Choose a funeral director who's a member of one of the following:

  • These organisations have codes of practice - they must give you a price list when asked.
  • Arranging the funeral yourself
  • Contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your local council to arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral costs:

Funeral costs can include:

  • Funeral director fees
  • Things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called 'disbursements' or 'third-party costs'), for example, crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
  • Local authority burial or cremation fees
  • Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quotes.