In Times of Bereavement

In the unfortunate event that a person has passed away, there are several actions that a loved one must looked into.

Actions that need to be taken in the unfortunate event that a person or loved one has passed away, Certain forms and registrations of the person who has passed, need to be conducted within the first few days.

  • Contact their GP or the hospital if the person passed away whilst admitted, and request a medical certificate as soon as you are able. This is necessary to register the death.
  • Once the death certificate has been issued, you will need to register the person, ideally within 3-5 days of passing. This used to involve a visit to the nearest registry office, but due to Covid pandemic, this is generally done online now. You will be invited to a telephone/ in person interview to officially register their passing. 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, this may occur if the passing was unexpected or happened at home or in an unexpected environment or circumstance. The coroner 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.

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.

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.

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.

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