In the unfortunate event that a person has passed away, there are things that need to be done in the first few days. You must get a medical certificate from your GP or hospital doctor, you must get a medical certificate to register the death. You must register the death within 5 days and then you will receive the necessary documents for the funeral. Then you will make the necessary funeral arrangements.

Registering 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 may wish to use the register a death page on the this page will guide you through the process.

Arranging the funeral

The funeral can usually only take place once the death is registered. Most people arrange this through a funeral director although you can arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral directors

Choose a funeral director who’s a member of the following:

  • National Association of Funeral Directors
  • National Federation of Funeral Directors
  • Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors

Some local councils do run their own funeral services, such as non-religious burials. The British Humanist Association can also help with non- religious funerals. If you are arranging the funeral yourself, you will need to contact the cemeteries and the Crematoriums of your local council to arrange this.

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.

You can also find more information on the NHS choices website about bereavement and coping with bereavement.