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. 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 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 and they must give you a price list when asked.

You may be entitled to help with costs for funeral services.

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.

Other support services

Cruse Bereavement Care
Helpline number: 0300 200 4108

Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service (NHS)
Gilbert Hitchcock House
Telephone: 01234 880 400

Find a Qualified Counsellor

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Telephone: 01455 883300

UK Council for Psychotherapy
Telephone: 020 7014 9955