In times of bereavement

Grieving in exceptional times (PDF)

  • Get a medical certificate from your GP or hospital doctor (this is necessary to register the death)
  • If the person died in hospital – the hospital will issue the death certificate.
  • If the person died at home, and was one of our patients or was not seen by another doctor or medical professional, then the surgery will issue the death certificate. This will be forwarded along with other documentation to the Local Medical Examiners Office to be approved and they will then forward the certificate on your behalf to the Local Registrar. A Medical Examiners Officer will contact you to let you know when everything is completed.
  • You can then register the death. within 5 days. You will then receive the necessary documents for the funeral.

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 – they must give you a price list when asked.

Some local councils run their own 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.