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.
Choose a funeral director who’s a member of one of the following:
- National Association of Funeral Directors
- National Federation of Funeral Directors
- Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
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 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.
For free independent advice on bereavement issues, you can find more information at lastingpost.com.
Bereavement Advice Centre
Bereavement Advice Centre is a free helpline and web-based information service provided by Co-op Legal Services. They provide practical information and advice and signposting on the many issues and procedures that face us after the death of someone close.
Call 0800 634 9494 or visit the website
Care for Grenfell
The Care for Grenfell team has been set up for anyone who has been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and offers a single front door to access services and support.
Child Death Helpline
A helpline for anyone affected by the death of a child in any circumstance, however recent or long ago.
Call 0800 282 986 / 0808 800 6019 or visit the website
Cruse Bereavement Care- Kensington & Chelsea
Cruse provides support by counselling to those who have been bereaved.
Kaleidoscope team – Bereavement play specialist
Provides holistic care through play to meet the emotional, social and cognitive needs of children with life limiting illnesses. This includes improving quality of life and developmental play for children who lose skills due to illness. Play will help children gain confidence and gives them an outlet for frustrations.
Call 020 7266 8840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Samaritans is a unique charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection. They offer a safe place for you to talk at any point, in your own way.
Call 116 123 or visit the website
The Lullaby Trust
The Lullaby Trust provides emotional support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness of sudden infant death.
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