Arrange a funeral
You can arrange a funeral once you have registered the death. Most people use a funeral director or you can arrange a funeral yourself.
Choose a funeral director
Funeral directors will manage funeral arrangements for you and give you advice and support.
Choose a funeral director who's a member of either the National Association of Funeral Directors or The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). These organisations have codes of practice - they must give you a price list when asked.
The funeral director can:
- make all the necessary funeral service arrangements
- provide a suitable coffin
- transfer the deceased from the place of death to the funeral director's premises
- care for the deceased prior to the funeral
- provide a hearse to the nearest crematorium or cemetery
- arrange for cremation or burial as appropriate
Arrange the funeral yourself
If you don't want to use a funeral director you can arrange the funeral yourself. This is known as a 'personalised' or 'independent' funeral.
It is your right to:
- organise a funeral without the use of a funeral director
- as executor (or next of kin) to be given the body by a mortuary, hospital, etc, in order to carry out a funeral without a funeral director
- obtain a coffin (minimum biodegradable type) via your charter member
- obtain a personalised or independent funeral leaflet from your charter member describing how to arrange a funeral without a funeral director
You must provide a green certificate or coroner's certificate for burial or cremation.
The information in the individual sections of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management - Bereavement Services will help you make arrangements. You could also get information from The Natural Death Centre. You can find out more about funeral options and pricing for your area at Your Funeral Choice.
Funeral costs can include:
- funeral director fees
- things the funeral director pays for on your behalf such as crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
- burial or cremation fees
Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quote. You can get quotes from several funeral directors to see what is available within your budget.
Get help paying for a funeral
You could get a Funeral Expenses Payment (also called a Funeral Payment) if you get certain benefits and need help to pay for a funeral you're arranging. See Gov.uk: Get help with funeral costs.
Get help paying for a child's funeral
The Children's Funeral Fund for England can help to pay for some of the costs of a funeral for a child under 18 or a baby stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy.
It is not means-tested: what you earn or how much you have in savings will not affect what you get.
The burial or cremation must take place in England.
See Gov.uk: Support for child funeral costs (Children's Funeral Fund for England).
- Bereavement Office
- 03000 265 609
Our address is:
- County Hall
- County Durham
- United Kingdom
- DH1 5UQ
- Gov.uk: Get help with funeral costs
- Gov.uk: Support for child funeral costs (Children's Funeral Fund for England)
- National Association of Funeral Directors
- The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
- Your Funeral Choice
- The Bereavement Services Portal
- The Natural Death Centre
- North East Humanists
- Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities
- British Humanist Association