In Times of Bereavement
In the unfortunate event that a loved one 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 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.
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:
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.
Coping with grief
Talking and sharing your feelings with someone can help. Don’t go through this alone. For some people, relying on family and friends is the best way to cope.
If you don’t feel you can talk to them much – perhaps you aren’t close, or they’re grieving, too – you can contact local bereavement services through:
- your local hospice
- the national Cruse helpline on 0808 808 1677
- your GP
A bereavement counsellor can give you time and space to talk about your feelings, including the person who has died, your relationship, family, work, fears and the future.
You can have access to a bereavement counsellor at any time.