You may wish to contact a Funeral Director to discuss what arrangements you would like. You are entitled to ask for a free quotation, however you are under no obligation to use a Funeral Director and may wish to undertake the arrangements yourself.
Expenses may include:
Removal of the deceased
Care and embalming of the deceased
Hearse and Limousine
Notices in local papers
Preparation services of the deceased
Church and Minister fees
Cemetery or Crematorium Fees
Help with funeral costs
If you are on a low income and need financial help to pay for a funeral, you may be able to get a one-off Funeral Payment from the Social Fund. You might have to repay some or all of the payment from the estate of the person who died. Funeral Payments are usually paid by cheque, made out to the funeral director. However, the cheque is sent to you and you must pass it onto the funeral director. (See below on how to claim)
After you are widowed you may be able to claim Bereavement Allowance (Form BB1), the taxable weekly benefit paid to you for up to 52 weeks from the date of death of your husband, wife or civil partner. (See below on how to claim)
If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to get Bereavement Payment, a one-off, lump-sum payment of £2,000 that's tax-free. (See below on how to claim)
How to claim
To claim for the Funeral Payment, Bereavement Allowance or Bereavement Payment, ask for a bereavement benefits pack by contacting The Department of Work and Pensions Office at Fortune House, 7-3 Monument Hill, Weybridge, Surrey, telephone 0845 6043719. Or you can find out more information and download a the form from their website:
If there is nobody to make suitable funeral arrangements
If there are no suitable funeral arrangements for the disposal of the deceased, the Borough Council will exercise its duty under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act, 1984 to arrange for the deceased to be cremated or buried. This legislation allows for the recovery of expenses from the deceased's estate. For further information please contact the Cemeteries Manager.
It is not a requirement to purchase the grant of exclusive right of burial in a grave space. A burial may be arranged in a common grave where the exclusive rights are not purchased. A common grave is shared with unrelated burials. Read more on Common Graves.
There is no legal requirement to use the services of a funeral director to make the arrangements on your behalf. You may wish to make all the arrangements yourself, although a degree of courage and determination will be needed. If the death occurred at home, the deceased's doctor and nearest relative should be contacted as soon as possible.
Once the doctor has certified the cause of death, the body may be washed and dressed.If the death occurred in hospital the family will need to arrange for the body to be collected from the mortuary. A coffin can be made or purchased from a funeral director, and a large estate car or similar vehicle may be used for transportation of the deceased.
The death must be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages at the Registry Office. A Certificate for Burial or Cremation will be issued to allow the funeral to ahead. Arrangements for the ceremony can usually be made direct with the cemetery or crematorium. If a religious ceremony is required on the day of the funeral, the cemetery or crematorium usually has a list of ministers you may contact. If you do not wish to have a religious ceremony, a Civil Funeral Celebrant or Humanist Officiate may be used, or you could even conduct the ceremony yourself.
The Council can help with the funeral arrangements of a deceased person who has died in the Borough if there is no one else able to make arrangements. Every effort will be made to recover the costs of the funeral from the deceased's estate.We make every effort to ensure these arrangements reflect the ethnic background or religious beliefs of the deceased.