Funeral expenses

To discuss the arrangements you'd like you may wish to contact a Funeral Director. You are entitled to ask for a free quotation and are under no obligation to use a Funeral Director if you want to undertake the arrangements yourself.

Expenses may include:

  • Doctor's certificates

  • 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

  • Flowers

  • Cemetery or crematorium fees

  • Reception arrangement

  • Memorials

Help with funeral costs

If you're 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 how to claim below.)

Bereavement Allowance

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 how to claim below.)

Bereavement Payment

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 how to claim below.)

How to claim

To claim for the Funeral Payment, Bereavement Allowance or Bereavement Payment, ask for a bereavement benefits pack from 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 contact the cemeteries team.


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.

Independent funerals

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.

Municipal funerals

We 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 try to ensure arrangements reflect the ethnic background or religious beliefs of the deceased.

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