In Times of Bereavement
What to do after someone passes away
After someone 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. The ‘Register a Death’ page on the gov.uk website 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.
Some local councils run their own funeral services, for example for non-religious burials. The British Humanist Association can also help with non-religious funerals.
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.
Losing someone can be a difficult time for those left behind, but it isn't something that anyone needs to go through alone. If you are struggling after the loss of someone special, or would just like someone to have a chat to, there are lots of local and national services that can help.
Child Bereavement UK have a Buckinghamshire support centre for those who have lost a child and children and young people (up to 25) who are bereaved. They can provide face-to-face counselling, group support sessions and telephone consultations, as well as family support that includes children as well.
Gold Hill Baptist Church offer a range of groups and clubs open for anyone, this includes a widows club for those who have lost their partner.