In Times of Bereavement
In the unfortunate event that a person 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 (8 days in Scotland). 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 (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) 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. This will also explain the registration process for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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:
- National Association of Funeral Directors
- National Federation of Funeral Directors
- Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
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.
For free independent advice on bereavement issues, you can find more information at lastingpost.com.
Cruse Bereavement Care
Family and friends can be good people to talk to but, for many reasons, you might want to find another sympathetic ear.
Our Bereavement Support Volunteers (BSVs) have experience of helping people through grieving; they have been trained to listen and help you work your way through the emotional work of grief.
- Telephone: 01865 245398
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Child Death Helpline
The Child Death Helpline is staffed by volunteers, all of them bereaved parents. They aim to provide a quality freephone service to anyone affected by the death of a child of any age. Callers to the helpline might be parents, grandparents, siblings, other family members, friends or involved professionals. The Child Death Helpline provide support not only at times of crisis but also for ongoing needs of callers over their lifetime.
- Telephone: 0800 282 986 / 0808 800 6019
- Email: email@example.com
SeeSaw provides grief support for children, young people and their families in Oxfordshire. Through appropriate and timely support, SeeSaw can help to reduce the emotional, psychological and mental health consequences of bereavement. Young people are then able to face the future with hope.
- Telephone: 01865 744 768
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lullaby Trust
The Lullaby Trust provides emotional support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness of sudden infant death. They are committed to supporting research to understand why so many babies a year die suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK and to find out more about how to prevent these tragic deaths.
Sands is the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
We operate throughout the UK, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby, working to improve the care bereaved parents receive, and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.