These are some things to consider:
- Do not make funeral arrangements until you are sure that the death does not have to be reported to the coroner, as this could affect the date when the funeral can be held.
- The deceased person may have left instructions in their Will or a letter about their wishes.
- There may be an organ donor card or request for their body to be given for medical research.
- Check whether they had paid into a funeral plan to cover some or all of the costs.
- If there is no will or instructions the next of kin should decide what to do.
- If you arrange the funeral‚ you are responsible for paying the bill so first check where the money will come from and whether it will be enough. Most funeral directors will wait until probate has been granted or funds are released from the deceased person's bank account.
Certificate for Burial and Cremation (the green certificate)
- Certificate for Burial and Cremation must be taken to the cemetery on the day of the funeral and handed to the Cemetery Supervisor and not sent to the cemeteries office. The original green certificate must to taken with the coffin to the cemetery. If it is not produced at the cemetery legally the burial cannot take place.
- For short notice funerals and Muslim funerals we now require the Certificate for Burial and Cremation (the green certificate) before we will take a booking for a funeral; this must be emailed to
Cemetery interment form
This is required to be completed and delivered to us two clear working days before the burial is to take place cemetery interment form.
Most people require the funeral director to provide the following services as a minimum:
- arrange for burial or cremation as appropriate
- care for the deceased prior to the funeral
- make all the necessary arrangements
- provide appropriate staff
- provide a hearse to the nearest cemetery or crematorium
- provide a suitable coffin
- transfer the deceased from the place of death to the funeral director's premises.
Funeral Director Trade Associations
If you have a complaint and your funeral director belongs to either of the following trade associations they may be able to help you:
Undertakers are not required by law to obtain a license to practice their business and are not required to belong to a trade association. Under these circumstances if you have dissatisfaction about the service provided you may wish to contact our Trading Standards.
To give dignity and respect to each funeral service we allow one and a half hours between each funeral, which allows each bereaved family time to grieve without the pressure of being rushed, either by staff or other funeral parties.
Muslim, Saturday and short notice funerals
We accommodate about 90% of short notice burials where all the necessary legal documentation is provided, subject to operational demands, ground conditions, time permitting and existing burials.
If a Saturday funeral is required please contact the Cemeteries office as soon as possible. We only provide one burial time slot at 11am and which is straight to grave. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee to accommodate this
For a Saturday Muslim funeral arrangements must be made with the Cemeteries office by 10am the previous day. Organisations dealing with a death must contact the cemetery office at the earliest possible opportunity to make sure that we can accommodate the funeral. This should be confirmed before any other arrangements are made, particularly in respect of contacting distant relatives.
Please do not contact the Cemetery directly.
A surcharge is applied in accordance with our fee schedule for Saturday funerals.
We do not carry out Sunday or Public Bank Holidays funerals.
Gardens of Peace Muslim Cemetery
Getting quotes for funerals
Cost for the same service may vary considerably from one funeral director to another. You may wish to get more than one quote to compare costs. 'Disbursements' are fees paid to others for example:
- newspaper announcements
Funeral payments are normally recoverable from the deceased's estate.
Financial aid and allowances
If you are on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you are arranging, you may be able to get a Funeral Payment.
If your husband, wife or civil partner dies you may be able to get a Bereavement Payment: a one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment.
No next of kin
If there are no suitable funeral arrangements for the disposal of the deceased, the 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.
Alternatives to traditional funeral ceremonies
- A ceremony does not have to take place in a crematorium, cemetery or place of worship
- you do not have to have a funeral ceremony
- you do not have to use a religious minister
- you do not have to use a funeral director
- There are more options concerning the content of a funeral ceremony and its duration than many people realise.
civil funeral is an unique ceremony conducted by a trained celebrant, which combines a very personalised tribute about the deceased mixed with hymns or any other music, bible readings or poetry.
Natural Death Funerals
The majority of people choose to make their arrangements through a funeral director. But some people see 'do-it-yourself' funerals as more personal and less expensive. You can get information from the
Natural Death Centre.
Some funeral directors are willing to help with such funerals.
Support for stillborn and neonatal deaths
SANDS (Stillborn And Neonatal Death Society) is an organisation offering support when a baby dies during pregnancy or after birth.
Tel: 020 3876 8806