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.
Other useful links
Bereavement Advice Centre
Bereavement Advice Centre is a free helpline and web-based information service provided by Co-op Legal Services. They provide practical information and advice and signposting on the many issues and procedures that face us after the death of someone close.
- Tel: 0800 634 9494
Bereavement Support Service Southwark
If you are registering the death of a Southwark resident they can offer you a full notification service. Here we will take the necessary information from you in order to be able to act on your behalf. If the deceased was not a Southwark resident, they can signposting you to the organisations you may need to contact and provide you with an information pack.
- Tel: 020 7525 7651
Child Death Helpline
A helpline for anyone affected by the death of a child in any circumstance, however recent or long ago.
- Tel: 0800 282 986 or 0808 800 6019
Cruse Bereavement Care
The Cruse Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement.
Faces in Focus
Faces in Focus is a young people’s Counselling Service for 11 – 25 year olds who mainly live, study or work in Southwark and Lambeth.
- Tel: 0207 403 2444
- Email: email@example.com
Samaritans is a unique charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection. They offer a safe place for you to talk at any point, in your own way.
- Tel: 116 123
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.
- Tel: 0808 802 6868
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org