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 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.

Funeral directors

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

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.

Visit for more information.


Cruse Bereavement Counselling

Helpline 08088081677

Northamptonshire 07772428532

9.00 am – 17.00pm Mon – Fri




Address: 6 Regent Square, Northampton NN1 2NQ

Phone: 01604 634310

Hours: Opens Monday Wednesday and  Friday 10:00 am  – 16.00pm


Age UK Advice Line

Bereavement Services · Bereavement Advice And Support

0800 678 1602 Free to call 8am – 7pm



Call any time, day or night 116 123

196A Kettering Road, Northampton NN1 4BJ



Need to talk to Macmillan

0808 808 0000

7 days a week 8am – 8pm


Sue Ryder Bereavement Support Service




SOBS Charity ( Charity Number 1098815) Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide


National Helpline 0300 111 5065 



Visit GOV.UK for a range of information, regarding Bereavement Payments and Benefits.

Home (https://

Benefits  (

Death and benefits  (


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