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.

Specialist bereavement services

Cruse Bereavement Support

Grief can be overwhelming, you don't have to deal with it alone. Cruse helps people through one of the most painful times in life – with bereavement support, information and campaigning.  Visit the Cruse website:  or call the helpline  0808 808 1677

Supoort for young people

CHUMS Social Enterprise CIC are now delivering specialist support in Kent and Medway to children and young people from pre-school age (three-and-a-half years-old) to 25-years-old who are experiencing complex grief or who have had a traumatic bereavement.

Bereavement and grief present unique challenges for all who experience them but children and young people who experience the loss of a loved one unexpectedly often require specialist help and support through our work.

CHUMS will offer bereavement support in Kent and Medway through bereavement groups for children and young people; 1:1 bereavement support; telephone advice and guidance and bereavement literature. Details of this support will be widely publicised within education settings, primary care, youth groups and other relevant organisations, whilst referrals including self-referrals will be available via an online form.

For full details of our new services, visit the CHUMS website. Alternatively you can contact the CHUMS Kent team by phone on 01622 427300, or by email on