Frequently Asked Questions
The total cost of a funeral will depend on the options you choose, for example, the type of coffin, funeral vehicles, or if you require flowers, stationery or memorials. Third party charges that are out of our control may also vary by location, including minister, celebrant, doctors and crematorium / burial fees. When you have made your funeral choices, or chosen one of our funeral packages we will give you a detailed written estimate of the costs.
View our funeral packages here.
Assistance is available from the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Social Fund which can provide assistance to individuals who meet the required criteria. To qualify you must demonstrate that you are the most suitable person to take responsibility for paying the funeral account – additionally you must be receiving at least one of several qualifying benefits and have insufficient savings to pay for the funeral.
The DWP Funeral Payment will provide a limited amount, which may cover a very basic funeral, or provide a contribution towards a more traditional funeral. Your chosen funeral firm will be able to advise you about the qualifying criteria and the likely contribution available. Form SF200 can be downloaded here –
By law, all deaths in England and Wales must be registered, normally within five days (unless by prior arrangement with the registrar)
In England and Wales, the death has to be registered at the registrar’s office in the area where the death occurred. This is the case even if the death occurred a distance from home. However, there is a facility available to attend your local registrar’s office to register a death that occurred in another area. This is called Registration by Declaration, and involves the two registrars transferring documents by fax and post in order to register the death. Depending on the circumstances, this can delay the date of the funeral – ask your chosen funeral firm for advice.
There are a number of people who can register a death,
- A relative or family member
- Someone present at the death
- An occupant of the house where the death occurred
- An official from the hospital where the death occurred
- The person making the arrangements with the funeral directors
- Date and place of death
- The person’s full name (and maiden name, if applicable)
- The person’s date and place of birth
- Their occupation
- Their last address
- Whether they were in receipt of a State Pension or other benefits
- Full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
- copies of the entry in the register – on payment of the prescribed fee. NB: copies of the entry, which are usually required for legal purposes, may be obtained from the registrar up to six months from the date of registration. After six months copies can be obtained from The Registrar General, PO Box 2, Southport PR8 2JD;
- the registrar’s Certificate for Burial or Cremation (this form is green in colour). NB: this form should be handed to your nominated funeral firm, which will hand it to the appropriate authority in due course;
- a Certificate of Registration or Notification of Death. This certificate is needed in order to claim benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP);
- leaflets on State benefits and Form 48 (procedure for dealing with Wills).
It is possible that the DWP Form SF200 will be available for those that may need to make a claim for a Funeral Payment from the Social Fund. Once completed, this form should be taken or sent to your local JobCentre Plus with any pension or benefit books in the deceased’s name, or in joint names. Find out more about funeral and death related benefits here – https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/bereavement
If the doctor will not issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death it is usually because the circumstances surrounding the death mean it should be referred to HM Coroner for further investigation.
The doctor can only complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death if they know the cause of death having seen the deceased for this illness in the 14 days prior to death occurring.
The doctor cannot issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death if the deceased:-
- Has died a violent or an unnatural death;
- Has died a sudden death of which the cause is unknown;
- Has died in prison or in such a place or in such circumstances as to require an inquest under any other Act.
- If the death does not fall into these criteria but the deceased underwent an operation shortly before death or there is a suggestion of a possible industrial disease, then it is probable that the doctor will not complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death but refer the death to HM Coroner in whose sub-district the death occurred.
- If the death is referred to HM Coroner their office will arrange for the deceased to be taken to their mortuary in order that the death can be investigated and, if necessary, an inquest opened.