4. 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, eg 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’), eg 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 quote.

Paying for a funeral

The funeral can be paid for:

  • from a financial scheme the person had, eg a pre-paid funeral plan or insurance policy
  • by you, or other family members or friends
  • with money from the person’s estate (eg savings) - getting access to this is called applying for a ‘grant of representation’ (sometimes called ‘applying for probate’)

You can apply for a Funeral Payment if you have difficulty paying for the funeral.

Moving a body for a funeral abroad

You need permission from a coroner to move a body for a funeral abroad. Apply at least 4 days before you want the body to be moved.

Find a local coroner using the Coroners’ Society of England and Wales website.

There is a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.