The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. You can pay for a funeral director to arrange the funeral or do it yourself.
You should check if the person who died had made arrangements for their funeral - this could include prepaid funeral plans or life insurance.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arranging or attending a funeral
There are restrictions affecting funeral arrangements because of coronavirus. Contact your funeral director, if you’re using one, for help and guidance about how this could affect you.
You must respect social distancing guidelines at a funeral and keep 2 metres apart from people outside your household.
Who can attend
Up to 30 family members and friends can attend a funeral. The venue must have enough space for you to follow social distancing guidelines. Check with the venue if you’re not sure.
You should not attend a funeral if you’re unwell with coronavirus symptoms.
You can still attend a funeral if:
- you’re self-isolating because someone in your household has symptoms but you do not have symptoms yourself
- you’re self-isolating because you’ve travelled to England in the last 14 days
If you hire a funeral director, choose a funeral director who’s a member of either:
- National Association of Funeral Directors
- The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
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 quote. You can get quotes from several funeral directors to see what is available within your budget.
The Money Advice Service has information about funeral costs and how to reduce them.
Paying for a funeral
The funeral can be paid for:
- from a financial scheme the person had, for example a pre-paid funeral plan or insurance policy
- by you, or other family members or friends
- with money from the person’s estate (savings, for example) - getting access to this is called applying for a ‘grant of representation’ (sometimes called ‘applying for probate’)
You can apply for a Funeral Expenses 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.