When a death occurs and a doctor has certified death the Registrar has to issue a death certificate. You will also be issued with a certificate authorising the funeral to take place. Only provisional funeral arrangements should be made until the death has been registered. Your funeral director can help you with these arrangements


The choice of funeral directors is important. The funeral standards Council, the National Association of Funeral Directors (opens in a new tab) and the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (opens in a new tab) all have a code of practice. Members of these trade bodies should give you an estimate of costs -their own fees and those fees which should be added to your account. (eg ministers fees). It is possible to pay for your funeral in advance if you want.

For more information about this contact a reputable Funeral Director - one who is a member of one the recognised associations.

Religious funerals

A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. It is the opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to give thanks for the life, which has now completed its journey in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping.

The funeral service may be held in a persons home, church, a cemetery, a crematorium, chapel, mosque or temple. It can be very short and quiet with only a few members of the family present or a larger celebration of joy and thanksgiving for a life.

Non religious funerals

If you want a non-religious funeral, then the British Humanist Association (opens in a new tab) runs a helpline (020 7079 3580) which will put you in touch with a local secular officiant.

Alternative funerals

A small but growing number of DIY funerals are held every year. Some people desire to be personally involved at every stage of saying farewell to the deceased Some people desire to find an inexpensive or greener alternative to the conventional funeral. You can deal with all the arrangements (from the time of death to the final interment) or you can arrange to handle just a part of the ceremonies. The Natural Death Centre (opens in a new tab) publishes a resource list for DIY burials. Telephone them on 020 7359 8391

Cremations and Memorials

Cemeteries and Burials


ID: 143, revised 20/07/2023