Organising a Funeral
Before arranging a funeral it is important to check if the deceased left any instructions within their Will regarding their wishes. It may be that they wanted to donate their body for medical research or donate their organs for transplantation. Funeral arrangements may have already been made using a pre-payment plan or specific instructions may have been left concerning the funeral service itself. If there is a Will, the executor has the right to decide whether it should be a burial or cremation (even if the Will expresses a particular wish). If there is no Will, the next of kin should decide.
By law, a death must be registered. This is usually done in the county or borough in which the death occurred, although it is possible to register the death in another area by arrangement.
In order to register a death, the registry office will require the following:
When the death occurs at home
The nearest relative and family Doctor should be informed. The Doctor will complete a certificate stating the cause of death. If cremation is chosen, two Doctors are required to sign a certificate. The first Doctor will instruct the second Doctor, who can see the body in the mortuary or chapel of rest. The Doctors certificate must be taken to the Registrar in the registration sub-district where the death occurred, normally within five days.
When the death occurs in hospital
A certificate will be issued as above, but the hospital may wish to carry out a post mortem examination of the deceased. Before this occurs, consent must be obtained from the nearest relative.
When a death occurs suddenly
If the death was sudden, and the Doctor had not seen the patient within 14 days of death, the Coroner must be informed. The coroner will decide if it is necessary to carry out a post mortem examination. If it is decided that the death occurred from natural causes, the coroner will issue notification to the effect that an inquest is not required. Alternatively, the coroner may decide that an inquest should take place in order to establish the cause of death.
If a grave has already been purchased, you will need to provide the deeds or some other documents to show proof of ownership. If a new grave is required, you should decide in which cemetery the interment should take place and who will have exclusive right of burial named on the deed. In Carlisle you may wish to view the different types of graves available. The funeral director can make an appointment for you, and a member of staff will show you all the options.
The funeral director will ensure that all relevant documentation is delivered to Bereavement Services by 9am at least 48 working hours prior to the burial taking place.
You will need to advise the Doctor that a cremation is desired, so that two Doctor's signatures are obtained. In addition to the Death Certificate, a Form A Application for cremation is required. The funeral director will give you all the relevant forms, which must be completed by the Executor, the nearest surviving relative and witnessed by any householder to whom the applicant is known.
As with burial the funeral director will ensure that all the relevant documentation is delivered to Bereavement Services by 9.30am two full working days prior to the cremation.
Bereavement Services Costs
For information on bereavement and memorial fees see Downloadable Documents.