When the death has been registered by the Registrar, you will be given a certificate authorising the funeral (The Green Form).
It is often assumed, quite wrongly, that funerals can be completed only with the use of a funeral director. Although a funeral director will be invited to organise the majority of funerals, some people prefer to organise funerals themselves.
More information regarding cremation and burial in the Torbay area may be obtained from the Torquay Crematorium .
Organising a funeral with a Funeral Director
A funeral director can make all the arrangements for the funeral, burial or cremation, religious or secular service. They typically organise the funeral by collecting and moving the body, arranging embalming and viewing of the deceased, providing a coffin, hearse and other elements.
The choice of funeral director is important. You should feel comfortable and confident with them. All have a code of practice and should give you an estimate of costs. You can ask for this estimate in advance and it's a good idea to ask different firms to quote so that you can compare costs.
The National Association of Funeral Directors maintain a list of funeral directors who have signed up to a code of practice.
Organising a funeral without a Funeral Director
Some people do not wish to use a funeral director. The entire funeral can be handled by the bereaved family and Bereavement Services are able to assist in facilitating this. Such a funeral is referred to as 'Personalised' or 'Independent'.
Funerals arranged by the bereaved can contain a far higher personal input, which evokes more emotion and often celebrates the life of the deceased in a more moving and individual way.
It is your right:
- To organise a funeral without the use of a funeral director.
- As executor (or next of kin) to be given the body by a mortuary, hospital, etc., in order to carry out a funeral without a funeral director.
- To obtain a coffin (minimum biodegradable type).
For more information regarding arranging a funeral please see DirectGov: Arranging a funeral and Torquay Crematorium .
What if there is no one to arrange a funeral?
Where no suitable funeral arrangements have been made or are being made for a deceased person who has died in the Torbay area, the Council may have a duty to help out (under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984). Where possible expenses will be recovered from the estate of the deceased. In this instance the Torbay and Southern Devon Care Trust will arrange for the funeral of any person who died in hospital or whilst travelling to hospital.
Who Pays for the Funeral?
If possible the cost of the funeral is met out of the estate of the deceased, or from a spouse or a parent. If details of family and friends are found they will be informed of the death and invited to make the funeral arrangements. If it is not possible to contact a spouse or a parent the cost will be met by the Council.
Property and Personal Effects
If the deceased left furniture or other personal effects arrangements will be made for the disposal of these items and any money recovered offset against the cost of the funeral.
When all costs are known and the value of the estate exceeds this, the Treasury Solicitor is informed.
More information on paying for a funeral DirectGov: Paying for a funeral .
- Registrar Enquiries
- Tel: 01803 207130
- Fax: 01803 525388