8. Help with the funeral
Normally the funeral is arranged by a member of the family or a close friend. This section explains what happens when there are no surviving family or friends available or they are not able to arrange the funeral. There are also other circumstances in which public authorities will help with or arrange a funeral. These are explained below.
When someone dies in hospital, a local authority home or in temporary accommodation
The funeral may be arranged by the NHS Board, NHS Trust or the Social Work Department of the local authority. The authority that arranges the funeral can make a claim on the estate of the person who died.
Ask at the hospital or the home.
In the event of a stillbirth
The NHS Board may arrange and meet the cost of funerals of stillbirths occurring in hospitals or in the community under the NHS.
If no other arrangements can be made
The local authority has a duty to bury or cremate a dead person. It may also claim on the estate. Ask at your local council office.
Funerals conducted by public authorities are conducted with dignity and respect and bear no resemblance to the "paupers' burials" of the past. Some local authorities prefer to carry out cremations rather than burials, but the wishes of the person or his or her relatives are normally respected.