Funerals, burials and cremations

Coronavirus: Important information

Death registrations are carried out by telephone appointment. If the death occurred in Surrey you can register the death over the telephone by making a death registration appointment.

Unless the death has been referred to the coroner, it is a legal requirement to register the death within five days.

You should register the death within five days of it occurring unless it has been referred to the coroner.

Funeral directors

Most people use a funeral director. Friends, family, clergy or your doctor may be able to suggest local funeral directors with a good reputation for you to use. Remember, their charges can vary considerably and you may want to get more than one quote to compare costs. It is best to choose a funeral director who is a member of one of the following trade associations. Both organisations have codes of practice and members must give you a price list when asked.

Arranging the funeral yourself

If it is preferred, the entire funeral can be handled by the bereaved family. Such a funeral is sometimes called a 'personalised', 'independent' or 'family only' funeral. There are various steps to take after you lose a loved one, see what to do after someone dies on GOV.UK for guidance.

Council cemeteries and crematoriums in Surrey are run by the district and borough councils. They may also be able to give you advice on alternative funeral arrangements or you may also find the Good Funeral Guide website useful when planning a funeral.

Paying for a funeral

If you are on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you are arranging, you may be able to get a funeral payment. How much you get depends on your circumstances and if you qualify.

Moving a body out of England or Wales

Only a coroner can give permission for a body to be moved out of England or Wales. This permission should be obtained at least four days before the body is to be moved (although the coroner may be able to give permission sooner) so that any necessary enquiries may be carried out.

Body donation for medical education

If you are considering donating a body for medical education you may wish to contact one of the following organisations who will be able to advise you:

Scattering ashes

Many people scatter ashes in a location of special significance to the deceased and the family. There is usually no restriction although you should seek the permission of the landowner first.

You can also search online for land ownership at the Land Registry's find a property service.