Funerals Arranged by the Council

Sometimes when someone dies, no next of kin can be found. In other circumstances, families may be unable, or unwilling, to pay for the funeral, we (the Council) have a legal duty (under Section 46 of the Public Health [Control of Diseases] Act 1984) to make the arrangements.

The person who has died may have been cared for by the local authority, been homeless, or living alone.

The local authority will do their best to trace and notify a person’s closest relatives, termed their next of kin, through any contact details or paperwork left by the person who died.

In some cases, a family may be notified about the death of a relative they had been estranged from. The family may be unable or unwilling to pay for the funeral, especially if the person who died left no estate from which to recover the funeral costs.

When this is the case, the next of kin will be asked to make a written statement to confirm that they are not prepared to arrange the funeral.

Please see our Recent Public Health Funerals document.

Page last updated: 03/09/2019