Public Burials

In the absence of satisfactory arrangements the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984, requires the Local Authority to make arrangements for the disposal of deceased persons who have died in their area. The Council will register the death, instruct the funeral director, and secure the assets of the deceased to cover the funeral expenses. Any remaining assets after costs may be claimed by a qualifying relative, or passed on to H.M. Treasury.

We will at all times have consideration for the wishes of the deceased when instructing the funeral director and determining whether a burial or cremation is required. All reasonable efforts will be made to contact any known family or close friends of the deceased.

If a Last Will and Testament is found the legal Executor of the estate will be written to informing him or her of the death and asking them to take responsibility for the administration of the estate and funeral arrangements. If the Executor refuses to take responsibility or the Executor or beneficiaries cannot be contacted, the department will endeavour to comply with the wishes stated in the Will (with regards to funeral arrangements) and the costs will be recovered from the estate.

If the deceased’s care was funded by the Council it is likely that the Adult Social Care will make arrangements for the funeral. However, the hospital will take responsibility if the death occurs in the hospital. The Environmental Health Department will take responsibility if the death occurs at home or on the street.