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Your rights and options in arranging a funeral

You are entitled to arrange a funeral in a number of ways as long as you fulfil some basic legal requirements.

What must be done

The main requirements in England and Wales are:

  • that the death is certified by a doctor or coroner
  • that the death is registered with a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths
  • that the body is either buried or cremated

Your options

There are more options concerning funeral ceremonies than many people realise. For instance:

  • you do not have to have a funeral ceremony
  • you do not have to use a religious minister
  • you do not have to use a funeral director
  • a ceremony does not have to take place in a crematorium or place of worship

Woodland burial and other green options are increasingly available.

The use of a funeral director

The majority of people choose to make their arrangements through a funeral director, but some people see 'do-it-yourself' funerals as more personal and less expensive.

If this approach is preferable, you can find information from the Natural Death Centre. Some funeral directors are willing to help with such funerals.