Step by step guide

Working out what to do first when someone dies can seem overwhelming. This guide breaks down what you need to do as soon as possible, as well as in the weeks and months after someone dies

We often do not realise how many practical tasks there are to do when someone dies. We can’t cover every set of circumstances, so please call our free Bereavement advice helpline on 0808 164 2239 for any further information or advice. If we don’t know the answer we will find out and call you back or tell you who to contact for what you need.

Funeral Partners bereavement advice

Open Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm and Saturday 9.00am – 2.00pm

There are several steps in the Funeral Planning process you will have to consider:

  • Making the “first calls” once the death has been confirmed by a professional. These would include a call to a funeral director who would arrange to have the deceased moved from the place of death.
  • Preparation and transportation of the deceased to a mortuary or funeral director’s premises
  • Pre-Arrangements including a doctor issuing a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and registering the death at a Registrar’s office
  • Funeral Arrangements. A key step where you and your family, usually with the support of a funeral director, plan and arrange all the elements of the funeral as a fitting farewell for your loved one or relative.
  • Cemetery or Cremation Arrangements. Whether you choose to have a burial or cremation service your funeral director can offer support and advice on the local cemetery, crematorium or natural woodland burial sites.
  • Memorial Masonry. Whether you have chosen burial or cremation, a memorial offers a focal point for family and friends to visit and remember a loved one.
  • Estate, Financial, and Administrative Matters

Types of funerals

There are a number of different types of funerals available. Which type of funeral service is right for your loved one?

What happens at a cremation service?

Cremations are fast becoming the norm in Britain with over 70% of families choosing this type of funeral.


When someone passes away in the UK, the process of repatriating someone to another country can be a complicated task for anyone to deal with.

Further Reading: Cost of a funeral

Find out about funeral costs and what financial support could be available