Arrange a funeral

Most funerals can only take place once the death has been registered or if the death hasn't been reported to the coroner. You can use a funeral director or arrange a funeral yourself.

It is generally up to the executor or nearest relative to decide whether the body is to be cremated or buried. They'll need to check if the deceased has left any instructions for their funeral in their will although they don't have to follow these instructions.

A funeral director will help you to decide where the body should stay until the time and place of the funeral. They'll also advise you on the various funeral arrangements, including types of coffins, the service, ministers/officiants and music. You'll also need to decide whether you want flowers or donations for a named charity. If there's to be a service or ceremony you'll need to contact the appropriate person for the religion or belief concerned.

We recommend using a funeral director that's a member of one of the following associations. They'll give you a price list on request and won't exceed any written estimate without your permission:

If you want to organise a funeral yourself email cemeteries@plymouth.gov.uk or call 01752 306104/01752 304837 for guidance.

You'll need to give the funeral director the certificate for burial or cremation (green form), an order for burial or a certificate for cremation which gives permission for the body to be buried or cremated.

Moving a body for a funeral abroad

You'll need permission from a coroner to move a body for a funeral abroad. You'll need to get this permission at least four days before the body is to be moved.