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For general advice about bereavement you might find the NHS choices article on bereavement useful.

Refer to NHS Inform for practical advice after a death.

Other Services

There are also several organisations and charities that provide specialist advice and support to those that have been bereaved:

  • Cruse Scotland — a charity, staffed by volunteers, to give bereavement support to people throughout Scotland. Despite lockdown and social distancing, Cruse Scotland’s services have remained open and been available to anyone bereaved, anywhere in Scotland. As social distancing measures are relaxed we anticipate that this may lead to an increased demand for bereavement support,Some patients may surface from lockdown struggling with their losses, even expressing signs of complicated or disenfranchised grief. At the time of writing all clients requesting bereavement support are allocated to one o four counselling team within a two week period, regardless of where they live in Scotland. In addition to bereavement support, we also offer social groups for people in Fife who have lost a loved one and are continuing to support them with a weekly conference call. The groups would welcome new members and the contact for that is [email protected] 07432635406
  • Helpline 0845 600 2227 Email [email protected] uk
  • Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity)
  • The Compassionate Friends
  • Child Bereavement UK

In Times of Bereavement

In the unfortunate event that a person has passed away, there are three things that must be done in the first few days;

  • Get a medical certificate from your GP or hospital doctor (this is necessary to register the death)
  • Register the death within 8 days. You will then receive the necessary documents for the funeral.
  • Make the necessary funeral arrangements.

Register the death

If the death has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal, they must give permission before registering the death.

You can register the death if you are a relative, a witness to the death, a hospital administrator or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

You can use the ‘Register a Death’ page on the website that will guide you through the process. This will also explain the registration process for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Arrange the funeral

The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people use a funeral director, though you can arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral directors

These organisations have codes of practice – they must give you a price list when asked.

Some local councils run their own funeral services, for example for non-religious burials. The British Humanist Association can also help with non-religious funerals.

Arranging the funeral yourself

Contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your local council to arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral costs

Funeral costs can include:

  • funeral director fees
  • things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called ‘disbursements’ or ‘third-party costs’), for example, crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
  • local authority burial or cremation fees

Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quotes.