Public health funerals

Paying for the funeral and estate administration

We can recover our costs when we arrange a funeral from the deceased's estate.

We look to recover the full cost of the funeral plus a fixed administration fee of £300.

Funeral costs are the first claim on any estate, and we can recover our costs by:

  • the sale of goods belonging to the deceased at public auction,
  • contacting the deceased’s bank or building society
  • putting a charge against property where the deceased is a part-owner. We recover our costs from the property sale

We are not empowered to administer the estate.

We will refer the case to the Bona Vacantia division of the Government Legal Department where:

  • we cannot find any known relatives
  • there is a surplus of over £500.00 once we have recovered our costs

If the estate value is under £500, we can keep the money.

Where we are aware of know relatives, we will hold any money or property belonging to the deceased's estate. We hold the money or property until someone can show they have the legal right to administer the deceased's estate.

We will not give money or property to anyone without proper lawful authority.

You can contact our Cemeteries team for more information or to ask for a copy of this procedure.

Cemetery Services

Address: Unit 4
Lakes Industrial Park
Lower Chapel Hill
Braintree
Essex
CM7 3RU

Telephone: 01376 557772