Assisted Funerals

If you unable or unwilling to arrange a funeral for a family member or friend

The local authority has a duty to dispose of any person who has died or `found to be dead` in their area in any case where it appears to the local authority that no suitable arrangements for disposal of the body have been or are being made.

Bereavement service have conducted 39 public health funerals in 2023. Where possible we as a team take steps to locate a next of kin. Engaging with them sensitively and keeping them informed of arrangements is important to us and ensuring dignity and respect for the deceased and families at this difficult time.

The public health act 1984 provides the local authority with the legal right to recoup the cost of the public health funeral from the deceased’s estate (for example; furniture,electric goods,jewellery or other personal effects). Under the act the costs can be claimed as a civil debt, provided that proceedings are bought within three years after the sum becomes due.

Local authorities are not responsible for managing the deceased’s estate, beyond their right to recoup the costs.

We take pride in the fact that we deal with assisted funerals in a timely manner with sensitivity and respect throughout this process.

Useful links :

Funeral benefits What to do when someone dies: step by step – GOV.UK (

Citizens advice  What to do after a death – Citizens Advice

Local Funeral directors

Opening Times

Colchester Cemetery & Crematorium have multiple facilities with different opening times. Please check the opening times page for more information.

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