Public health funerals

We have a duty under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 to bury or cremate deceased persons if no other suitable arrangements can be made.

This only applies where the death took place within our borough and not within a hospital. If the death occurs in a hospital, an application must be made to the hospital.

How to apply for a public health funeral

If a person dies without leaving a will and with no next of kin and there are no relatives or friends who are able or willing to take responsibility for the funeral arrangements, you can make an application for us to arrange and pay for a basic funeral. This does not include flowers or a following car.

It is important to contact us as soon as possible if a burial or cremation is required. On no account should any possessions, papers or money be removed before our officers have been informed and carried out an inventory of the estate.

Any money belonging to the deceased, such as savings in a bank or building society account, money from insurance policies or pensions including occupational pensions, will be used towards funeral expenses.

From the 1 April 2018, if we have to arrange a public funeral and there are sufficient funds left in the deceased's estate after payment of the funeral costs, an administration charge of £350 will be made to cover our time spent in handling the funeral arrangements.

If there are relatives who are on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits, help with the cost of a funeral can be obtained by applying for a funeral expenses payment from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Where there is no next of kin and in excess of £500 left in the estate after the funeral costs have been paid, the matter will be referred to the Government Legal Department as required.

View a list of funerals arranged by Woking Borough Council since 2010


Phone: 01483 755 855