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What Legal Documents Are Required For Funeral Arrangements?

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When arranging a funeral for a loved one, several documents are needed before planning can go ahead. Understanding what paperwork is required during this difficult time can help to make the process more straightforward. 

close-up of man filling in funeral legal documents

Read on for more information on the legal documents required for funeral arrangements.  

Death Certificate  

One of the most important legal documents for funeral arrangements is the death certificate. Before a funeral can take place, the death needs to be registered legally by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This is commonly known as a death certificate or certified copy of an entry of death.  

To receive a death certificate, the death needs to be formally recognised by a medical certificate. This is usually obtained from a doctor, GP or coroner. Once you have this certificate, you can apply for a death certificate to start planning a funeral and settling affairs.  

The current cost of a death certificate is £11 in England and Wales, £10 in Scotland and £8 in Northern Ireland. When dealing with the financial and legal affairs of a loved one, you will need to send an original copy of this certificate. Some people choose to purchase several copies. However, organisations will send back death certificates when requested so you can reuse them.  

Certificate for Burial or Cremation  

A certificate for burial or cremation is also known as a ‘green form’. Your funeral director needs this certificate to start the funeral arrangements. This certificate allows a person to be buried or cremated and gives permission to the funeral director.  

This certificate is issued free of charge.  

Documents needed for arranging a burial funeral 

For a burial funeral, a grave plot must be purchased. When applying for a plot, you will be issued deeds to this space. Your funeral director will need these documents to make the necessary arrangements.  

Documents needed for arranging a cremation 

Applying for a cremation usually involves filling out a form named Cremation Form 1. Your funeral director can assist in completing this form, after which it will be sent to the local authority.  

Sometimes other forms are required. However, they are typically requested by the funeral director and transferred to the crematorium.  

Certificate of Registration of Death 

If your loved one received benefits or state pension, the Registrar might issue a Certificate of Registration of Death or ‘white form’. This needs to be sent to the Jobcentre Plus office to inform them of the death.  

This certificate is also issued free of charge.  

Checking a loved one’s funeral arrangements  

Arranging a funeral and sorting the paperwork can be distressing for families, but our experienced Bristol funeral directors can help to simplify the process. In some cases, your loved one may have organised a prepaid funeral plan to relieve the stress of this challenging time. Once the relevant documentation is obtained, their wishes are carried out according to the funeral plan.  

We’re here to help 

We understand that organising a funeral is a challenging time for everyone. So, at Jamieson independent funeral directors in Bristol, we’re here to help make the arrangements as smooth as possible.  

Obtaining legal documents for funeral arrangements can be confusing and stressful. If you require assistance with the documentation you need and what’s involved – please contact us for advice on 0117 956 4796 or by email at

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