Procedure before burial or cremation
Once the cause of death has been ascertained – either by a medical practitioner or by the coroner at the Coroners An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. where reportable death cases are taken – the coroner A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. A document signed by parties ending a court action. The party who began the action agrees to drop it, often in exchange for a payment by the other party. Also called terms of settlement. the body, which then may be taken for burial or cremation (s 47 CA 2008). In practice, this almost always means that the body is conveyed to the undertaker.
If the body is with the coroner, an application must be made to the coroner to release the body (s 48). Under the CA 2008 (s 48), the coroner can decide who the body is released to, having considered that factors set out in the CA 2008 (s 48). This decision can be appealed in the Supreme Court (s 85).
At this stage several choices must be made. First, the choice of funeral director must be decided upon. The Formal delivery of legal documents to a person to tell them there are court proceedings against them which they must defend, or to make sure a witness in a case knows when they have to go to court to give evidence. (1) A statement giving the details of a crime an accused person is claimed to have committed. (2) A personal property security. (3) A judge’s directions to a jury at the end of a case. varies between directors and consequently ‘shopping around’ can make savings. The service charge can be quoted to include the coffin or casket (unit pricing) or separately from the price of the coffin or casket (functional pricing).
The service charge covers such things as the use of a hearse, the transportation and disposal of remains, making arrangements with the cemetery or crematorium, and the taking care of legal requirements. It may also provide for costly but unnecessary extras, such as the use of a funeral parlour chapel, mourning coach, press notices and embalming.
The price of the funeral will vary greatly, depending not only on the choice of funeral directors, but also on the choice of burial or cremation (of course, the wishes of the deceased should be followed in the making of this choice, which in some instances may preclude a cremation, see ‘Cremation’, below), the choice of cemetery, and the number of extra services supplied by the funeral director. The law does not require a minister or formal ceremony, embalming, the placement of a notice in the press (see ‘Death notices’, below), or the delivery of the coffin to the cemetery or crematorium in a hearse. Decorum, however, will be required by the trustees; therefore, if private transport of the coffin is organised it should be undertaken in a covered vehicle (e.g. panel van) with curtains on the windows.
Organising the funeral
The next of kin are not obliged to arrange a funeral. Whoever authorises the funeral director may be personally liable to meet the The amount charged by a lawyer for legal work. Lawyers can only charge the amount agreed with the client in a costs agreement or the amount stated by a court in its rules. The party who loses a case usually has to pay all their own costs plus most of the costs reasonably incurred by the other side. See also indemnity costs. of the funeral unless it is clear the All the property a person has, including real property and personal property. It is often used to describe property belonging to someone who has died, or the property of a bankrupt. is liable to pay the account.
If there is an The person named in a will as the one who must ensure that the deceased person’s intentions, as stated in the will, are carried out.
If there is a will that names an executor, then they have Lawful control over a person which prevents them leaving. A person under arrest is in police custody and is not free to go. A person in prison is serving a custodial sentence that keeps them confined to the prison grounds. of the body and ultimate control of its disposal (but see ‘Cremation’ and ‘Donation of body for anatomical research’, below).
If there is no executor
If there is no executor or interested relative, then a friend can organise the funeral without necessarily becoming obliged to administer the dead person’s affairs.