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Help with arranging a funeral

The city council may arrange a funeral on behalf of anyone who dies within Birmingham City Council’s boundaries when no one else is willing or able to arrange one.

If the person has died in hospital we may have an agreement in place for them to make the funeral arrangements on our behalf. You should check with the hospital to see whether this is the case before contacting us.

If the Council arranges a funeral, the funeral will be by way of cremation unless the Authority believes that cremation would be against the wishes of the deceased.

The cremated remains will be made available for the family to collect if they wish to do so.

Alternatively, they can be scattered in the garden of remembrance at the crematorium either by the staff or by the family.

Burial – If the Council arranges a burial unless the deceased person has the funds the cover the cost it will in a ‘public grave’, meaning, the grave used may contain more than one person and not all the same family.

There would be no headstone because it is a shared grave.

If there is enough money for a funeral

If the person who has died has left enough money or property, we can arrange for a private funeral that is as close as possible to their last known wishes, or the wishes of their family, carers or friends.

We use our contracted funeral director (C Bastock Limited) to arrange the funeral, unless:

  • the deceased stated in writing that they wanted a particular funeral director; or
  • the funeral director that they chose has already been paid.

We may make a small administrative charge for work we've carried out and for the cost of the funeral.

After any admin and funeral charges have been deducted, any remaining money will go to the Treasury Solicitor, in accordance with their guidelines.

If there is not enough money for a funeral

If the person who has died has no estate (no money or property), we'll arrange a simple funeral. This will be within the city boundary using C Bastock Limited as the funeral directors.

Note: Under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, the funeral expenses, after-tax owed to the government, are the first call on any estate (money or property held after death).

The Council is empowered under the Act to collect all sums of money due or belonging to the deceased and sell any belongings of the deceased in order to help offset the costs.

Any shortfall will be borne by the Council or the Health Authority/Trust.

What standard of funeral will be arranged?

The funeral director is contracted to provide a dignified funeral and the general manner of the funeral is such that an ordinary observer could not differentiate between this and any other funeral service.

We will make sure that the preparations for the funeral are carried out in a dignified and sensitive way. We will also take into consideration the deceased’s religious and cultural background.

We will let family, carers and friends know the date, time and place of the funeral, so they can attend.

Funeral Contractor:

The contracted funeral director, C. Bastock Limited, is available 24 hours for 365 days of the year.

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