The main requirements in England and Wales are as follows:

  • The death is certified by a doctor or coroner
  • The death is registered with a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths
  • The body is either buried or cremated.


  • You do not have to have a funeral ceremony
  • You do not have to use a religious minister
  • You do not have to use a funeral director
  • A ceremony does not have to take place in a crematorium or place of worship.

There are increasingly more options concerning funeral arrangements than many people realise.

  • Woodland burial and other green options are increasingly available
  • A variety of types and styles of coffin and funeral cars are available
  • The majority of people choose to make their arrangements through a funeral director, but some people see ‘do-it-yourself’ funerals as more personal and less expensive. If this approach appeals, and you have time to research and prepare, enquire at the cemeteries and crematorium department of you local authority for guidance.