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Public health funerals

If a person dies within the district and there are no known relatives or friends able to make the necessary arrangements, then we are required to register the death and arrange the funeral.

A public health funeral is only carried out when it appears that no other agency or persons are willing or able to make suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body. Residents of the district who pass away in another area are not the responsibility of the Council.

We will conduct a search of the property of the deceased with a view to finding details of next of kin, a will or bank details.

We will then contact a local funeral director to make the arrangements. We normally opt for a simple burial in a common grave with a short graveside ‘service’ performed by a local minister. We will not pay for the cost of limousines, flowers or a headstone.

Funeral costs

We are entitled to recover the costs of a funeral from the estate of the deceased by selling their belongings or claiming monies from a bank account. We will not part-fund a funeral.

If you are in receipt of certain social security benefits, you may be entitled to a grant to help cover funeral costs from Hertfordshire County Council or GOV.UK.

Recent funerals

A list of recent public health funerals and more information about how we will carry out the funeral can be found in the documents below.

If you would like to be notified of any amendments to the list of public health funerals, email us at