We are responsible for arranging a funeral when someone dies within the district boundary if:
- no funeral arrangements have been made
- no relatives of the deceased can be found, or
- the relatives of the deceased are unable or not prepared to arrange a funeral
This responsibility falls to us under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. The Act also empowers us to recover costs incurred in making the funeral arrangements from the estate of the deceased (property and possessions).
If the deceased lived within the Dover area but passed away outside of the Dover District boundary, the funeral arrangements will be the responsibility of the local authority where they died.
If funeral arrangements have been made, or the funeral has taken place we will not get involved. We cannot provide funding for funeral arrangements to families, whether the funeral has taken place or not.
If the deceased had a family, the nearest surviving relative will be required to sign a form stating they are willing for us to make the funeral arrangements, and understand that costs will be recovered from the deceased’s estate. If the family have already removed any possessions from where the deceased lived, these may need to be returned to us to help offset their costs.
Once we have accepted a case, we will organise the funeral. This includes registering the death, liaising with funeral directors and paying for the funeral.
A cremation service will normally be held, unless it is established that the deceased would have chosen burial for religious, cultural or personal reasons.
Our contracted funeral directors will provide everything necessary for a dignified service which will appear no different to any other simple ceremony.
The funeral director may also arrange for a minister of religion or a representative of the faith of the deceased to lead the service. If a non-religious service is appropriate, a civil funeral celebrant will be used. Family and friends will be kept informed and may attend the funeral service.
Following the cremation, the cremated remains will normally be scattered at the crematorium Gardens of Remembrance. In certain circumstances the ashes may be given into the care of a close family member or friend.