Public health funerals

We will make sure that a proper burial or cremation takes place when somebody dies within Cheshire East with no next of kin and it appears that no funeral arrangements being made. (Section 46 of the 1984 Public Health Act).

Our role in public health funerals

When Cheshire East has been informed of a death that may qualify as a public health funeral we will normally liaise with the police and coroner regarding any personal effects they may hold.

We work with a genealogy research company to assist with finding any relatives who may be able to take on the funeral arrangements. Where we find details of family or friends, they will be informed of the death and invited to make the funeral arrangements.

The hospital is responsible for making funeral arrangements if a person has passed away in hospital with no known kin or funeral arrangements.

The cost and payment of a public health funeral

The cost of the funeral is usually covered using the money from the deceased person’s estate. The executor(s) of any will may be responsible to meet the costs if there is not enough money in their estate.

We do not part fund a funeral or contribute to the cost of a funeral organised by someone else.

Help may be available from charities or through the Department of Works and Pension Social Fund. 

Cremation of remains

We will make funeral arrangements for a cremation unless we can find written evidence of the wishes and beliefs of the deceased.

The cremated remains of the deceased will usually be scattered in the gardens of remembrance.

Property and belongings of the deceased person

The property will be made secure. Any keys or property held by family and friends belonging to the deceased must be handed to the Police or Council for safekeeping.

We cannot make arrangements to dispose of furniture or other personal belongings of the deceased. 

The estate or the owner of the property normally meets the cost of clearing the property. You should not remove items from the house unless  you have the legal authority to do so.

We will inform the Treasury Solicitor if there is money left over after the funeral costs have been met.

Public health funerals - Freedom of Information requests

You should make requests for information about public funerals to

Information last updated Thursday 13 December 2018.