Where no suitable funeral arrangements have been made or are being made for a deceased person who has died in the area, we may have a duty to help out (under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984). Where possible expenses will be recovered from the estate of the deceased.
If the death occurred in hospital
In this instance it will normally be the NHS who will arrange for the funeral of any person who died in or whilst travelling to hospital.
Who Pays for the Funeral?
If possible the cost of the funeral is met out of the estate of the deceased, or from a spouse or a parent. If details of family and friends are found they will be informed of the death and invited to make the funeral arrangements. If it is not possible to contact a spouse or a parent the cost will be met by us.
Property and Personal Effects
If the deceased left furniture or other personal effects arrangements will be made for the disposal of these items and any money recovered offset against the cost of the funeral.
When all costs are known and the value of the estate exceeds this, the Treasury Solicitor is informed.
How can I obtain the date and place of birth of the deceased?
This information can be found on the death certificate of the deceased. Certificates can be obtained from the Register Office at Devon County Council.
Why have you not disclosed the value of the deceased's estate?
This information will not be published by us, nor is it published by the Treasury Solicitor. This is to reduce the risk of fraudulent claims being made against the estate. Those individuals who believe they are an entitled relative can find more information via the Bona Vacantia website.
Has the Council passed this information to any other individual or organisation?
Yes, anyone can contact the Council asking for this information via a Freedom of Information request. The FOI will then be published in the Disclosure Log on our website.
Does the Council work with any genealogist?
Who in the Council is responsible for the Council's Public Health Funerals?
This is dealt with by Environmental Health. They can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Does the Council publish a list of State Assisted Funerals it has arranged?
Yes. Details of State Assisted Funerals (from January 2022) will be published monthly at the top right of this page. However, if no funerals have taken place, there will be no spreadsheet published for that month. The spreadsheet for the previous month will be available towards the end of the current month.