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What is the council's role?

Public health funerals are also known as national assistance funerals and paupers' funerals.

Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, we have a duty to make arrangements for the funeral or cremation of the body of anyone who has died or is found dead in the borough, where it is established after investigation that there is no alternative course of action.

Where possible we will recover funeral expenses from monies available from the deceased's estate. This limits the cost to the people of Bracknell Forest.

If a person dies without a known next of kin, we normally act on written instructions received from the local coroner's office. Sometimes, the managers of residential homes and sheltered accommodation advise of circumstances where, as far as they know, there are no relatives willing or able to make the funeral arrangements.

Where the coroner has notified us of a death and, as far as they are aware, there is no one willing to make funeral arrangements, we will search the deceased person’s home. We will try to find a will or any documents that show the existence of any relatives, religious beliefs or funeral preferences.