How long can you delay a funeral in the UK? Cover Image

Most funerals in the UK take place within the first three weeks of someone dying. This will depend on several factors, including the religious beliefs of the person who has died, requirements at your chosen venue, and the type of funeral being arranged. Although there are no specific rules or legalities regarding when a funeral should take place, there are occasions when a funeral will need to be scheduled sooner or later than a family may wish. In this blog, we will discuss the different things to consider when setting a funeral date, along with what to do if you want to delay the funeral of a loved one.

How long after death is a funeral?

For most funerals, the date of the service will largely be dictated by how quickly a death certificate is issued along with the availability at your chosen venue for the funeral. It could also depend on how elaborate the service is and how long it takes for the funeral arrangements to be made. Where a person dies in more unusual circumstances or passes away abroad, the funeral may need to be delayed, particularly when an inquest is in motion. Our team of funeral arrangers will be able to offer advice and guidance during this time and will keep in close communications with you to ensure you feel supported.

Delaying a funeral

Although most people choose to hold the funeral within a few weeks of a person’s death, this isn’t always the case and some families would prefer to delay the date of a loved one’s funeral. This is particularly relevant during the current Covid-19 pandemic, where travel is limited and the numbers of people who can attend a funeral are restricted.

If you are keen to delay the funeral of your loved one, your funeral director will be able to advise on the maximum length of time before the funeral needs to take place. There are several factors that may affect how long you can delay a funeral, including the natural processes following a death and the ways in which a person is cared for by us. Our team would be more than happy to discuss this with you if you need further information.

A memorial service

Although it isn’t always possible to delay the funeral committal (the cremation or burial) by more than a few weeks, there is the possibility of holding a memorial service long after a person has died. One of the benefits of a memorial service is that it can be as traditional or as unique as you would like. Memorial services tend to be less sombre events, and many families create a ‘celebration of life’ service to remember their loved one.

If you would like to find out more about memorial services or speak to us about scheduling a date for a loved one’s funeral, our team of arrangers will be more than happy to chat with you. We can be reached on 01525 372210, otherwise, you can use our email contact form or appointment booking tool.