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What to do first

You should start planning the funeral as soon as possible.

A funeral can only take place after the death has been registered. Check what to do if the death has not been registered.

If the death was sudden or unexplained, you might not be able to make the final funeral arrangements until the Procurator Fiscal has finished their investigation. Find out what the Procurator Fiscal does on the Crown Office website.

Finding out the person's wishes

Before contacting a funeral director or making any arrangements, check if there's a will.

This might include the person's wishes, such as whether they wanted to be buried or cremated.

Check for other relevant papers, such as a pre-paid funeral plan to help with the costs of the funeral.

These documents could be:

  • at home 
  • in a bank
  • with lawyers
  • with other relatives

If you do not know the person's wishes

Ask a friend or other relatives for help and advice. Your funeral director or the person who will lead the service can help with suggestions if there's no one else you can discuss this with.

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