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Public health funerals

Information on funerals where there are no family, friends or funds to make the arrangements

Public health

There are occasions when people die and:

  • there are no family or friends prepared to arrange their funeral
  • the family is unable to afford a funeral

In such cases we take on this role. We do this to meet a legal obligation under the provisions of the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 which ensures a dignified funeral.

In each case, before the funeral arrangements are finalised, attempts are made to establish whether there are relatives, and if they wish to organise the funeral themselves. Where relatives are unable to organise and pay for the funeral service, they sign an agreement to us to take any monies from the deceased's estate to help towards the funeral costs. Legally, funeral costs and charges have priority over other money, property, insurance policy or payments that the deceased might own when death occurred. 

No matter whether the funeral is a burial or cremation, a committal service always takes place at either one of our cemeteries or at Mintlyn Crematorium. On those occasions when no mourners attend our staff are always present.