1st August 2023
Organise a funeral
It is the responsibility of the next of kin, or the executor of the deceased's estate, to register the death and make the funeral arrangements. Many families choose to appoint a funeral director to help them with making arrangements for the type of ceremony they want and the burial process they require.
Choosing a Funeral Director
The choice of funeral director is important - you should feel comfortable and confident with them. They may be known to you personally, may be recommended by a friend, your GP or religious adviser, or may just have a good reputation in your area.
It is possible that the deceased has already paid for a funeral plan, and made certain arrangements for their funeral, so this needs to be checked before appointing a funeral director. The executor should be aware of any such arrangement.
Alternatively, you can find a funeral director on one of the following websites:
- Yellow Pages website
- Funeral Choice website
- National Association of Funeral Directors website
- Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors website
All funeral directors have a code of practice and should give you an estimate of costs - their own, any contractors they use and the fees they will pay Wokingham Borough Council on your behalf for burial services. You can ask for this estimate in advance and it is a good idea to ask different firms to quote so that you can compare costs.
Your funeral director can make all the arrangements for the funeral, burial or cremation, and religious or secular service. They can also offer advice on all of the procedures and documents needed to register the death.
It is important to find out whether or not the deceased had taken out a funeral payment plan. This would generally cover the costs of the funeral.
If you need help to pay for a funeral you are arranging you could get a Funeral Expenses Payment from the government if you (or your partner) receive one or more of the following:
- Universal Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
- The disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Support for Mortgage Interest loan
Further details can be found on the funeral payments page of the Gov.uk website.
For advice about arranging a non-traditional or non-religious ceremony visit:
See our cemeteries page for information about the cemeteries.
For arranging a burial and grave-related information see our burials page
We do not currently have a Crematorium within the Borough but can provide smaller plots for the burial or allow the scattering of ashes within our cemeteries by prior arrangement.
Nearest Crematorium facilities:
Following a cremation you will need to decide what you would like to do with the ashes of the deceased.
Ashes (cremated remains) shall only be scattered in the location set aside for the scattering of ashes. Alternative locations must be agreed in advance by the Service Manager, or authorised officers responsible for the management of that location.
You will need to submit Scattering of Ashes application form (PDF document) and the cost for this can be found under section 'Interment fees' see our latest Fees and charges (PDF document).
Cremated remain plots (cremation graves) for the burial of cremated remains are available for purchase at both Shinfield and St Sebastian’s cemeteries. To find out about the cost our latest Fees and charges (PDF document).
Many families will choose to keep or arrange the scattering of ashes elsewhere. This may include interment in a grave in another cemetery or churchyard, dispersal at another crematorium or privately in a particular area selected by the family. Suitable permission should be obtained from the appropriate Authority.
- Prior to a memorial being erected on a grave space, the written authority of the owner of the grave must be given on a permit application form, authorising the proposed erection of the memorial
- Memorials need to conform to cemetery regulations with regards to size and fixings, and the memorial also needs to be checked for stability under health and safety regulations
- We need to check that the memorial conforms to regulations and will be erected in a safe manner. To a certain extent this helps protect your interests although you will remain responsible for the maintenance of the memorial in the future
- You may ask your memorial mason for a workmanship guarantee or in fact details of insurance
Who is responsible for maintaining the memorial on a grave?
- Whilst we are responsible for maintaining the cemetery in a safe condition, the grave owner has a responsibility to maintain a memorial in a safe condition
- If the grave owner fails to do this the cemetery staff may take action to make the memorial safe
Inspection and maintenance
- Routine inspection of memorials in our cemeteries is carried out every 5 years
- If identified as being unstable and likely to fall and injure someone, the memorial may be cordoned off, laid flat or have a temporary support installed
- In these circumstances the grave owner will receive a letter and it will be their responsibility to arrange suitable repairs
- You should insist that the memorial is erected in accordance with BS8415, in line with the Council’s regulations, Recommended Code of Practice and seek a guarantee from your memorial mason