When we arrange a funeral

If a person dies in a Liverpool hospital without any family, the hospital must arrange their funeral.

If a person dies anywhere else in Liverpool without family or funeral instructions, we will arrange and pay for the funeral.

We will also arrange a funeral if a family refuses to do so.  In this case, the family will have no say in any funeral arrangements.

These funerals are known as public health funerals.

The arrangements we make

We will register the death, arrange a cremation and make sure the funeral is carried out by a minister or celebrant. The ashes are then scattered if no-one collects them.

If we find a burial plot in the person’s name we will use it. If we cannot find a plot and we believe the person wanted to be buried, we will use an unmarked grave in either Anfield cemetery or Springfield cemetery.

How we pay for the funeral

We recover the cost of all public health funerals from the person’s estate.

How we recover the cost

To help pay for the funeral, we can remove items from the person’s home, such as jewellery, and sell them six months after the funeral. If the family has already removed items from the home we will ask them to return them.

If the person owned a property, our solicitors will put it up for sale.

Unclaimed estates

Once the funeral costs are paid, we hand all remaining estate funds over £500 to the Duchy of Lancaster under Bona Vacantia.

The government’s Bona Vacantia Division lists all unclaimed estates valued over £500.

Search the unclaimed estates list

Please note: Farrer & Co Solicitors deal with the estates of people who died in the Duchy of Lancaster or Duchy of Cornwall.

Need to know more?

Please contact us if you would like to know more about public health funerals, how we recover funeral costs, or you have a question about an unclaimed estate.