Public health funerals and Government legal department (bona vacantia estates)

Under the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984, where no suitable funeral arrangements have been made, or are being made, for a deceased person who has died in the District of South Northamptonshire, public bodies including us, have a duty to arrange the funeral. This will be a basic funeral to minimise the cost to the local tax payer. For further information see:

We will not part fund a funeral. If funeral arrangements have already been made, such as instructions to a Funeral Director, we will not be responsible for any costs incurred. If you are finding it difficult to pay for a funeral there are is financial help in certain circumstances with funeral expenses.

Under the Act the funeral costs are the first expenses claimed on any estate. We are entitled to collect any and all sums of money due to or belonging to the deceased and to sell any belongings of the deceased in order to help offset the costs of the funeral and expenses.

If, after we have deducted the funeral and associated costs the remaining estate is over £500; there are no other bills outstanding and no known next of kin then we refer the remaining estate to the Government Legal Department in accordance with their guidelines for referring 'bona vacantia' estates.

The bona vacantia department of the Government Legal Department office, administer the estates of persons who die intestate without known kin and collect the assets of dissolved companies and failed trusts.

Contact details

Environmental Protection Team
Email this service
01327 322323

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