Welfare funerals

We are responsible for arranging the funeral of any person who has died within the District where it appears that no other funeral arrangements have been made by any other agency or persons.

This most often occurs when no next of kin can be found. A case would normally be referred to us via the Coroner’s Office.

If the next of kin are not prepared or able to accept responsibility for the funeral arrangements, we have a duty to make them. The law allows us to recover the costs of the funeral from the estate of the deceased.

Only in exceptional circumstances will we carry out a welfare funeral for someone with next of kin. If living next of kin are unable to pay for the funeral, they may be able to obtain a funeral payment if they meet certain qualifying criteria.


  • We can only provide this service if the death took place within the Sevenoaks District but not within a hospital. If the death occurred in a hospital, the responsibility normally lies with the health authority.
  • Unfortunately, assistance is not available if the funeral has already taken place.

Register of public health funerals

View the register of welfare funerals carried out by Sevenoaks District Council.