Funeral payments

If you have recently been bereaved or affected by a death, Greater Manchester Bereavement Service can help you find support or you can talk to someone in person.

Help if there’s no-one to make funeral arrangements

If you have recently been bereaved and you are now faced with arranging a funeral, the Council can provide you with help and advice on the steps required to take.

Where there are no other suitable arrangements, for example when there are no relatives willing or able to arrange a funeral or where there are insufficient funds, the Council can provide help and advice with this. This can include paying for a burial or cremation in exceptional circumstances.

We will arrange a public health funeral when someone dies with:

  • No known next of kin
  • No suitable funeral arrangements

Before we make any arrangements we will try to look for the next of kin. We recover the funeral expenses from the deceased’s estate to limit the cost to the people of Trafford.

If a relative is on benefits

If a relative is on an income-related benefit then funds may be available via the Social Fund which is administered by Job Centre Plus. Information can be obtained from the central government website or alternatively telephone 0845 606 0265.

Paying for the public health funeral

The Council will pay for the funeral from the estate of the deceased. If there are insufficient funds in the deceased’s estate and you do not qualify for a Social Fund payment, the Council will pay for a public health funeral

Before we arrange a funeral, we will ask any next of kin to confirm that they cannot pay for the funeral

Please contact us by telephone on 0161 912 2106 or by email at client.services@trafford.gov.uk if you have any enquiries.

Roles and responsibilities

Registering the death

The next of kin should register the death or someone who knew them. If no next of kin can be located Trafford Council will register the death.

Searching for next of kin

In order to identify next of kin Trafford Council will complete a search of the deceased persons property, we will try to locate:

  • a will
  • documents to find any next of kin
  • finances to help pay for a the funeral

If a will is located, we will ask the executor to make the funeral arrangements in line with the deceased’s wished. The executor is the person responsible for looking after the estate of the deceased. The Council will then take no further action.

If no will is located, the Council will refer the details to a genealogy research company to assist with finding relatives. If we find details of any family and friends, we tell them about the death and ask them to undertake the funeral arrangements.

Arranging the funeral

We make funeral arrangements with a funeral director who has a contract with the Council. The service will be simplistic and dignified, it will usually take place early in the morning. If anyone wishes to arrange for a minister or officiant to take the service they may be able to do so at their own expense.

Property and belongings of the deceased person

  • We will make the property secure. Any keys or property that belonged to the deceased must be given to the Council for safekeeping.
  • You must not remove items from the property unless you have legal authority to do so.
  • When it is confirmed that we are arranging the funeral we have the first claim on the estate.
  • If the property is owned the case will be transferred to a solicitor to deal with the estate.
  • We cannot arrange to dispose of furniture or the personal belongings of the deceased. The estate or the owner of the property should pay for clearing the property.
  • We will refer the case to the Duchy of Lancaster if there is money left after funeral expenses are paid and there is no-one to inherit it.

If the death takes place in a hospital

If the death took place in a hospital then the applicant should contact the Bereavement Officer at the relevant hospital who will be able to offer advice.

Contact numbers for nearby hospitals include:

Other useful telephone numbers include: