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The hospital may arrange the funeral of someone who dies in hospital if they cannot trace the person’s relatives, or if their relatives can’t afford to pay for the funeral. The hospital may make a claim on the person’s estate to pay for the funeral.

If the person has not died in hospital and there is no one who can take responsibility for the funeral, the local council has a duty to bury or cremate someone if no other arrangements have been made. If they have a reason to think that the person who died did not want to be cremated, they will not arrange a cremation. They may make a claim on the person’s estate to pay for the funeral. Ask your council for more information.

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