We understand that handling more than one death and funeral can feel emotionally, physically and financially overwhelming. We can suggest several ways to ease the burden of paperwork, unite services and combine tributes for loved ones.

Registering multiple deaths

You may immediately feel pressure to act given the law requires deaths to be registered within days, but there’s no need to panic.

Each death must be registered within five days in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and eight days in Scotland. However, this can be extended by a further nine days provided a medical certificate has been issued and you inform the registrar. With multiple documents to produce for registration, including birth certificates and driving licences, this extension may ease the pressure.

You also don’t have to personally register each death. Anyone who’s a relative of the deceased, leading funeral arrangements or present at the death can take this responsibility.

Combining funerals

Sending off loved ones together can reduce costs incurred by separate services and unite mutual friends and families. However, there are a number of practicalities that should be considered.

There’s no time limit on when loved ones must be laid to rest provided the death has been registered.

It’s possible for us to keep a passed loved one for longer if they’re awaiting burial or cremation and another family member passes away, allowing the organisation of a combined funeral. However, there may be some charges to be aware of, so try to gauge the length of the delay and keep us informed.

It’s also a good idea choosing a larger venue to fit multiple families. Some religions and venues may prohibit combined funerals due either to beliefs or a lack of suitable facilities, so do make enquiries before arriving at your decision.

It’s a great choice holding a service in memory of more than one person if a combined funeral isn’t possible, as well as burying or scattering your loved ones’ remains in the same location. Contact one of our funeral directors to find out how.

Tributes

Whether it’s a combined funeral or service in memory of more than one person, there are many opportunities for families and friends to pay tribute to their loved ones.

Presentations, the order of service, speeches and eulogies in particular can focus on the memories the individuals’ shared. You can have a number of different speakers to highlight different memories and different periods of their lives if several families are present.

Most funeral services last for between 30 minutes and an hour, but it may take longer if multiple deaths are being reflected on. This is something that should be communicated to us so we can prepare accordingly. Your venue will require time slots to be booked ahead of time, so it’s recommended to reserve an additional slot so you don’t feel rushed.

Experiencing a single loved one pass away can be overwhelming enough so if you are coping with more than one death you may need additional support. Co-op Funeral Directors offers as much or as little extra support as you require.