Skip To Content

Welcome to
West Somerset Council

Death & Bereavement

For information on registering a death please follow the link to Somerset County Council

For information about what can be done following a death, including an explanation of wills and probate, what to do about benefits and other things that you will need to consider please follow the link to GOV UK - Death and Bereavement

To notify the Council of a death of someone over the age of 18, please complete the Death Notification form.

West Somerset Council can help with memorial seating and benches in the district.

Destitute or Pauper’s Burial

Where no suitable funeral arrangements have been made or are being made for a deceased person who has died in the West Somerset area, the Council may have a duty to help out under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.  Possible expenses will be recovered from the estate of the deceased.

If the death occurred in hospital
In this instance the Somerset & Gloucester Primary Care Trust will arrange for the funeral of any person who died in or whilst travelling to hospital

Who Pays for the Funeral?
If possible the cost of the funeral is met out of the estate of the deceased, or from a spouse or a parent.  If details of family and friends are found they will be informed of the death and invited to make the funeral arrangements.  If it is not possible to contact a spouse or a parent the cost will be met by the Council.

Property and Personal Effects
If the deceased left furniture or other personal effects arrangements will be made for the disposal of these items and any money recovered offset against the cost of the funeral.

When all costs are known and the value of the estate exceeds this, the Treasury Solicitor is informed.

List of Public Health Funerals 
A list of National Assistance Funerals is available. This list will be updated every 6 months. It can be found on the page Public Health Funerals.

How can I obtain the date and place of birth of the deceased?
This information can be found on the death certificate of the deceased. Certificates can be obtained from Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton, TA2 6SF or can be requested online  through Somerset County Council.

Why have you not disclosed the value of the deceased's estate?
This information will not be published by West Somerset Council, nor is it published by the Treasury Solicitor.  This is to reduce the risk of fraudulent claims being made against the estate.  Those individuals who believe they are an entitled relative can find more information via the Bona Vacantia website.