Skip to main content

How Long Can You Postpone A Funeral For?

Here at Newrest Funerals, we understand that you may have very good reasons for wanting to delay a funeral. Of course, under certain religious beliefs, a funeral should be carried out as quickly as possible. Regardless of this, some people will want to postpone the funeral service of a loved one instead. Perhaps this is because they simply have not come to terms with the death yet and therefore cannot face the idea of a final farewell. There again, it might be that you have friends and family overseas who will need to make travel arrangements to attend the service. At other times, you might have much more personal reasons for wanting to postpone a funeral.

Our close-knit team of professionals will never be judgemental about why you want to delay a funeral service. Indeed, our aim is to facilitate the sort of funeral you would most like to arrange and this certainly includes where and when you want to stage it. If getting the funeral venue you want means having to wait a while, then we’ll support you in this. Likewise, if you want to repatriate the body of the deceased to somewhere outside of the UK and this will take some time to arrange, we can help.

Find out more

Nevertheless, there are some practical limits on how long a funeral can be postponed for. Throughout the UK, the usual limit between the death of a loved one and their funeral is three weeks although, under certain circumstances, it may be possible to push this back to up to four weeks. The reason for this is down to how fast the body of the deceased will start to decompose. Staging funerals shouldn’t be put off so long that the body has already begun to deteriorate. However, there is no legal requirement to proceed, merely matters of practicality to take into consideration.

Note that there are some reasons that funerals can be delayed by the authorities. This would be the case if there was a coroner who said that the body cannot yet be released to the family and friends of the deceased, for example. In other cases, there may be a police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. If so, the imposed delay would mean the authorities would remain responsible for the body and its condition.

Consequently, from the perspective of the relatives and friends of the deceased, booking a funeral should usually take place within 21 days or so from the time of death. Here at Newrest Funerals, we can help you to arrange for this to be carried out with either a cremation or a burial. If later on, you would like to stage a service of remembrance, a celebration of life event or a memorial service, we can help with that, too. 

Today, many people who would like to delay the funeral service of a loved one but know they need to proceed sooner rather than later choose to hold a memorial service. Sometimes, this can be a month or two down the line. Feel free to speak to us about all of the options available to you if you want to postpone the service you have planned until the time is right for you.