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The question of how to find out about someone’s funeral arrangements is something that often arises, especially when the service in question has been organised by someone unknown to you. Although it is usual for a close family member, such as a spouse, a son or a daughter, to make the arrangements for a funeral following a death, this is not always the case. If so, you can simply ask them.

That said, sometimes there are no direct relations to call upon while, at other times, the deceased may have left specific instructions for an individual outside of the family to take care of funeral planning. Therefore, if the usual way of finding out when a funeral is and where it will be held is not available to you, what should you do? Read on to find out.

How Can I Find Out When Someone's Funeral Is?

The first thing to do is to look for a notice of the death of the individual concerned. These are often placed in local newspapers in the notices section for births, marriages and deaths. However, the print news media in the UK isn’t what it used to be so you may not be able to find a copy of a newspaper in the relevant part of the UK. 

Many local newspapers are now only available in online editions these days, so search through the notices on them instead. A death notice should allow you to find out when a funeral is and where it will be even if all of the details of the service have not yet been arranged.

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Be Understanding When Children Seemingly Don't Understand

Children – especially younger ones – may not understand what a death in the family means. They sometimes don’t fully understand that a dead person won’t be coming back and may ask seemingly daft questions about where the deceased might have gone.

Try to answer such questions honestly and calmly. Equally, children can sometimes feel resentful towards the deceased, almost as if their death has let them down.

Again, it is important not to be judgemental under such circumstances. Feeling angry at the death of a loved one is quite normal and the emotion usually passes.

How Do I Find Out Someone's Funeral Date in the UK from Overseas?

If you cannot find a suitable local newspaper online or in a physical format because you are not in the country, the next best thing to do is to look for death notices through an online directory, such as Funeral Notices. Many funeral directors will list any funerals they have been appointed to run on such websites. These allow people who may not have been informed by friends and family members of the arrangements to discover when and where the service will be held. 

Large funeral providers in the UK that have a nationwide presence also tend to list any upcoming funerals they are responsible for on their own websites. Such sites are available globally, so you don’t have to be a UK resident or subscribe to a newspaper’s online readership in order to view them.

Guidance on How to Find Out Whether Someone Has Died

Knowing how to find out when a funeral is to be held is only useful if you know they’ve passed on already. Of course, under certain circumstances, you may not know whether this is the case or not. Perhaps the last you heard was that a friend or relative was taken ill or had suffered an accident, for example? 

If the aforementioned obituary notices yield nothing, then try calling the local registry or coroner’s office. If their death has been registered with them, then this should be a matter of public record. Remember that UK deaths are usually recorded at the closest registry office to where the person concerned died, not always where they might have been living at the time.