“It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary”. (Winston Churchill)
This site is a resource on what newly bereaved people are legally able to do in England & Wales in the immediate hours and days following a death. It is a not for profit venture and is dedicated to improving services that people when/if bereaved will need to deal with, whether directly or indirectly. I run it because the ‘system’ badly failed me when people close to me died, more especially my youngest son. I am aware that it is failing other people.
Public servants in local and central government are not doing enough to empower newly bereaved people. If they did, it would quickly put an end to the false belief that the law requires that we must be passive, helpless and dependent upon others, when someone close to us dies. It is the epitome of a disabling dependency culture which has emerged, some argue orchestrated, by assuming those we meet in various services, must know best about our own needs and the law.
Misunderstanding law leads to oppression, leaving people open to coercion and abuse, at what is often the most difficult period in many people’s lives.
The site has been created to afford everyone, no matter their religious or non-religious views, information about relevant laws in England & Wales which does not obstruct the public from: looking after a body of someone who has died in a domestic environment; “disposing” (an insensitive legal term) of a body by burial cremation or any other means with or without a coffin or a special vehicle, and does not place a duty of any of us to hire undertakers and other funeral event organisers.
The site is also a desk top campaigning tool to encourage public officials to produce, by default, guidance about what people can do for themselves following a death, and to include information about consumer and contractual legal rights when buying funeral packages.
If my ideas are adopted, all most immediately a simple but universal pattern would rapidly develop, similar to legal precedents. Obviously, no laws would be changed. The change would be a better understanding of existing law, throughout all public services, rapidly replacing lore with law. Those public officials, who already act sensitively and competently and know where their powers start and end, would be supported and encouraged by making obvious the legal rights of all newly bereaved people. Organisational practices would be challenged, which harm emotional well-being, by perpetuating ignorance, fear, mystique, misinformation and enforcing dependency, on those who have little or no idea, on how to be most effective as public servants. Responsibility for that rests with central government, i.e. for never having provided all public servants with sound information on law and psychology.
It has been a struggle for me to find a detailed, comprehensive list of information on one specific online website about what people can do following a death, which includes what to do if dealing with a bad undertaker or a public official. This is because many other online information providers mimic information which already exists elsewhere, that is often inaccurate on law and/or misleading.
The content on this site has not been influenced by anyone in the commercial sector. I hope that the information I provide here is accurate, and I welcome constructive suggestions about how it might be improved.
This website was last updated on January 13th 2016.