Can I transport my loved-one after their death myself?

The simple answer to that is “Yes”.

You are allowed to transport a deceased person yourself.

So, from your home to the funeral service or from hospital or hospice to home or place of rest.

Many engage the services of a funeral provider for transporting their loved one but it’s not a legal requirement.

What is a legal requirement is that the body is covered – that might be in cloth or in a coffin.

You may wish to notify the local police of your intended journey but there is no requirement to do so.

Your car does not need to be registered to carry the coffin to the crematorium or burial grounds.

Many years ago, during my time in children’s hospice, a family who were known well to the hospice team, found themselves doing just this when their teenage son, M, died in hospital. To this family, the hospice was an extension of their family and their wish was for him to rest and be cared for here until the funeral.

Just a few hours after M’s death he was wrapped in a comforting sheet and gently placed into the boot of their estate car by the hospital staff and driven for more than an hour to hospice.

They drove in, parked up and we greeted and welcomed them back with the hugs that any loving family would offer at a time of shock and intense grief.

I remember, so well, their moment of arrival. The sense of loss that can only be imagined by another parent whose child has died intertwined with such deep love and affection.

I was on shift and assigned and entrusted, with another member of the team, to carefully bring M inside and settle him into the Rainbow Room.

A few years later M’s parents fondly reminisced about that very special time with M in their car (as opposed to a strangers car or hearse) and the following week spent at the hospice with his siblings where they could sit with him whenever they wished, day or night and other family members and friends stopped by for a visit, for lunch, for support.

Transporting your person yourself may not be possible or a choice you would personally make but it’s reassuring that we do have that choice.

The only caveat is anyone wanting to move a body out of England and Wales (including to Scotland) must have authority from a Coroner.

Nancy xx

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