Your least expensive option is to leave the person who has died in the hospital mortuary, or the mortuary of the funeral director who collected them. People who die in care homes and hospices usually go straight to a funeral director’s mortuary; people who die in hospital normally stay in the hospital mortuary unless there is pressure on space. If someone dies at home, some hospital mortuaries will look after them.

Make or buy a coffin. Make sure it is the right size. See our Coffins

Go to your Bereavement Services officer. Do all the paperwork, book the burial or cremation and pay all the fees. They are likely to be helpful and supportive.

On the day of the funeral, go to the mortuary of the hospital or funeral director. You will need help. Lift the body into the coffin, screw down the lid and put it in whatever vehicle you have got – an estate car, perhaps, or a van. Make sure the coffin is safely anchored. Drive to the crematorium or cemetery. Do not be late.

The hospital will not charge you for storing the body but a funeral director will.

An alternative to this arrangement is to leave the person who has died in the hospital mortuary and have them collected, coffined and brought to the crematorium or cemetery by an undertaker on the day of the funeral. You ought to be able to negotiate a good rate for this most basic service.