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unattended burial

An unattended or direct burial is a burial without a funeral service. It is becoming the choice of families of all faiths who want to decide how and where they say goodbye to their loved one, at a time that’s right for them.

It is both simple and dignified.

We’ll provide everything you need, with expert support throughout. With Turnbull’s you’ll speak with the same person throughout, a friendly expert who will offer their support, ideas, or simply their ear when required.

Our service provides a simple, dignified unattended burial.


advice, direction and support

An unattended burial includes:

  • Bringing your loved one into our care.
  • Oak veneered coffin with gold coloured fittings.
  • Interment fees.
  • Small family gathering in our private chapel of rest the day before burial.
  • Date and time of the burial confirmed with the family.

Restrictions and limitations of unattended burial with Turnbull’s

  • An unattended burial does not include the cost of the burial plot.
  • A headstone or memorial.

How to arrange a unattended burial

  1. Contact Turnbull’s and we’ll take your details.
  2. Our funeral director calls to go through everything.
  3. The deceased is transferred into our care.
  4. You sign the official paperwork and return to us.
  5. The burial is carried out unattended.

What to do when some one dies

When someone dies, there are many things that you will need to take care of, from registering the death to notifying particular organisations. Understanding what you need to do may help ease some of the stress or confusion you may be feeling.

As soon as someone dies, you should call a doctor. They’ll be able to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. 

You will then need to find a funeral director, and arrange for the deceased to be collected and brought into their care.

You must register the death in the country where your loved one died. You’ll need to find a register office in the area where the death occurred and make an appointment. 

You’ll also need to bring certain documents with you, such as the deceased’s passport and Birth Certificate.

You should then begin making funeral arrangements with your chosen funeral director. You’ll need to consider the type of funeral, coffin, travel arrangements, and other details such as flowers and readings. 

If your loved one left behind a will, the named ‘executor’ will deal with the estate. If there isn’t a will, a relative will be appointed as an ‘administrator’ in order to deal with this.

Inform Tell Us Once about the death within the first two weeks. They will tell authorities and government services that your loved one has passed away, rather than having to contact each authority separately. The deceased’s social media accounts will need to be dealt with too.


we are here to support

We are here to support and guide you through every detail, helping you create a fitting ceremony and celebration of life.

Everything that we do is built on empathy, choice and providing value. Our belief is that since we’re all unique, our funerals should be too.

When a death occurs we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us if you need help and advice around bereavement even if not considering us as funeral director.

Call – 0191 257 1201

If you would prefer not to speak to someone just now, complete our online form and we will call you back within an hour.


serving the community since 1790

It was in 1790, when the founder of the business, John Turnbull, began work as a cabinetmaker and undertaker on the quayside at North Shields.


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