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Arranging A Funeral

Arranging a funeral after a person has died is extremely difficult for many as emotions run high. In the majority of instances the arrangements are made by either the next of kin or sometimes a close friend. When there is no-one available to commit to the organisation of funeral procedures, the local health authority will arrange a basic funeral.

In this article we hope to provide a summary for the most commonly referenced and utilised services related to funerals.

Average Funeral Costs
Most funeral directors will provide clients with packages that contain compulsory services. The variations in packages are defined by the number of optional extras included. You can reduce funeral director costs by opting out of some services. You can for example decide to process the administrative formalities required for the deceased yourself.
Catering Services

Some people choose to have a gathering (wake), after the cremation and or burial, with close friends and family. There are catering companies who can provide a selection of menu options with costs on a per person basis.

Depending on emotional state and the assistance of others it is very popular for food and drink to be prepared without the use of caterers.

Cemeteries and Crematoria

A cemetery (from the Greek ‘sleeping place’) is a place of rest of the interment of deceased persons. In contemporary language, cemeteries are commonly referred to as ‘burial grounds’. They are not always attached to churches (places of worship); presently there are prescribed plots throughout the country usually away from highly populated areas. Church graveyards tend to be consecrated ground whereas cemeteries are often not.
The modern crematoria as many would recognise today came into public use during the 1870’s. A cremation uses a specially designed multi chambered furnace to incinerate content placed into it. Next of kin can request the ashes of the deceased to be collected into a vessel of their choosing, either for burial or scattering; the UK law on scattering is fairly relaxed and you are permitted to scatter ashes on your own land.

Disbursement Costs

Sometimes known as disbursement fees, these are costs not included within the funeral directors costings. The amount will vary on your location, your local council and other factors such as opting for burial in a churchyard or cemetery.

Other fees in this category include doctor’s fees (death certificate), cremation or burial fees.

The very large majority of florists both franchise and independent are versed in creating arrangements to suit funeral occasions. It’s worth bearing in mind that the cost of the flowers and the preparation work will have to be paid in advance of the event. You might also be able to negotiate the delivery cost into the package with some.
Funeral Directors

Individuals and organisations of people involved with the business of funeral rites. They are sometimes referred to as undertakers and occasionally morticians. Regular tasks include embalming and either burial or cremation of the dead in conjunction with the planning and arrangement of the funeral ceremony.
Funeral directors can also perform dressing tasks, casketing (placing the body inside the coffin) and cosseting (applying cosmetic substances to the face and hands of the corpse to enhance the appearance). Funeral directors often work at funeral homes, some may be independent employees.

Headstone Providers
There are some choices to be made with respect to the material you choose, sculpting, type setting and any images you may decide to include. The fees for headstones can be expensive, also consider that headstones cannot be erected until a six month period has passed from the date of the burial.
Legal Requirements

In the UK there are only two legal requirements with respect to funerals that must be adhered to:

  1. In order for a funeral to take place, the death has to be registered first.
  2. The body must be taken care in an appropriate fashion, either by burial or cremation.
Low income benefits
There are limited social funds to assist people on low income to help pay for a funeral, the amount of funds you are entitled to may depend on your individual circumstances. In most cases the money usually has to be paid back from any money you inherit from the estate of the deceased person. Houses and personal effects left to a widower (widow) or civil partner are exempt from payment recovery.
Pre-paid funeral plans
These are plans that created to provide cover for the cost of a funeral. The most beneficial advantage is that the cost is paid at the time that plan was taken out. The funds grow above the rate of inflation meaning the money is there to cover the annually rising costs of funerals, however far in the future that might be. Funeral plans can either be linked to a funeral director or they can be independent allowing you to choose who oversees the events when the time comes.
Recovering Funeral Costs
Fees are deducted from the decease’s estate prior to the settling of any other debts with the exception of secured debt. In the instance that you pay for a funeral, you are entitled to recover the costs. If there is not enough money in the estate then you will have to settle the amount yourself. In the instance of negligence, you can claim the funeral costs back as compensation. If the funeral was arranged by the local council, the are entitled to recover the costs also.
Types of Funeral

Christian funerals

  •     Church of England
  •     Catholic
  •     Methodist
  •     Baptist

Each denomination exercises variations on procedure according to faith and traditions.

Non-religious funerals

The focus is acutely on the person who has died; some council’s operate non-religious funeral services and provide non-religious cemeteries.

Woodland Burials

There is discernible increase for persons to choose burial in a woodland location. Sites are chosen to observe environmental friendliness, surroundings of natural tranquility often include the planting of a tree to mark the location of the deceased. The tree then grows to become part of the naturally established woodland.

The Will of The Deceased
It is common for the person who has died to have left a series of guidelines in their will. They also may have a funeral insurance policy denoting the type of services that they would like to have. There is currently no legal obligation for you to follow these guidelines.

Free Funeral Plan

If you would like to make use of our free funeral plan i.e. the funeral wishes form, please click on the button. As a result this will download a pdf copy to complete and print for your own records.