Arranging A Funeral
There are a number of points to consider when arranging a funeral, including the type of funeral you want and the costs. A funeral director can help you with all the arrangements and there is financial help available for those on benefits or low income.
Generally, you will have to decide where the body will rest while awaiting the funeral, the time and place of the funeral, how much you intend to spend on the funeral, whether or not to have a funeral service, whether to have flowers or make donations to a charity, whether to put a notice in the newspapers, and whether the body will be buried or cremated. Here we give you the basics on the other main things to consider when arranging a funeral:
Types of funerals
As well as the standard type of funeral, there are other kinds of funerals available, including ‘green’ funerals, which are designed to be simple and environmentally friendly by using a cardboard coffin instead of a traditional wood one, etc. These days, people can also opt for a woodland funeral where trees or wild flowers are planted on the grave instead of a headstone, eventually turning the site into woodland. There are many woodland burial sites available in the UK and your funeral director will be able to give you information about these.
Some people want to pay for and plan their own funeral in advance with a pre-paid plan. If you are buying a pre-paid funeral plan for yourself make sure you read the contract carefully and check what it does and does not cover. You should also find out what should happen after you die so you can leave appropriate instructions with your solicitor or next of kin. It is worth shopping around for a pre-paid plan as they will all differ in prices, but make sure the funeral director plan provider you choose is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), so you know you are guaranteed a quality service.
Funeral costs for the same service can differ considerably from one funeral director to another, so it is advisable to get more than one quote to compare costs and services. A funeral director should provide a detailed price list for you to take away. There are also other costs, or disbursement fees, involved for the next of kin, such as payment for the doctor's certificates, a minister, newspaper announcements, flowers, and booking the crematorium. But the funeral director will be able to provide a written quotation detailing all these fees. It is also worth remembering that when you arrange a funeral, you are responsible for paying the bill, although the funeral payments are normally recoverable from the deceased's estate.
DSS Social Fund
The DSS Social Fund provides a limited amount of financial help, which may cover a very basic funeral, or provides a contribution towards a more traditional funeral. To qualify for financial assistance from this fund, individuals must meet a number of criteria and your funeral director will be able to advise you on the criteria.
Further Information: Funeral Director's Role