How to Arrange a Funeral

A person can decide what happens to their body upon their death and their wishes should be included in their Will or in a separate document that can be known as a “letter of wishes”. This should instruct you as to whether they wished for their body to be buried or cremated, some people may also have specific requests or wishes as to how they wish their funeral to be carried out.

If the person hasn’t not left a will, known as dying intestate, or has not been clear in their wishes, the next of kin or the executor/administrator of their estate will usually decide what type of funeral will take place and whether their bodied is to be buried or cremated.

Finding a Funeral Director

There are several different avenues you can use to find a Funeral director, there may be one locally, you could get a recommendation from family or friends, or you can search online. Whichever way you choose to find your funeral director you should look for one that is a registered member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The national Association of funeral directors sets out high standard of service for the funeral directors that are registered with them and sets out requirements in price information, estimates, final accounts and marketing. They strictly monitor their members to ensure quality and high standards.

Choosing a funeral Director

As with most things it is recommended to get more than one quote when choosing a funeral director. When collecting quotes ask what is included or for an itemised quote, so that you know that you are comparing the same services.

If the funeral director is a member of The National Association of funeral directors, they have to follow the codes of practice set out for them this means they must provide a price list when asked.

You should look for their quote to include

  • The cost of moving the deceased from their place of death and the cost of them to be cared for before the funeral
  • The coffin
  • The hearse to take the deceased person to the cemetery or crematorium
  • The funeral directors services
  • The cost of the necessary paperwork and arrangements

Arranging a funeral by yourself

You can arrange the funeral without the use of a funeral director, this can mean much more attention to detail of the deceased’s wishes and can also be less expensive. You can contact your local council to arrange a funeral yourself.

Paying for a Funeral

The cost of funerals can vary depending on location, circumstances and the type you require, but in most cases, it can be into the thousands.

The funeral can be paid for by:

  • Family members or friends.
  • A pre-paid funeral plan if the person who died had been took one out
  • A life insurance policy or pension scheme the person paid into
  • The person’s estate (any money, property or assets). Funeral costs are the only costs that are allowed to be taken out of the deceased’s frozen bank accounts. If you provide the invoice from the funeral directors to their bank, the money in their bank account will be used to pay the fees, if there is enough in the account to cover the costs.  Funeral costs take precedence over other debts.

Funeral payment Scheme

The funeral payment scheme is a government programme to help people on a low income or receiving benefits to help them afford the cost of a funeral. However, there are certain requirements you must meet to be eligible to claim, which you should read carefully and can be found on the government website.

It will not cover the entirety of the funeral costs and if you are due to receive money from the deceased’s estate this must be used to pay back the government.

The funeral payment scheme can help you pay for,

  • The cost of moving the deceased (dependent on specific conditions)
  • Travel costs to go to the funeral
  • Up to £700 for funeral expenses, this could be the funeral directors fee, the coffin or flowers for the service
  • Cremation fees
  • Burial fees
  • Death certificates or other documents
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