Quick Navigation (click to expand)
Choose a Funeral Director in Your Area
It's a human condition that we never seem to adjust to death. A wealth of emotions are released all at the same time, leaving us confused and often unable to think properly or effectively, all part of coping with loss and grief. During these times we turn to people we trust and love to make sense of what has happened. Meanwhile there's a short period of time where a funeral needs to be arranged, and the cost of a funeral could be a few thousand or a lot more...while we may not know where we're going to find the funds to be able to afford a good send off. It's not an easy time.
Most people find themselves calling on the assistance of a Funeral Director to help them make the process of arranging a funeral that much easier, at a time which is very difficult. What does a funeral director do? Are they important? Do all religions have one? Should you use a funeral director? Can't everything be done yourself? Is there such a thing as DIY funerals?
I Need A Funeral Director But No One Has Died
It seems a bit silly to need to find a funeral director before someone has died. But they do offer a range of services aside from directly burying the deceased within a week to ten days. There is a method whereby people can arrange a funeral in advance and pay for it too. This service is called a prepaid funeral plan. You simply arrange monthly payments with a local funeral director or national funeral plan provider and your relatives will not have to concern themselves with paying for your funeral when you die.
The Role Of A Funeral Director
A funeral home or director of a funeral is the go between for all parties involved in the funeral process. They link the whole chain to ensure your loved one is cared for every step of the way, right up until the moment they are buried or cremated.
You probably won't recall how you found the Funeral Director, recommended by a friend or having flicked through a directory for a contact and picked one out of the blue. But there you sit with a funeral director in your living room and the awkward discussion begins. The funeral director will make you feel at ease, will speak gently, having had this discussion thousands of times before.
They won't pretend to care, they do care. Your emotional state may well be affecting them to but they are here to assist not compound your worries. After a short chat and a cup of tea where you will be probably teased of information about the loved one who has died. Matters will become a little more formal. A range of questions will be asked that ascertain how the funeral should proceed.
This initial talk will allow for the deceased to be either transferred to a funeral home, your home or a hall for viewing. The Director will also take care of all paperwork, and there is a lot. From burial plot requirements to council and church yard, death certificates, any coroner contact and they will also complete the creation and delivery of death notices and obituaries for websites and local / national newspapers as you so wished.
How They Prepare For The Funeral
A very large percentage of the British public are Church of England. This means that you were born into the English faith system but quite possible means the last time you were at Church was when Christened or as a child. This is not a problem when it comes to the Church service.
Today, most C of E funeral services are open to being more obliging about personal requests. The Funeral Director will go through a check list to find out which are your preferences. This will contain the wishes of the deceased, burial, cremation, natural / green, scattered. And move onto subjects like the hymns which will be sung, the music that we played - popular or religious, both.
You will also be able to choose religious text, psalms and parables to be read or being an open church, poems, literature, quotes from authors and artists. You will also need to choose casket / coffin / urn and consider costs of each an decoration and material required. It's all a lot to think about and decide upon and not all needs to be decided then and there.
Organising How The Funeral Service Should Run
Towards the end, while the funeral director will have talked to you a bit about who the deceased was, they will need to write an obituary on your behalf. Or this is something a friend or family member can do also. The director will need to know such details as the deceased's achievements in life, who they were as a person, their beliefs and hobbies and important people in their life and who the deceased was valued by.
An obituary is the story of a person's life for those in the congregation to understand further and acknowledge. With most hymns, readings and obituary collated. An Order of Service will be formed and you can then begin to organise how people should arrive at the service location. In vehicles and funeral procession from the location of a wake, if there should be flowers accepted or donations to a charity or both.
Putting Measures In Place For After The Funeral
The funeral director's job is not complete at the end of the service. Whether cremated or buried, you may request a burial side service directly after the funeral or a memorial service some months after. You have to remember that any headstone will be delivered months after and is a good time for a memorial to beheld. in the instance of cremation, a director can arrange for ashes to be offered in a scatter tube rather than urn and find out where ashes can be scattered as per yours or the deceased's wishes. Arranging paperwork if necessary. Another angle is repatriation to another country, this may be needed before the funeral or after.
Why Should You Use A Funeral Director?
For 90% of the public using a funeral director is a natural course of action. They are there to help in every way possible. They have all the contacts, their fees are lower because of these contacts but yes a funeral does cost a lot of money if having one with all the embellishments. A funeral director can offer help, guidance and support before, throughout and after. They are not tagged to one religion and are open to green funerals and funerals where Pop songs may be played or are inter faith. Simply put, it's the easiest and quickest way while you focus on grieving and being with family and friends.
How Does A Funeral Director Service Compare To A DIY Funeral?
Having read all the above you probably think it is impossible to arrange a funeral yourself or a more popular term, a Do It Yourself Funeral. It's impossible but it will take time an effort. You will need to ensure all related paperwork is completed at each stage. Hire a Celebrant to run the service if not using a Priest or Reverend from a Church or another religious place of worship. You will need to get the coffin or casket made and delivered, arrange headstone, organise vehicle hire, hearse, pallbearer hire and arrange for burial plot to be dug and refilled, amongst many other items.
How To Find a Funeral Director
There are cemeteries, churches, graveyard, mausoleums and natural woodland for green burials all around the United Kingdom. Whether you need a funeral director in London, Birmingham or Manchester or in the Outer Hebrides or the Isle of Wight, a funeral director will be local and can travel as and when needed to assist in you making your funeral plans a reality. Simply choose your location below to find a funeral director near you.
You probably won't believe how much hard work is involved when a person dies. There's lots of paperwork and more notices to agencies than when you were alive.
Death can even be linked to an event, funeral homes know this and more.
Ask anyone up and down the country what they would do when someone has died and need to make arrangements and their first port of call will probably be a funeral director. Do they know there is an alternative to using a funeral home? Do they care?
Would it matter if you started trying to organise all the funeral transport and burial details yourself? Is that even legal to do? Yes it is. In fact you can do all the paperwork yourself. Obviously you'll need someone to confirm that the death has occurred and naturally, and not suspicious and requiring a coroner.
However everything else can be arranged by you. But do you want a DIY funeral? Adhering to the wishes in the Will and Testament is obviously important and opinions of those of close family, yet determining the type of casket or urn, whether cremation or burial, it's yours to choose to do.
Let's remember though why most of the country would turn to a funeral parlour. When someone dies and I've experienced this as have most by the age of twenty-five, we are not really all there are we? Emotionally I mean. When my Mum died I couldn't focus on anything nor wished to.
Funeral Director FAQ
What exactly does a Funeral Director do?
The most important factor about a funeral home is that they have contacts. A bit like a builder receiving a project and knowing where to get all craftsmen from, getting them working together to achieve the final aim
In this instance he / she knows people working at crematoriums and churches, pallbearers, caterers, florists, people to dig a grave, headstone suppliers, drivers and transportation for a funeral procession, a celebrant - the person who can read at a non denominational funeral or if Priest not chosen
Everyone and everything associated with a funeral is on speed dial. No matter your religion or the request of a Green funeral, everything can be wrapped up within an hour. There is no waiting on quotes or prices, the most important thought of a funeral director is how you feel and allowing you to grieve while they deal with the organising of you saying Goodbye.
A funeral parlour will follow fully rehearsed procedures and enact the following:
- See that death certificate is properly issued
- Will store and prepare the body by embalming if funeral is a longer period
- Prepare deceased for viewing in a process called funeral cosmetology
- Ensure that if a burial is required, correct certification is obtained
- Can write a death notice and submit to publications for Obituary section as requested
- Will inform of local cemeteries and graveyards, their services
- Arrange for Coffin / Urn to be built to your specifications from a list of featured designs
- Will explain about headstones, the delay, the design and arrange for additional graveyard service if required
- Can arrange additional flowers or suggest any flowers be sent to the place of service
- Will carefully review your options pertaining to a Order of Service
- Will suggest hymns, readings and psalms after hearing about the deceased
- Can write a Eulogy which is read out as a way to celebrate a person's life
- Arrange transportation, pallbearers and pick up points
- Book a venue for a wake or meeting after the funeral
- Even supply catering for any such an event
I believe we have ascertained why most people turn to a funeral director when someone passes, because there is really so much to plan. Even a simple funeral requires joining all the people and locations and certification together to ensure it runs smoothly.
There are many different ways a funeral can come to pass, a Green funeral does not tend to use a religious ceremony in a place of worship. In fact the middle of a forest is ideal. Again Crematoriums can differ, they can offer both religious funerals or non denominational.
A funeral parlour will go to great lengths to meet your wishes.Should the deceased be a supporter of a football club, their anthem may be played or the flag draped on the coffin - even a parade from the football ground and service held at the club. There are really no limits as to what a funeral home, parlour or director will do to make the bereaved feel they are offering the best funeral they can to a loved one.
Do they overcharge vs doing it yourself?
No one reads the small print, even if it was called big print we probably wouldn't bother. Let's be honest we are used to being diddled and reading every document thrice over is niggly. Would a funeral home really rip you off, do they overcharge? The answer is yes some actually do.
It's unfair and unethical to take advantage but in an emotional state we are a party to making some quite silly decisions that we wouldn't normally do. It's important to note that you can use a funeral director for any service they offer, without actually buying into the kaboodle. You can allow them to arrange the Order of Service but not necessarily the coffin.
For whichever reason, perhaps your friend is a carpenter, perhaps the headstone can be made by a cousin who is a stone mason. Your best friend is a poet so will do the death notices and Eulogy. A funeral director has a basic fee that will be listed for their time and experience in brining all the parts of a funeral together.
However you are not obliged to buy any extras, though they will be proffered. In the main they are useful, additional flowers, catering arrangements, transportation, pallbearers. Essentials such as grave diggers, Church hire. In truth yes they can overcharge on these services, that's why even with a funeral parlour you should compare online before you buy.
Even better, get a recommendation. I wouldn't know if overpaid on the casket. You can order from a third party but most choose ease of access than trying to join the dots to save a £100. Across many services and charged many times more it can add up, again try to compare prices in the area from different funeral homes.
Are there things you can do yourself instead of the funeral parlour?
Should you go DIY and a do it yourself funeral? As suggested further up, funeral directors do a lot to help you but if your cousins are stone masons, poets, authors, carpenters, TV presenters and their services are cheaper or free. Then that's headstone, death notice, Eulogy, coffin, celebrant catered for.
Is it cheaper to organise your own funeral? I would say yes but it depends on how amenable prices are at your local funeral home. A director that provides constant business may get a better deal than a one off customer wanting a similar product. Weight up the pros and cons, compare prices of independent vendors and that of a funeral home and you'll make the best choice.
Things a funeral home knows that you might not...
- Did you know that you are most likely to die in bed or... on the toilet. That's right, because a heart attack can feel like you need to go to the toilet, most people if they get there go to die on the lavatory. Charming.
- Have you ever noticed how the Elderly and married tend to go soon after the other passes, despite age differences.It's a wonder but psychologically it could be they were hanging on for a reason and then just gave up. Similarly a lot of people wait until Christmas has been done and dusted or their Birthday for the last Goodbye.
- If you are perfectly healthy human who has not visited the doctor for a long time, but your death is unexplainable, the fact you didn't visit a doctor recently means there is actually no way of knowing how your death came to pass. So you will mostly likely end up at a Coroners. That's one reason to visit a doctor.
A funeral director is a very important part in the chain when it comes to burying or cremating the deceased. The last thing, personally speaking, that I would wish to do is pick up the yellow pages and find all the individual aspects to create a funeral myself. All people are not the same however. Compare prices, add personal touches, do as you feel is right and to your own budget and do not feel forced to include anything not required. If in doubt, do ask us first!