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How to arrange a funeral

How to arrange a funeral

A funeral gives people the chance to say goodbye to a loved one and come together to support each other. You may have already discussed with your loved one what they want or they might have written it down in their Will or advanced care plan. If so, these wishes are a good place to start.

When should I start arranging a funeral?

You can start planning a funeral as soon as you like, but make sure you know whether the death might have to be reported to the coroner. If it does, this could affect the date the funeral can be held.

Who decides whether there’s a cremation or a burial?

Check whether your loved one left any indication of their wishes; they might have written them down in their Will, in their advanced care plan or perhaps in a ‘When I’m gone’ box or folder.

If not, it is up to the executor of the Will or the next of kin to decide.

There are alternatives to traditional services (e.g. green funerals), which you can discuss with the funeral director.

How do I choose a funeral director?

We can give you a list of local funeral directors and it’s wise to obtain at least two written quotes. It’s worth knowing that funeral directors who are members of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), or the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) must give you price lists when you contact them, and these prices cannot be exceeded without your permission.

Do I have to use a funeral director?

It is possible to arrange a funeral yourself and there are also other services available. Please see the Government’s website here for details.

How much does a funeral cost in the UK?

Funeral costs do vary. The average cost of a funeral is around £4,200, but the cost does depend on the type of funeral you choose. You’ll need to consider:

  • Funeral director fees
  • Burial or cremation fees
  • ‘Disbursements’. These are third-party costs that a funeral director may pay on your behalf (e.g. crematorium or cemetery fees or a newspaper announcement about the death)
  • Other costs, eg flowers, food and so on

Check each of the quotes you get to find out exactly what they cover. You may also want to ask about anything extra that you’ll need to pay for separately. The quote may not include the burial or crematorium fees, flowers and notices in the local paper for example. The funeral director should be able to offer you advice about some of these extra expenses.

What will I need to give to the funeral director?
The funeral director will need the death certificate. Or, if it’s a coroner’s case, then the coroner will have given the relevant paperwork to you or the funeral director.

How do I pay for a funeral?

You may be able to pay for the funeral with a funeral plan or insurance, or the costs of the funeral may be taken out of the person’s estate. If you’re struggling to afford the costs, there might be help available. The Money Advice Service has more information on this.

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