People often describe organising a funeral as baffling, terrifying, weird, overwhelming or devastating.
The first thing to note is that a funeral may only take place after the death has been registered. After this daunting task, there are countless decisions that have to be made by the organiser during one of the most upsetting times of their lives.
Did your loved one have any specific funeral wishes?
Did they choose a burial or cremation? Not everyone wishes to have a traditional funeral, some may choose a humanist funeral, green burial or even direct cremation.
So, how can you find your loved one’s wishes?
Their Will could be the best place to start, although under the present law, the executors appointed under the Will have ownership of the body and are, technically, the decision makers for funeral arrangements. They are not obliged to follow the funeral wishes expressed in the Will, however, most families would endeavour to ensure that their loved one’s wishes were followed.
If not recorded in their Will, the best they could have done was to make their wishes known to the right persons. A simple expression of whether they wish to be buried or cremated is sufficient; the detail is better left to a conversation with appropriate members of the family.
What else do you need to consider…
Let’s look at some further points you’ll need to address for arranging a funeral:
- Is the burial or scattering / internment of the ashes to be at a specific place?
- Contact the funeral director; if you don’t know which one to use, your GP or hospital may help here, but do some research or seek recommendations for a reputable local company.
- This is a very distressing and emotional part of dealing with the death of a loved one. There are so many decisions to be made for example, where the service will take place and what time, how many cars will be required, will the coffin be pine or oak, the type of handles, what music will be played, arrangement for visiting your loved one in the chapel of rest. It’s probably advisable to get your family together to discuss these points before meeting the funeral director so that you have a clear idea of what is required.
- How many attendees and the organisation?
- The order and type of Service.
- Flowers and / or donations (to a charity).
- Newspaper announcements.
- Where will the Wake be held – food, drink and accessibility for attendees.
Paying for the funeral
According to research by The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the average cost of a funeral in 2017 was nearly £3,800.
If your loved one had available funds in their bank account then arrangements can be made for the funeral account to be paid direct from these available funds. But your loved one may have had a funeral plan. If they did, you should obviously look to claim against this.
In certain circumstances, you can apply for Bereavement Support Payment – to see if you are eligible call the Bereavement Service helpline or pick up a form from your local Job Centre Plus Bereavement Service Helpline Telephone: 0345 606 0265.
However, you choose to arrange a funeral, you should set a budget that you stick to.
Are you unsure about how to record your own funeral wishes and whether to include them in your Will? Would you like some professional advice?
If you are considering including your funeral wishes in your own Will, or perhaps you don’t yet have a Will but would like one, then there is no need to worry. To provide you with peace of mind, you can discuss your situation and concerns with Trusted Law.
We will work with you to agree what is best for you both and your family. Everything we discuss will always be private and confidential, and you will never feel rushed or pressured.
Trusted Law offers convenient appointments in the comfort of your own home – including evenings and weekends! So it couldn’t be easier…..
To make your appointment, or for an informal chat, please feel free to contact us on
Tel: 01953 711950 / 01603 339055
SMS text msg: 07972 212355 or
Please note that this information is provided as a guide only and in accordance with the current laws as at the date of publishing.
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