Funeral Planning

Planning A Funeral

If you are asked to plan a Funeral, or if you prefer the idea of taking that burden away from loved ones and ensuring your Funeral is how you want it to be. Then read on;

It will amaze you to know that according to a Government Report in 2020, Of family members left to arrange a Funeral, only 1% knew what the deceased would have ideally wanted, And Only 1 in 5 had any idea at all.

There is a lot to consider. We recommend sitting down with an experienced professional, however the more you know, the more you can make that meeting beneficial and effective.

Alternatively should you decide to complete everything on your own. We have endeavoured to make the process as simple as possible, adding downloadable checklists, flow charts and comparison tables for your use and ease.

Please find below the main considerations and links to the direct subject, alternatively just scroll down to read as you go.

  • Process – What to Do First.
  • Timeline
  • How to Choose a Funeral Director
  • Type of Funeral
  • Type of Ceremony/Service
  • Location of Funeral
  • Coffin or Urn Choice
  • Where will the body be kept / Visitation
  • Poems/Hymns/Songs
  • Vehicles & Venue
  • Funeral Costs
  • Checklist

Process & Timeline

Call a Doctor to start the recorded death process. They will issue the Death Certificate.

You may also want to start researching Funeral Directors, if not already planned.

You must register the death. You will need to find the register office and make an appointment.

You will need to take the deceased’s passport and birth certificate.

You will also need to decide where the deceased’s body is to be kept until the Funeral.

Now is the time to start making all the Funeral arrangements.

Decide on a Funeral Director who will be bale to help you through many of the steps you need to take.

Ensure you know what is their and your responsibilities, so you can ensure that you do what you need to. This may be any additional requests of the deceased not already covered. It may be things like Flowers, Songs, Location and Travel arrangements.

Start letting Friends and Family know about arrangements.

At some point after the Funeral, you will need to take care of any outstanding requirements for the deceased estate.  Alot of this will depend whether the deceased had a Will, A Trust and appointed people to among the winding down of their estate.

If not you will need to think of the following things.

Financial Offices, like HMRC. Banks, Employers, Loans or Mortgages, Pensions.

Utility Companies. Possible Landlords.

Post office for mail and On Line Social accounts.

You may also have to take care of Insurance claims, Inheritance Tax, the payment or reclamation of debts. It truly helps if you are aware of who to contact for each of these requirements.

If you are planning your own funeral and taking care of these arrangements to remove or ease these burdens from your loved ones. Compiling a simple folder with all the contact details is a really good idea.

Your Funeral Director will have talked to you about what to expect.

The time of collection, travel time, process and everything else.

Choosing A Funeral Director

Choosing A funeral Director really requires a lot more care than people may think. This is why it is far more advisable to have made these decisions why you are still here to do so.

Please understand that when your family is left to make these arrangements, their state of mind is not as you know it to be. Upset, stressed and emotional, it leaves them open to un-reputable Funeral Directors, not helping as they should, but taking advantage of the situation and charging more than they should for services given.

If you are unfortunately having to arrange a funeral for a loved one, please bear in mind the below  basic considerations of choosing a Funeral Director.

Choosing A Funeral Director

Your Funeral Director should ensure your loved one is cared for with the utmost respect and professionalism in high-quality, climate controlled facilities.

They should arrange for the deceased to be collected, prepared and transported to the funeral in line with your wishes.

A good Funeral Director will prepare, collect and distribute all the required documentation and coordinate external payments for you that are necessary for the funeral to legally proceed

They will help you choose a coffin for your loved one, music you and your family wish to be played and other key elements of the service including readings, transport, order of service sheets and much more.

They’ll help you personalise the funeral to best commemorate your loved one’s life.

Your Funeral Director will take the time to listen to your thoughts on how you would like the funeral to be conducted, offering professional guidance and support every step of the way.

They’ll be present on the day of the ceremony, managing the service and making sure the day runs smoothly.

A Funeral Notice is a personalised web page commemorating your loved one’s life. It provides all the essential details of the funeral in one convenient place. For those attending the funeral, a Funeral Notice makes it quick and easy to find out when it is taking place and where it is being held.

You can collect online donations for a special charity and provide the option for people to send flowers. This is helpful for both those attending as well as those who cannot make it on the day.

Your Funeral Director should:

  • Meet with you prior to the day of the funeral to ensure all your requirements are met, confirm arrangements and ensure all instructions are correctly recorded and any changes noted and acted upon
  • Be present at your side on the day to supervise the occasion and direct all in attendance
  • Ensure sufficient pallbearers are available and instructed to escort the coffin with dignity and respect
  • Prepare all locations for the service and committal and liaise with any Minister or officiants
  • Personally see to every detail, including the collection of cards from floral tributes, charitable donations, book of remembrance and other memorials from the day for you to treasure and keep

Deciding what to do with your loved ones ashes after cremation is an essential part of the grieving process. But before you decide anything, it’s important that you explore your options and learn what legal requirements you must abide by. Your Funeral Director will be able to guide on this

Your Funeral Director should ideally be registered with the National Association Of Funeral Directors or NAFD. This is not a regulatory body but a voluntary one showing professional commitment to service and value.

You Should also take into account third party approval through recommendations and testimonials.

A well versed and Professional Funeral Director should be able to offer you a complete service. Covering all related requirements, such as;

  • Death Registration
  • Coroner Information
  • Ashes and Cremation
  • Options on Coffins and Caskets
  • Funeral Rites
  • None Religious Ceremonies
  • Personalisation Of The Service
  • What to Wear To A Funeral
  • Cost Break Down And ALL Options

Funeral Choices

The first and most basic question is of course, Burial Or Cremation?

Cremation is probably the most popular choice these days. Easier to arrange and more cost effective. The amount of choice in Urn, Memorial, Plaque etc, have increased and allow more individual character.

Burial plot cost will be individual to the chosen location, with the popular ones being chosen and paid for well in advance. Ideally all burial plots should be chosen ahead of time, along with the headstone. Any future plans will need to take these requirements into consideration.

Type Of Service & Location

Choosing whether you want a Religious ceremony or more of a civil ceremony will decide what type of person you need to conduct the service.

The type of service will also help decide on Location. Church grounds, Woodland burial, At Sea ( though there places for these ) Eco Burials concentrating on Eco friendly options or Humanist Funerals.  Please bear in mind the type of vehicle used to get the location may have too be changed to accommodate where you intend to go.

Ashes can be kept or released at the loved ones favourite location or a more popular choice these days is to have the ashes as the start for a new tree.

There are many choice of each and will be as individual as the person.

From traditional Wood, to Wicker, Cardboard, Bamboo allowing more Eco friendly choices. Choice of burial or Cremation may have some factor as well.

Deciding of friends and family will be able to visit the deceased is an important question.

If so the next become where?  At home, or elsewhere.  Your Funeral Director should be able to guide you this.

Poems, Hymns and Songs are many and varied.

Many are chosen as a reminder of the individual or their favourite songs. When planning in advance you can decide what music you would like to have at your Funeral.

We have listed a separate page with the  more commonly chosen, please click here to go direct to that page – Poems/Hymns/Songs

Whether choosing a traditional Limousine, or something more personal to the deceased loved one, carefully consideration needs to be given to Location of the Service, especially if in Woodland area for example. Also the number of vehicles require will be dependent on whom is intended to travel in them.

Again your Funeral Director should be able to advise you on these considerations.

Funeral Costs

Data released by the Government Report 2020 shows that Funerals are increasing between 6-9% per year.  The average Basic cost of a Funeral in 2020 is estimated to be £4600. With Total costs anywhere between £6,000 and £10,000 pounds.  To explain the additional costs are made up of what are referred to as ‘Send Off Costs’ such as;

 Memorial Service.

Catering for the Wake

Venue hire for the wake.


Order of Service Sheets.

Death Notice or Obituary.

Limousines or Vehicles.

Notices of time and place of the funeral.

For many families, paying for these costs can be an excessive hardship. In fact the statistics according to the Government Report show, some horrendous figures.

The Effects of Compound Costs

At an average increase per year of between 6% and 9%. The increase price of Funerals are set to continue, soaring above the normal rates of inflation. This means that without adequate planning, your family will need to go into more debt to meet the costs of your Funeral.

There are simple and effective ways to save the situation and you all money. The sooner you plan ahead and take care of these inevitable costs, the easier it will be and the more you will save.

The table across shows the compound effect to the cost of covering the Basic requirements of a Funeral. It does not show the ‘Send off’ costs or Burial Plot costs.

Covering Funeral Cost Options

There are a number of options, normally thought of as ‘Covering’ the cost of a Funeral. However they may not be as straight forward as people would hope.

The main ones are Insurance or the fact you may have money in the bank to cover the costs of your funeral.   Please look at the table below to see how they compare to pre planning through a well thought out Pre Paid Funeral Plan.

Its very clear that planning ahead can ensure the best result and that Pre Paid funeral Plans for many will be the best option. So to look in further depth at these options please click the link to look at the Pre Paid Funerals Page