The topic of funerals can be quite daunting for some people. There are questions which surround what you can do and what you can’t. To help you out we’ve put a list together of the most frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions: Funerals
What happens when my relative/friend dies?
It depends on where they die. If it happens in a hospital or hospice, they will keep the body in a private room so the family can visit before moving it to the mortuary. If it happens at home and is expected you should phone their doctor – if unexpected phone an ambulance.
What should I do when they die?
There are some things you need to do in the first few days. First, you need to get a medical certificate. You can get this from a doctor and you need it to register the death, which is the second step. This has to be done within five days in England and eight days in Scotland. It’s so you can get the documents you need for the funeral. Finally, you can then arrange the funeral, either through a funeral director or you can do it yourself. For more information see the Government website.
How do I know which funeral director to choose?
It’s important to shop around and enquire carefully. The difficult thing is they all look the same, but they do have their differences. Family run funeral homes aren’t always necessarily the best and the same applies to big funeral groups like The Co-operative Group. You can shop around by either visiting funeral directors or phoning them. Knowing what you want helps with quotes and price comparisons. The National Association of Funeral Directors offer a list of registered and checked directors.
Do I have to have a funeral director?
No, not at all. If you wish to carry out the funeral by yourself that’s fine. There’s no law to say you have to use a funeral director, but the government do advice that you contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium department of your local council if you are considering it. The main rule is that you must have a burial or a cremation, other than that you are more or less free to do what you like. If you need any advice you can also contact The Natural Death Centre helpline for more about DIY funerals or Final Fling have a list of options.
What does a funeral director do?
The funeral director looks after the person who has died and also makes the arrangements for the funeral. They are also there to put you in touch with other service providers such as celebrants, florists, caterers etc. Remember you do not have to go with who they tell you to, and if you would prefer to bring your own food or flowers, for example, then they must let you.
How soon after the death can a funeral take place?
Usually it’s best to wait between 7 and 10 days. However in some circumstances it is possible for the funeral to take place within 24 hours of the death.
If I chose a cremation, how can I be certain that the remains I get back are those of my loved one?
The cremation process is governed by strict rules and regulations. The crematorium authorities take great care to ensure that ashes do not get mixed and that every individual cremation is kept completely separate.
How much does a funeral cost?
Funeral costs can vary depending on what you want. You can check out our podcast to find out more.