Arranging a Funeral

Danielle Houghton

Community Writer

Even thinking of arranging a funeral for someone you love can be stressful and heartbreaking. Still, having a general idea of arranging a funeral checklist, who is responsible for arranging a funeral, how to organize a funeral yourself, or even organizing a funeral without a funeral director can be worthwhile in the hard times to come.

Take a note that you need the death certificate issued by the Registrar of births, deaths and marriages or an interim certificate issued by the corner to proceed with the funeral arrangements.

To reduce the amount of work you would have to put up with in planning a funeral we have simplified step-by-step funeral guide in arranging a funeral in the UK to benefit you in the long run.

1. Choosing a Funeral Director

Funeral directors are also known as undertakers. They will take care of all funeral arrangements from registering the death, planning the funeral service, funeral procession, sourcing flowers for the funeral, coffin and hearse, to cremation or burial. Funeral directors will help you in three distinct ways in planning a funeral:

  • As an adviser who will listen to you and will help you with proper solutions before, during and after the funeral,
  • As an event planner who will source, guide and supervise other funeral service providers and services. They will source the funeral flowers, take care of press notices, source an organist, pay the fees for the religious services and burial or cremation, source for embalming, arrange to use of Chapel of Rest, transport, a memorial, catering and stationery as well.
  • As a service provider who will provide a coffin, transport and take good care of the deceased until the funeral, who will arrange the hearse while getting done with all the other paperwork and required forms on behalf of you.

Reserve a few minutes to find a few reputed funeral directors near you, compare their prices and services, check their customer reviews and experience before finalizing your decision. We advise you to consider recommendations from your friends above all, as planning the funeral with a familiar and trustworthy funeral director will ease your stress. They will make you comfortable in planning the funeral of your loved one as you and the family wish.

If you wish to arrange a funeral without a funeral director, you can contact the Natural Death Centre, Cemetery or the Crematorium department near you for help and guidance.

2. Dealing with the cost for the funeral arrangements

If the loved one who died has left no funeral plan, you can check the will, discuss with the family and the close friends how the funeral should look like (whether it is a cremation or a burial), and the budget. Once you finalize the decision, you can contact the funeral director and check what services are possible with your budget. Ask for a written estimate with a cost breakdown, sign the contract and pay for the funeral if it is pre-paid funeral.

3. Providing details about the deceased to the funeral director

Provide the full name of the person who died, the date and the place of birth, the full address of the last residence of the deceased, the location where the death took place and the approximate time of death. These details are required to obtain the death certificate which is necessary to proceed with the funeral arrangements and to take care of the paperwork necessitated to obtain the certificate for cremation or burial.

4. Funeral Wishes

If your loved one who died has left a funeral wish-list or a funeral instruction in their will, you can follow as mentioned. If not, you can discuss with the family and closest friends of the deceased about the funeral choice. Check whether they have already arranged for a pre-paid funeral plan or if there are any records of funeral plan payments in their bank statements. This choice is one of the crucial decisions you may have to make as the funeral is the ever-lasting ceremony you, family and friends may attend as a celebration of the life of the loved one who has died.

5. How long does it take to arrange a funeral?

Usually, the funeral is held one or two weeks after the death. The time consumed for the funeral arrangements may vary according to the type of funeral required, religious beliefs of the deceased and any other family circumstances. If the family members or the closest friends live afar, the funeral date is stretched to allow everyone to attend the ceremony.

Reservation of the crematorium is also to be considered as some days as Fridays can be specifically busy. Whether you are planning for a burial or cremation, your funeral director will help you arrange a convenient venue and a time for the funeral and reception. In case you desire to arrange the funeral overseas, there are specific funeral directors to assist you through the legal process of repatriation. In the same way, they can help you bring the loved one who has died in another country back to the UK safely by taking care of all the complex paperwork to free you from the burden.

However, it is better to start planning the funeral once you receive the death certificate or from the very beginning to avoid stress magnified with the grief of loss.

6. Spending the time with the loved one

The hardest part of finding that your loved one has passed away would be taking their body from the family to prepare for the funeral. As this moment is extremely sentimental for the bereaved, the funeral home takes good care of this removal process with the utmost respect.

The funeral homes either let the family spend alone time with the loved one in contemplation or arrange for a formal visitation in a Chapel of Rest to be attended by a wider group.

Frequently, the embalming service (temporary preservation of the body) is subcontracted by the funeral director. The family can provide the dress or clothing, may it be the favourite dress of the deceased. The funeral director will ensure that the loved one is respectfully washed, groomed and dressed for the final goodbye.

7. Sourcing the coffin, funeral flowers and funeral cars

A variety of coffins ranging from inexpensive to traditional wooden coffins, urns for cremation ashes, hearse, extra funeral cars for the mourners to the funeral flower arrangements, are sourced by your respected funeral director. Remember to consider a wide range of options for these facilities provided by the funeral director when you select one.

Even though preparing for the funeral arrangement would be super painful, it is one last opportunity you will ever get to spend with the one who has passed away. While arranging the funeral, you will learn a great deal about them than usual; even the slightest details will begin to mean a lot to you and others.

Therefore, take enough time to prepare and notify everyone beforehand to avoid mistakes. Get bereavement support and the help of a professional funeral director to arrange the funeral and the funeral service to ensure that nothing goes wrong in planning the final farewell to your loved one.