FAQs

This section is created so you can see question and answers to some common queries. Click on the question to show the answer

What happens when someone dies at home or in a Nursing Home?
1. Usually a doctor is called.
2. Once the doctor has been, please telephone us to arrange the removal to our Chapel of Rest.
3. We provide experienced staff 24 hours a day to effect the removal within an hour of your call.
4. A funeral director will contact you either that day or possibly the next morning to arrange a convenient time to sit down and discuss the funeral arrangements.
What happens when someone dies in hospital?
1. You will normally be informed by the hospital.
2. Please contact us to let us know as soon as possible.
3. We will inform you of the best procedure.
4. We will arrange a convenient time to sit down and discuss the funeral arrangements with you.
How am I going to cope with all the things that have to be done?
1. Don't worry.
2. We are only a phone call away to help you make some order of the disorder.
3. Please feel free to contact us.
4. We will be pleased to offer friendly, professional advice.
How do I register a death?
1. All deaths need to be registered at the local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, in the Registrar's area in which the death occurred. 2. We will advise you on all aspects of registration. Where to go; documents required; opening hours; appointment necessary etc. 3. Sometimes it is possible to inform the registrar of a death by declaration: i.e in a different registry office than the local one. This is particularly useful if you live in a different area to that where the death occurred. We will be happy to advise you of the procedure.
What happens if the Coroner is involved?
1. Sometimes a death may have to be reported to H M Coroner.
2. You will be kept informed by the coroner's officer – and sometimes a police officer.
3. In due course the Coroner will issue a certificate of the cause of death for the registrar.
4. Circumstances vary as to procedure but we will be able to explain this to you.
5. We will liaise with the Coroner and keep you informed in all cases.
When will the funeral take place?
1. It would usually take place about five working days after making the funeral arrangements.
2. Remember that the funeral has to be arranged with the minister, church and the Cemetery or Crematorium.
3. We will sit down with you and give you all the necessary options.
4. We will tell you the earliest possible date that the funeral can take place.
5. The choice is yours whether the earliest date is convenient or you would prefer to delay it for the family's convenience.
6. You may wish to avoid birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, examinations or other family occasions.
Are there any special instructions?
1. You may have recently talked to the person who has died about special requests.
2. There may be specific requests in their will which is probably held by a solicitor or bank.
3. Perhaps a pre-paid funeral plan has been purchased in which case you'll know some of their wishes.
4. Sometimes you may have to make the decision yourself.
Burial or cremation?
Burial
1. A burial can be more expensive than a cremation.
2. If a burial is chosen: which cemetery or churchyard is preferred?
Will it be a new grave? These are usually opened to allow space for two people, sometimes three.
3. Is there an existing family grave to be re-opened? We will need details of the last interment so that we can locate the grave.
4. Can I choose a memorial for the grave? Different cemeteries have different regulations on which we will be pleased to advise.

Cremation
1. A cremation is often less expensive than a burial.
2. If a cremation is chosen: which crematorium is preferred?
3. How can I remember the person who has died after a cremation? There are many options usually provided by the crematorium, including Books Of Remembrance, rose bushes and commemorative plaques.

What will I do with their cremated remains (ashes) afterwards?
There are two alternatives: They can either be scattered or buried. It is then a question of where?

Burial of cremated remains
1. If they are buried, it may be in an existing family grave where there is no room for a further burial
2. Or in your local churchyard which may be closed for full burials
3. You may decide to purchase a new cremated remains plot at the crematorium and have a memorial tablet with an inscription so that you have somewhere to visit afterwards
4. They could be buried at sea, which we can arrange, or by the Royal Navy if there are Naval connections
5. Or you may decide to take them and bury them in your own garden

Scattering of cremated remains
1. If they are scattered, it may be on an existing family grave in a cemetery
2. In the garden of remembrance at the crematorium
3. Scattered at sea, by yourself or with the help of a friend who has a boat
4. Or scattered in a favourite place, perhaps your own garden with a seat or favourite plant sited for remembrance

If any of the above is confusing or not appropriate please do not rush into a wrong decision.
We will always be pleased to hold the cremated remains at our premises to allow you the time to think about and settle on the right decision A choice of containers is available
Where will the funeral take place?
1. The majority of funerals take place in a church, or in a cemetery or crematorium chapel or at the graveside in a cemetery or churchyard. Some religions would hold a service at a synagogue, temple or mosque or even a village hall. Unlike weddings, funerals can be held almost anywhere, even at a private residence.
Who will conduct the service?
1. At a church service the member of the clergy will normally conduct the funeral service and stipulate what can or cannot be done within the church. As a general rule and following consultation, the minister will be quite happy for relatives or friends to participate in the funeral service.
2. In other places anyone may be asked to conduct a funeral service, a religious minister of any denomination, a non-religious minister, a humanist, the funeral director, a friend or relative or a member of a connected club or organisation.
3. We will be pleased to contact the minister on your behalf or advise and work with you to construct the most appropriate form of service.
How do we plan the service?
1. It is important that you have the sort of service that you feel most comfortable with. When a clergyman is involved he would normally contact the next of kin and arrange to meet in order to plan and discuss the most appropriate form of funeral service.
2. This is the time to mention any special music, readings, poems or tributes you may want during the funeral service. You may like a tribute of personal memories spoken by a close personal friend.
3. Remember that each service is unique and a tribute to the person who has died.
What is an address?
1. The address, also known as the 'tribute' is a short history, a speech about the person who has died. Usually delivered by the minister at the funeral service but sometimes by a relative or friend
2. It is important to give this some thought before the funeral. It gives a personal touch to the service

How did he or she like to be known
Perhaps they always used their middle name, or a nickname
A short history of their life
Childhood, family connections, clubs or associations, likes and dislikes of golf, gardening or sport in fact anything that says 'that's him/her!'
Most importantly their character. Did they tell terrible jokes? Were they happy and bubbly? Often a humourous family story can make all the difference to a funeral service
What music can we use?
1. Almost any music can be used. Organ music, musical instruments, personally taped music or CD's
2. At a church there is usually an organist. Arrange the music and hymns in conjunction with the minister. remember that some hymns have more than one tune
3. At a crematorium we are limited to time but it is possible to play two or three pieces of music, or a double service time can be booked
4. We will be pleased to help and advise on music to be played during the service
Should we visit the Chapel of Rest?
1. This is a very personal choice. There is no right or wrong answer
2. Many people gain considerable comfort in visiting to pay their final respects, whilst others prefer to keep their personal memories of happier times
3. You can ask for the coffin to be brought home so you can pay your respects there if you wish, or it may rest at our Chapel of Rest
4. We normally supply a gown styled robe to dress the person who has died
5. You may prefer to supply us with some personal clothes
6. Certainly, spectacles or dentures if normally used help us to present a more natural appearance
7. Artefacts such as photographs or cards, perhaps a small flower may be placed in the coffin
8. You may need to decide whether items of jewellery should be left on or returned to the family
9. If you wish to visit the Chapel of Rest we ask you to telephone to make a mutually convenient appointment
Who will carry the coffin?
1. We provide bearers in all cases
2. Members of the family or friends may wish to assist. This is possible, but they would probably need some simple instruction beforehand
What transport will we need?
1. The only essential vehicle required for a funeral is a hearse. We provide a hearse for all our funerals
2. A limousine can be provided. Each limousine seats six or seven passengers
3. Our limousines are equipped with umbrellas for use in inclement weather
How will the funeral proceed?
Most families choose the address at which the family will assemble before the funeral service
There are three options:

1. The funeral procession may leave from the family house. This is the most traditional method
2. The limousine can collect the family from a chosen address and travel directly to the place of service
3. You could meet the funeral at the place of service
Are there any differences in procedure for a church service?
As well as the choices above, there are even more options available for a church service:

You may wish that the coffin is received into church before the service starts so that when you arrive it is similar to the way in which you would start a normal Sunday service
After a church service, you may not want to go to the crematorium for the committal. We can liaise with the minister and perhaps arrange for the service and committal to take place in church. This alleviates the necessity of attending the crematorium leaving you at the church to meet the people who have attended the service. Sometimes we can arrange to leave the flowers at the church too
You may want to attend the committal as a small private family unit and have a large thanksgiving service to follow. This can be achieved by arranging a back to front funeral, when a private committal service takes place before the thanksgiving service. This leaves you far more flexibility to arrange a convenient time for the thanksgiving service at the church with the minister
There are many options and we would be pleased to advise in all circumstances.
How do we get home after the funeral?
Our limousines will return the family to the home address, or if previously advised, some other local address afterwards
What will the funeral cost?
The cost of a funeral is made up of two parts:

1. Our funeral charges
2. Disbursements

To determine the total cost of a funeral the two separate parts have to be added together
The Funeral Charges:
The cost of the funeral varies depending on the choice of coffin or casket chosen and the services provided
All our normal services are included within the cost; these are the transportation to the Chapel of Rest, hygienic treatment, viewing at the Chapel of Rest, arranging the funeral, providing a hearse and bearers,attendance of the funeral director throughout proceedings and administration of all appropriate documentation. We also offer a basic funeral which provides the essential requirements

Disbursements:
These are fees that the funeral director pays on your behalf and includes in your final account
Disbursement items might include fees at the crematorium or cemetery, the minister's fee or fees for a church service, the organist's fee and for a cremation, the doctor's fees for completing the statutory cremation forms, newspaper notices, floral tributes, printing of Order of Service sheets and so on

There may be additional charges for the disposal of cremated remains

If the death occurred, or the funeral is to take place, some distance from our office, a mileage charge might apply

Explanation of costs: All charges will be explained verbally at the initial arrangements, and a total estimated cost will be provided in writing before the funeral takes place

Our fully itemised funeral account is sent after the funeral.
What do we need to know about flowers?
If you decide that floral tributes are appropriate, in memory of the person who has died, you may invite people to send flowers in a variety of ways

Essentially there are four options:

1. All flowers – anyone who would like to send flowers can send them to our office
2. Family flowers only with donations to a charity of your choice
3. Either flowers or donations – giving people a choice
4. Some people request no flowers at all, and people may donate to a charity if they wish

We will gladly order flowers for the immediate family or recommend a florist

After the funeral we are often asked to take cut flowers to a local nursing home or hospital
What do we do about donations?
If you decide that donations are appropriate the family nominate a charity and invite people to donate to that charity in memory of the person who has died

We are pleased to collect the donations on behalf of the family

We acknowledge receipt of donations to the donor

The total amount collected is passed to the nominated charity

The family is provided with a list of donors approximately one month after the funeral
How do I place a newspaper notice?
You can contact the paper directly or we can assist you

We can assist you to draft a newspaper notice and can provide suitable words, quotes or verses if required

You may like to announce the funeral and the choice of flowers or donations

We can place the notice for you in any local or national newspaper
What will the mourners do after the funeral?
Family members and friends usually get together after a funeral. This may be at their house, a village or church hall, a hotel or a club or public house

We will be pleased to recommend venues or caterers and make all the necessary arrangements on your behalf
How do we pay for the funeral?
Payment can be made by cash or cheque.
Can I get help from the DSS towards the cost of a funeral?
You will need to get form SF 200 from the DSS which needs to be completed and returned within three months of the funeral.

You may qualify for assistance if the person responsible for arranging the funeral is receiving: Income Support, Income based Job seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance.
Dealing with the Estate
Depending on the size of the estate and if a will has been left, the probate office may need to be contacted, or legal advice obtained
Memorials
We will be pleased to give advice or arrange the memorial