• We will ask you to choose different elements of the funeral, and offer advice to you if you have not already decided upon; such questions as:
– Will there be a burial or a cremation?
- – If there is an existing grave you would like to use and is permission available from the grave owner?
- – Would anyone in the family like to view the Deceased in an open coffin in a chapel of rest?
- – If you have a celebrant or minister in mind, what sort of person would you like to lead the service (it does not have to be a religious service)? And what do you want in the service?
- – Where would you like the service to be held, and would you like it longer than 30 minutes?
- – What kind of music would you like within the service? For example, the congregation’s entry, reflection, sung hymns if wanted, committal curtains at a cremation (curtains are optional), and exit – high quality recorded music of your choice is often provided at crematorium chapels; you may like an organist or other musician (sometimes extra fees are involved); do family and friends want to make a spoken or read contribution at the service?
- – All these points can also be discussed more thoroughly with a celebrant/minister.
- – Do you want a donations box made available for the service for charitable contributions?
- – Where would you like our Mercedes hearse to meet you and your family; do you need any limousines (each seats 6 people comfortably); and where do you plan to go when the service is over?
– What type of coffin or casket you would like to choose? (You can look at our website in advance for different designs).
– What time of the day you would consider? Funerals often start any time from 9am to 4.30pm if a cremation, up to 2.30pm usually if a burial; funerals can cost considerably less if they start before 10am, especially for cremations ; some costs are increased if you choose a service longer than 30 minutes, or have a service in a church, and then go on to a cemetery or crematorium a distance away, or if you choose a possible weekend time?
Having a late morning or mid afternoon funeral can be better for timing lunch rather than midday.
• Would you like an announcement in a local newspaper (we offer a small announcement free of charge)? A local paper commemorative website entry for 11 months is usually included.
• Do you need an invoice in advance of the funeral so that it can be taken directly to the Deceased’s bank with a Death Certificate for release of funeral expenses, thus benefitting from an early payment discount?
• If you already have a time planned or booked to visit a Registrar, (see further on) it will be easier to make a definite funeral booking as paperwork deadlines will be easier to predict, (often around a week) but can be less or more time, depending on many variables, where family wishes are taken into account.
• Two signatories are usually needed for our forms so it is useful for at least two responsible people to attend, one of whom should be an executor if possible, or next of kin. Applicants must be aged 18 or over. Please let us know if the next of kin is in receipt of DWP benefits or is in full-time education.
• Alternatively please let us know if you would like a home visit.
In England and Wales, you normally need to register the death within five days. It’s best to go to the register office in the area where the person died, as otherwise it may take longer to get the documents you need and this could delay the funeral. It will take about half an hour to register the death.
Who can register a death
If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by a relative, or someone present at the death,
or an occupant of the house, or an official from the hospital, or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.
Documents and information you will need
When registering a death, you’ll need to take the medical certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor) and, if available – the birth certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate, NHS Medical Card.
You’ll need to tell the registrar the person’s full name at time of death, any names previously used, including maiden surname, the person’s date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad), their last address, their occupation, the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner and if they were getting a state pension or any other state benefit
Documents and help you will receive
If a post-mortem is not being held, the registrar will give you:
• a certificate for burial or cremation (called the ‘green form’), giving permission for the body to be buried or to apply for the body to be cremated a certificate of registration of death (form BD8), issued for social security purposes if the person was on a state pension or benefits (read the information on the back, complete and return it, if it applies) You’ll be able to buy one or more death certificates at this time (the price varies between local authorities). These will be needed by the executor or administrator when sorting out the person’s affairs.
The Registrar will also give you a booklet called “What to do after a death”, with advice on wills, funerals and financial help. You can download a copy from www.direct.gov.uk.
You may need to tell a number of different government departments and agencies about the death. The registrar can advise you on how to go about this. Some local authorities have started offering a new service to help you report a death, and the registrar will let you know if it’s available in your area.