Organising a funeral
Organising a funeral following the death of a loved is one the hardest things you will have to do. It can cause an additional level of stress at this very difficult time. Before doing anything, you will need to make sure your doctor has registered the death and provided a dealth certificate. It also important to contact your family solicitor if you have one, to see if any instructions had been made regarding the funeral arrangements.
When you contact a funeral director, their job is to take you through the process of making all the arrangements from start to finish. They will provide you with brochures of coffins, and literally take care of every detail associated with the funeral.
Choosing a Funeral Director
It is important to choose a reputable funeral director, and it is important to have a look at their website to get an idea of costs. If your family has never needed a funeral director before, I recommend speaking by telephone to at least two directors in the area. There is a significant difference between directors and you need to be one hundred percent confident in them. Most are kind and compassionate but unfortunately, some are money focused and the bottom line is all they are interested in. If you find one you are happy with, take a few minutes and checkout their facebook page to see what other families say about them. I understand it is the last thing you need at this time, but it is very important in terms of service and cost. There are significant differences in costs and attention to families between funeral directors.
How much does a funeral Cost?
Most people have no idea how much a funeral costs unless they have personal experience. The cost of a funeral can vary somewhere between £2,000 to literally thousands of pounds depending on the choices made e.g. burial, creamation, coffin, cars, flowers, catering arrangements etc.
When we loose someone we love the last thing on our mind at that particular time are funeral costs. We want to give our loved one the best send off and most people feel it inappropriate to discuss the costs at that particular time. It is important that whilst we are emotionally charged, in a state of shock and distress to ensure that funeral costs are considered, particularly if no provision to pay for the funeral has been made.
It is important to make sure that you have a breakdown of the costs of a funeral and detailing exactly you are getting in the package. Always bring a friend with you to help you make decisions and always know how much you can afford to spend. There are quite a few things that you might be able to organise yourself that will save you a considerable amount of money. It is recommended that you get at least two quotations from funeral directors.
Depending on the wishes of your loved one, you might want to consider comparing the costs of a cremation which are considerably lower than a burial. Your funeral director can guide you.
Below provides a list of items that your Funeral Director will offer. The breakdown is for illustration purposes only, and is intended to provide a guide of the range of costs associated with each item from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Funeral items estimated in £’s
Coffin/Casket/Urn: £90 – £6000
Church, Burial and cremation burial, Grave digger: £300 – £700
Hire of Cars Hearse/Limousine/Horse drawn carriage: £250 – £1000
Flowers: £100 – £300
The choice of music: £100 – £500
Service stationery: £50 – £150
Catering options: £150 – £1000
Announcements in papers: £75 – £150
Additional Items you may want to consider
Grave Marker: £75 – £150
Head Stone: £500 – £5000
Memorial Cards: £50 – £100
Release of Doves: £75– £100
Video Recording: £100– £300
Jewellery/Keepsakes: £10 – £100
You should also budget for the following:
Doctor Death Certificate fee £75- £150
Celebrant, Priest, Minister fee £100–£150
No frills Funeral
It is important to remember that you can arrange a no frills funeral, your loved will not want you to get into debt and worry about organising an extraganate funeral and a no frills funeral can be just as tasteful and respectful. It is not about the amount of money spent on a funeral that counts, it is the thought that is put into it e.g. the music songs you choose, the ulugy about the person, you know them best.
The cost of funerals have increased considerably over the last five years, it may worth considering the following suggestions to cut down on costs:
- Decide if you want a cremation or burial, the difference between eco wicker or cardboard coffins will be significantally cheaper than wooden coffins.
- Check to see if Independent Funeral Directors are cheaper than the larger Funeralcare corporates.
- Don’t be pushed into buying a very expensive coffin, remember funeral directors are in business to make money and there is very little difference in the quality of coffin in the mid range price.
- When you are arranging your day and date, it may be worth checking to see if a wedding has taken place a day or two before the funeral. The Church will be beautifully decorated with flowers, if not, contact your local flowerist and get a quotation, you will find a significant difference in price when you order flowers yourself.
- If you want to offer visitors refreshments, dependent upon where you live, you might consider organising your catering arrangements in your local Community or Church Centre. Please don’t feel that you need to provide refreshments, the funeral is hard enough and if you just want to go home don’t feel you need to. You can bring immediate family back to your home and offer soup and sandwiches.
- Consider asking a family member who has a nice car to drive you to the service.
- Consider using a Gravemarker until you are in a position to buy a permanent headstone.
Help with funeral costs
The government has a grant available from a Social Fund which will pay a contribution towards the costs of e.g. the funeral director fee, coffin, grave, burial fee and flowers. Please note that the funding available is capped. Please also note that if you do need support to pay for the funeral you will need to get an application form to make sure you meet the criteria. A breakdown of the items that can be funded is also available. You can find out if you are eligible for support by following this link;
Ireland: Benefits and entitlements If your family member has felt an estate, you will be expected to pay back this funding from the estate when probate has been settled.
Please also check your local credit union to see if your loved is entitled to a contribution towards organising the funeral.
I hope you found this article useful and I hope you will return to this blog, I have written some articles about Grief and Loss you might find helpful. In the meantime, don’t forget to take care of yourself, this is a very sad and difficult time.
Light and Love Katex