The choice of funeral is highly personal. It should reflect your wishes and those of the person who has died. Some people want a simple funeral whilst others prefer a more elaborate service to remember their loved one. There are many different ways a funeral can celebrate the individuality of the person who has died. This could be a small touch such as having the deceased's favourite music played at the funeral, or it could be a theme that runs throughout the whole funeral which relates to the deceased's hobbies or interests, for example, for a keen football supporter the team colours could be used. We will be pleased to discuss any idea you may have with this, be it colour of flowers through to the coffin colour or clothing to be worn by mourners. Personalising the funeral gives you the opportunity to create a commemoration to the person who has died and we will advise and spend time in helping you to achieve this.
The person who makes the arrangements must be able to give instructions and make decisions regarding the funeral details. This person will also be responsible for arranging payment for the funeral. We take care of all practical arrangements advising you of all the options that are there for you and seeing that arrangements are made in accordance with your wishes and those of the person who has died. We will assist in the completion of all statutory documentation and make all necessary arrangements with the clergy, together with the cemetery or crematorium as required. We will give you a confirmation of all arrangements together with a detailed estimate of the cost. We are able to make the funeral arrangements in your home, the funeral home, or a location to suit you. We want you to be in an environment that you feel comfortable with. There are some decisions you will need to make early on, in particular, whether the service will be a cremation or burial, whether the service will be at a church, crematorium, graveside or a place elsewhere.
Funerals can celebrate the life of an individual person in many ways and we will spend time discussing the options available and our requests to create this commemoration to your loved one. We supply a range of coffins and caskets from the simplest to the most ornate. We understand that people have different preferences and so we will make every effort to give you your requirements. We recognise some people find this very distressing, but it would be inappropriate for us to make this decision for you. With this in mind, we receive many different requests about how the deceased is dressed, for example, "Can we put their favourite clothes on?" - the answer is yes, we will place on any items that you require (as long as it complies with local crematorium regulations). We can supply a wide range of dressing robes, which are acceptable to the relevant authorities. We have a private remembrance room in each of our funeral homes and you can visit the deceased if you wish as many people take comfort from seeing the deceased at rest. You may place personal items with the deceased. We don't have any restrictions, but the local Crematorium will and we can advise on this at the time and return anything that is not allowed. At the same time we are happy to allow you to place items in the chapel of rest, like photos or favourite items. Many people find comfort in doing this by making the room more personal to them, and we are happy to assist in this. Transport is a major part of the funeral service and there are many options, ranging from the traditional hearse to a motorcycle hearse, right through to a horse drawn hearse. You may require a limousine (holding 7 people) and you may wish the cortege to take a special route. You may also wish to consider wheelchair access. At the service there is an opportunity to have specific pieces of music played during the service. This choice is yours and can be a piece of pop music, contemporary or classical played live by the service organist, a musician or CD. In most funerals, the eulogy can be given by the officiant, but not in all cases, and a relative or family member may wish to take part in making the service more personal. We will be pleased to offer advice on this. Flowers are a simple and beautiful way to create a personal tribute. We can help you to choose your flowers and give advice on special orders. Some families like to restrict the sending of floral tributes and request that, as an alternative in remembrance, donations are made to a charity or other organisation. Obituary notices are a useful way of announcing someone's death publicly and allow you to give the funeral details easily, expressing your details of where any donations or flowers can be sent.
You can be assured that we will take care of everything on the day of the funeral. We will make sure that the funeral proceeds on time and to your requirements in a dignified manner, with respect for religious and local custom in accordance with any legal requirements.
When you have made your choices we will give you a written estimate of cost. If at this stage you would like to change anything, we will help you do this. Any changes you make may affect the cost of the funeral. These costs are made up from our professional services (support, and liaison with third parties and personnel required to arrange the funeral), supplementary charges (care and presentation of the deceased and provision of hearse, coffin or casket), and additional requirements (limousines, cremation casket). These also include payments made on your behalf known as disbursements. We ask that "payments made on your behalf" are paid in the form of a deposit prior to the funeral. Funeral costs for a funeral are defined as a debt against the estate so you may be able to arrange for the funeral to be paid by the estate rather than paying this amount yourself.
These are third party costs that we will make on your behalf and vary depending on the service required, location, quantity. These charges included and not exclusive too; crematorium, doctors and minister fees. They also include newspaper notices, any memorial charges, to name a few. At the time of arrangement we will be able to give you an accurate quote for these.
We will forward an invoice for the funeral shortly after the service. We ask you to please check this and if you have any questions please contact us within 14 days of the service where we will be happy to help. The invoice may be paid in person at the funeral home by cheque, cash, credit/debit card, or you can pay by post or direct into the bank (please advise if you choose this option). If you wish to have the invoice sent to a solicitor, please advise us as soon as possible and we can do this for you. However you will remain responsible for the account being paid in accordance with our terms and conditions. There may be some help available with funeral payments. If you feel you are unable to meet the costs, we would like to discuss this at the time of arranging the funeral or as soon as you think you may require help. We can also help arrange funeral finance for you, should you require this service, please speak to us for more details.
For a variety of reasons, direct cremation may be appropriate for you. A direct cremation is basic service, there is no one present at the service, we will however always use the front door of the chapel, and the coffin placed on the catafalque, as would happen at any other service. A basic coffin is provided and a specialist funeral vehicle is included within the price. The service takes place at a date and time that we chose, and the ashes will need collecting from the crematorium by yourself.
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We can arrange for an obituary to be placed in any newspaper nationwide, including national papers. We can either place a notice you have written yourself, or we can write a appropriate notice on your behalf.
We estimate the cost of the notice at the time of arrangement for the local papers, although this is subject to some variation, depending on the wording. With the national papers, we will contact them with the wording first to receive an up to date quote for this, as their prices are considerably more expensive than our local papers.
We can also offer a digital notice, which we will create for you, which is then sent to yourself by text. The notice can then be forwarded onto those you wish to make aware of the arrangements, and it can also be shared on your Facebook page, giving instant access to the arrangements, to all those you know.
This will undoubtedly be one of the most difficult times for you and your family, and we will be with you every step of the way to help guide you through this time. We therefore offer our services for children under the age of 18 free of charge. During the arrangement of the service we will help you to create a fitting service, that is personalised to your loved one.
Our service includes, the provision of a suitable coffin and specific funeral vehicle. Many third parties, such as ministers, crematorium and cemeteries also offer their services free of charge.
The following charities offer support you may find beneficial to yourself and your family.
S.A.N.D.S. - 0808 164 3332
Sands is the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. We operate throughout the UK, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby, working to improve the care bereaved parents receive, and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.
Families In Grief - 01237 479027
Families In Grief supports children, young people and their families who have experience the death of someone close to them.
For a confidential advice and guidance please contact one of our offices and speak to one of our experienced staff.