A more comprehensive guide is available to download at the end of some of the sections. If you have questions that do not appear here, or wish to discuss something privately, or in greater detail, please call us, anytime, on the telephone number below or view our contact page.
Registering a Death
Following a death there is a legal requirement for the death to be registered. This has to be done within 5 days and generally by a relative of the deceased, someone present at the death or the person with the responsibility of arranging and paying for the funeral. The doctor who attends the deceased will complete a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death that needs to be collected, and taken to the registrars, where upon registering, you will be issued with a Death Certificate.
For a more detailed guide to registering a death, click here.
Choosing a Funeral Director
The choice on which funeral director to use is entirely that of the family. You may wish to use a company with whom you have dealt in the past, to use someone you know personally or someone that has been recommended to you. It is important not to be talked into using a particular Funeral Director. Just because the Coroner has been involved, you have a Funeral Director near to where you live, or are told that you are in their parish, you do not have to use them. It is not ethical for a Funeral Director to ‘chase’ work. The decision on who to trust with the funeral must be made in your own time, without any pressure from anyone and if you make a decision that you regret, you do have the right to change your mind.
Arranging the Funeral
When the time comes to arrange a funeral you have the choice of seeing us at our office or in the comfort of your own home. Simply call to arrange an appointment and we will see you as soon as possible. There are lots of decisions to make about the funeral but you will be given plenty of time think about things without feeling rushed.
Choosing burial or Cremation
This may be something that you have the chance to discuss before someone dies but if you need to decide after a death make sure you give yourself plenty of time. The costs of burial can vary greatly depending on where you live and where you wish to be buried. Church’s, generally, would not allow you to be buried in a churchyard unless you lived in that parish.
Cremation, however, is slightly different. There are no restrictions on area for the crematoria. Even if you lived in south Leicestershire you could still have a service and cremation at Loughborough.
For more detailed advice, click here.
Choosing a Church or Minister
If a family has a strong relationship with a church, in most cases, a service could be held there at their request. Should you consider yourself Church of England by religion, but are not an active church goer, you still have the right to a service in your parish church. Alternatively a minister could take a service at a cemetery or crematorium chapel, even at a graveside, if that was your wish. For anyone not comfortable with a religious service we can arrange for a Humanist, or non-religious speaker, to take the service. For more help on making this decision, click here.
If the Coroner is Involved
When someone dies and a Doctor is unable to confirm, or certify, a cause of death, or when a death is un-natural or un-expected, the Coroner would nearly always be involved. The role of the Coroner is to investigate, and determine, a cause of death. In almost all cases an examination, or post-mortem, would be necessary. The involvement of the Coroner is not something to be suspicious about. Every family has questions when a sudden death occurs and it is the job of the Coroners office to help answer them. For more information on the work of the Coroner visit www.homeoffice.gov.uk/justice/legalprocess/coroners/work.html
One way to make a funeral service very personal is to play pieces of music which are favourites of the deceased, or mean a great deal to the family. If you are having a service in a church not all music would be suitable, but at a crematorium you can be far more imaginative. We would always encourage families to choose meaningful pieces to play.
It might be a song that the person themselves has sung, one they danced to at their wedding, a song that they associated with a special holiday or even the theme tune to their favourite film. Choose something special that will make you laugh or cry, that will bring back memories of the good times or help you to recall those precious moments that you shared. Music will last forever and will comfort you in the uncertain times ahead.
Deciding on a Choice of Coffin
Many styles of coffin are available to choose from. They range from Cardboard and Wicker to traditional veneered and solid oak coffins and, as the ultimate, include handmade solid wood caskets with ornate decoration and superior silk linings. A lot of people, however, still talk about ‘…being buried at the bottom of the garden in a tea chest.’ and a more reasonably priced coffin still looks nice and does exactly what we need it to do, without costing a huge amount of money. Our range of coffins can be complemented by supplying anything that you may feel is suitable and we can discuss any special requests you may have.
Flowers or Donations?
A funeral isn’t a funeral without flowers but the choice of whether to allow people to send flowers, or give donations, is sometimes a hard one to make. It may help to limit the sending of flowers to just family members, but that can include cousins and distant Aunt’s & Uncle’s and if you happen to have a large family you could be overwhelmed with floral tributes. For a burial it is nice to have plenty of flowers to cover the grave in the days following the funeral, but for a cremation it is sometimes difficult to know what to do with flowers after the service.
We can arrange for suitable tributes to be taken to a hospital ward or nursing home on your behalf so that they can be enjoyed by others rather than laying at the crematorium and deteriorating. Donations are a fantastic alternative to floral tributes and the support that this gives to charities large and small can never be underestimated. To let a charity benefit by receiving donations in memory of a loved one is a wonderful legacy allowing something positive to come out of a very difficult and upsetting time. For further advice on making this choice, click here.
Visiting a Loved One
We always make every effort to give our families the chance to visit and spend time with their loved one’s before the day of the funeral. The decision on whether to visit is one which we leave entirely to you. The feelings associated with visiting someone in our chapels of rest are very personal and can be affected by the circumstances leading up to a persons death. Whatever you decide we can assure you that we are taking the very greatest care of your relative.
Ashes, their Final Resting Place
The choice of a final resting place for cremated remains is very important and one which should not be rushed into. The first decision is whether to have them scattered or interred. If scattering is preferred then this can be done either at the crematorium where the service took place or one where other family ashes have been scattered. Some cemeteries and Churchyards have Gardens of Remembrance that can be used as can areas of some Natural Burial Grounds or ‘Green’ cemeteries.
Alternatively, some families decide to collect their loved ones ashes from ourselves and keep them with them at home or take them to somewhere special to be laid to rest. Should you prefer to have the ashes buried then most town cemeteries have specific areas for cremated remains burials. Existing family graves in Churchyards or cemeteries can also be used. For more detailed information and help on making the right choice, click here.
Affording the Funeral
Funerals can be expensive things and generally people don’t have the money sitting around just to pay for a funeral, however, on many occasions the estate of the deceased will pay the account. If this isn’t the case then the family would need to settle the account themselves or make an application for assistance from the social fund. (The following link will take you direct to the site you need to get all the information, and a form, for making a claim. www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk.)
Anyone instructing us to handle a funeral, and signing the paperwork, automatically accepts responsibility for payment of the funeral account. For advice on the cost of a funeral and ways to manage the costs better, click here or read our comprehensive guide.