Arranging a Funeral

There is no pressure to make decisions at the first meeting and even if you do, you can change your mind at any point.

When you or your representative make the first call to us to notify us your loved one has passed away and to start the funeral arrangements, we will ask some very basic details about who has died, their name, age, current location as well as contact details for the next of kin or person who is taking responsibility for the funeral arrangements. This allows us to make all the necessary preparations to bring your loved one into our care as soon as possible.

If your loved one has died at home or in a care or nursing home and all the formalities are complete, we will aim to be there within I hour of your call. If we feel that circumstances mean we may not be able to be there within that time, we will try to give you an estimated time of arrival and keep you fully updated.

If your loved one has passed away in a hospital or hospice, we will not usually bring them into our care until we have met with you.

We will then give you the option of meeting with us either in one of our funeral homes nearest to you, at your home or any other convenient location to discuss your wishes for the funeral service.

Further Information

What to expect at the arrangement

Whether you already know most of what your loved one wanted. You do not have to have registered the death before meeting with us but if you have already registered and you have the Certificate of Registration (Form 14), please bring that with you.

We will ask you questions, but we do not expect you to have all the answers or make decisions there and then.  Our job is simply to take time to explain to you what options there are available to you, to ensure that you have all the information you need to make informed choices. There is no such thing as a standard funeral service or the ‘right’ way to do it – they are all different and can be tailored to your wishes and budget

It is important to understand that this will not be the only meeting we will have so there is no pressure to make decisions in this first meeting and even if you do, you can change your mind at any point.

It is always helpful however to think ahead regarding whether you or your loved one wanted a burial or a cremation and depending on the option, which cemetery or crematorium you would prefer to use. This just gives us the opportunity to have the right paperwork to hand when we meet which the next of kin/executor will be required to complete.

If you wish to have a burial and you have an existing lair, it will be helpful to bring the Certificate of Ownership (Title Deed) with you to the first meeting as we are required to send these to the burial authority. Alternatively, if you do not have those documents, we will require the details of who was the last person to be interred there and the date of the interment. These details are required as a check must be undertaken by the burial authority to ensure there is enough room for a further interment.

We will be taking notes throughout and once we have completed the discussions, we may get the next of kin/executor to complete the legal paperwork at this stage.

We will usually request a payment in advance of the funeral and your arranger will advise at the time on how much that will be as it may depend on how you intend to settle the funeral account or the type of funeral you have chosen.

Estimate of costs

We will supply you with an estimate of the costs at the end of the arrangement, which will be based on what decisions you have made up to that point.

The estimate is divided into two parts. The first will be our fees for the services we will be providing. The second part includes the essential fee incurred for the burial or cremation (which is set by the relevant burial authority) and/or church fees. It will also include payments for any additional services you have specifically requested and which we arrange and pay for on your behalf. Typically, these include flowers, newspaper notices, orders of service, catering etc. Of course, some of these may not have been confirmed at this early stage so will need to be added onto the final account.

Assuming you are comfortable with the estimate, we will ask you to sign a copy of our Payment Terms and Conditions which gives you information on when the final funeral account will be issued and the due date for payment.

If you wish us to send your final funeral account to a solicitor, that won’t be a problem, but we will expect your solicitor to sign the Terms and Conditions instead of you.

It is important to understand however, that the person who arranges the funeral (the client) is ultimately responsible for the payment of the account and if you or your solicitor do not make payment by the due date , then we reserve the right to apply a late payment charge.

If you wish us to send your final funeral account to a solicitor or to someone else who has agreed to settle the account, that won’t be a problem. It is important to understand however, that you as the person who arranges the funeral (our client), are ultimately responsible for the payment of the account. If you, your solicitor or the person who has agreed to pay the funeral account do not make payment by the due date, then we reserve the right to apply a late payment charge.

Nearer the time of the funeral, we will usually ask you to meet with us again face to face. You can meet with us at your local funeral home or we can make a home visit if this is more convenient. Meeting us again before the funeral is an opportunity for you to check you are happy with everything that has been arranged and have no further queries of concerns.

When Someone Dies

If you are unclear about the practical and statutory procedures to follow when someone dies, please click here.

Doing things for others is such a special art, and it deserves a “thank you” directly from the heart. Thank you so much for making things easier for us over the past few weeks. We really appreciate your help, kindness and guidance.

June McCulloch & Jean Rankin