Losing a loved one is an emotional time. There often feels like there is little time for reflection before having to make funeral arrangements. Whereas in previous times, nearly all funerals were conducted by a vicar or another faith leader according to a set formula; nowadays there is much more flexibility.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about funerals…
Do I have to have a funeral?
Put simply, there is no law that states you have to have a funeral.
However, the law (Births and Deaths Registration) does state you must “dispose of the body of the person who has died by burial, cremation or any other means.”
What type of funerals can I choose from?
This could be in the form of a ‘traditional funeral’ (cremation or burial), which the majority (75% of people in the UK) opt for.
Or, there is the option to have a ‘direct cremation’; with no memorial or funeral service.
There is also the option for a ‘natural burial’. A natural burial provides friends and families with flexibility over timings and the ceremony.
Finally, there is the option to do the funeral yourself, otherwise known as a ‘DIY funeral’. Friends and family do not have a legal requirement to use a funeral director. Everything from collecting a person from the mortuary, having them at home for a private gathering and arranging a burial or cremation. If you’d like to sort out the funeral yourself, talk to the Natural Death Centre Charity who will be able to provide guidance and advocate on your behalf.
This raises the importance of detailing your funeral wishes in advance and advising the right people, helping to ensure they are honoured.
What happens if I can’t afford a funeral?
Funerals cost money and they become very expensive. There’s been much covering in the media, surrounding the rising prices of funeral costs, with averages coming out at around £8,000. A ‘basic’ funeral could even cost around £4,000; of which many people are simply not able to afford.
If find yourself stuck financially after a loved one’s death, there is help available from the government. This is means tested, but any possessions left to a spouse, or the deceased’s house will not be taken into the equation.
If you’re eligible, the social fund will pay for the following:
- Burial fees for a particular plot Cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate
- Travel to arrange or go to the funeral
- The cost of moving the body within the UK, if it’s being moved more than 50 miles
- Death certificates or other documents
- Up to £700 for any other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin
Have you made any funeral wishes?
Whatsyourgrief has (sadly) listed funeral arrangements as one of the most common causes of family disagreement after the death of a loved one.
And according to a recent report by SunLife, only 1% OF PEOPLE KNOW ALL OF THEIR LOVED ONES’ FUNERAL WISHES!
By registering at mylastrequest.co.uk you have the ability of letting your family know exactly how you would like your funeral to be, as well as giving you the opportunity to store precious photos, upload video messages for them and list other important information they may need going forward.