A complete guide to making funeral arrangements
When a loved one dies, there are several practical things that you will need to do, such as registering the death and arranging a funeral.
Making funeral arrangements is something many people will be unfamiliar with, so it’s perfectly normal to need a little guidance and advice. We’ve compiled a funeral arrangement guide to make this time a little easier for you.
Our guide will take you through the key steps after a death, helping you manage things as smoothly and easily as possible at this difficult time, and includes information on:
What to do when someone dies
We’ll talk you through the first steps after a death, including what to do when someone dies at home if their death was expected or unexpected, and if the death occurs in hospital, a care home or hospice.
How to register the death
After a loved one’s death, you must register their death within five days in England and Wales and eight days in Scotland. We’ll provide advice on how to register a death including who can do it, where to register the death and what documents you will need.
The involvement of the Coroner
In some cases, the death may be referred to the Coroner (known as a Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) by the police, doctor or registrars of death. A coroner, or Procurator Fiscal, is a medical or legal professional appointed by a local council to investigate the death if the cause of death is unknown, the death was sudden, violent or unnatural or the person who died was not seen by their doctor within 14 days before death or immediately afterwards.
Arranging a funeral
Did the person who has passed away leave a funeral plan, funeral wishes in their will, a funeral wishes statement or instructions with a Funeral Director? If not, there will be a number of decisions you will need to make before you can arrange the funeral. Once you have decided on the type of funeral, you will need to choose a funeral provider.
We’ve also included information on arranging a funeral with Simplicity.
Paying for a funeral
The average funeral in the UK costs £4,184*, although the cost of a funeral is largely dependent on where the funeral will take place and the type of funeral arrangements that are made.
We’ve explained how funeral costs are normally broken down, how to save on funeral costs with Simplicity as well as benefits you may be eligible for to help you pay for the funeral.
Dealing with the estate
Everything owned by a person who has died is known as their ‘estate’. We explain what happens to their estate if there was a Will and if there was not a Will, as well as if probate is required or not.
Telling organisations that need to know
When someone dies there are many organisations you may need to tell about the death, including government departments, financial organisations and property and utility companies. We’ve also provided information on redirecting someone’s post after death and what you can do with their email and social media accounts.
Scattering your loved one’s ashes
If your loved one is cremated, there are many things you can do with their ashes. We’ve listed the most popular places to scatter ashes as well as other things you can do with ashes such as the interment of ashes, using the ashes in jewellery or keepsakes and holding a memorial service with the ashes present.
Arranging a memorial service for your loved one
A memorial service is held after, or sometimes instead of a funeral service. There is no requirement for a memorial service to take place, but it can be helpful to some families during the grieving process.
Coping with grief and loss
Grief is a natural response to losing someone that’s important to you. It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to feel.
Useful contacts for help & support
We’ve listed a number of helpful contacts that may be able to help with practical issues such as the funeral arrangements as well as organisations you may want to contact for help with grief.
Please remember that the information we have provided is a guide, and not all details will apply in every situation.
Making funeral arrangements with Simplicity
At Simplicity, we offer a range of affordable funerals for those looking for an altogether simpler affair.
Opting for a Simplicity Cremation will mean you do not have to engage the services of a Funeral Director or visit a funeral home. Instead, the process can be started with one simple phone call to our team of funeral arrangers.
Other helpful content to help with making funeral arrangements
We’ve also put together a number of online guides to help you with some of the finer details of making funeral arrangements:
*SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2021