Frequently Asked Questions
Arranging a funeral can be an overwhelming process. You may have many questions in regards to what happens next when it comes to funeral planning and supporting your loved ones through this difficult time. Our most frequently asked questions in regards to planning a funeral are listed below to provide you with some more guidance towards arranging the service.
Arranging a Funeral
How much do funeral services cost?
The cost of a funeral can vary depending on your location, the type of funeral you choose and any other third party services you may enlist the help of, such as florists and caterers. Our funeral cost calculator and standardised price list are available to provide you with more clarification and guidance on how much the funeral service may cost.
How long do funeral services last?
A typical funeral service can last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour, sometimes more or less depending on a few factors; how many people are attending, if there are any readings, prayers or songs and whether it is a burial or cremation service. Speak to your funeral director to find out how long your service will last when arranging the plans for the funeral.
Burial or Cremation?
In the UK about 75% of funerals involve cremation. In 2020 84% of our funerals were cremation much of which will depend on the location and personal beliefs. Generally, Cremation can be the cheaper option as a burial may require you to purchase the grave and then pay an interment fee for preparing the grave as well. Another factor to consider is how you want to remember your loved one after the funeral, some people take great solace from visiting the cemetery and spending time at the grave. With a cremation you can still visit a special place, but you may wish to have ashes scattered in several locations that mean something to you or your loved one. Cremated remains can also be buried as well as scattered.
Can we put personal items into the coffin?
Yes, you can put personal items in the coffin, other than any metal and glass items if the deceased is being cremated.
Can we assist with the dressing of the deceased?
Yes, we can accommodate this request for family members that may want to take part in this part of the funeral.
Can we bring in clothes for the deceased to be dressed in?
Yes, we ask for all the usual items of clothing including underwear, but not shoes when it is a cremation. We find using the deceaseds usual make-up, perfume / after shave, and even glasses can make a big difference to your experience in our chapel of rest should you wish to come and spend time with your loved one. Alternatively, we can dress the deceased in one of the gowns and robing sets that we include within our coffins.
Can I make plans for my funeral in advance?
Yes, we offer a full range of pre-paid funeral plans, ensuring that everything specified in plan is fully covered – no matter how much costs may increase in the future, giving you and your family peace of mind.
Can family or friends carry the coffin on the day of the funeral?
Yes, we can give the bearers carrying the coffin a short briefing to ensure that they know what they need to do and our colleagues will still be on hand to help at all times when the coffin is being carried.
Do we need to have a religious funeral service?
No, we work closely with several Civil Celebrants and are able to advise on who may be best suited to your specific requirements.
Do you cater for all types of religious funerals?
Yes, we work closely with the Church of England the Catholic Church, the Methodist and Baptist Churches, along with a range of other denominations within our local communities. We can also arrange Humanist funerals and non-secular funerals.
How many copies of the death certificate will we need?
The Registrar will issue you with one copy. You may need another 4 or 5 copies to be able to send to the bank, solicitors etc. They currently cost £11 each, but prices are subject to change.
How soon can the funeral take place?
We will work with your requirements, in certain circumstances funerals can take place with 24 hours of the death occurring, however, it is more usual for the funeral to take place between 2 to 3 weeks after death, but we can also make arrangements further into the future if there is a need. Much of the timescale is dependant on how soon we can obtain the necessary legal documentation that is required and the availability of those concerned for the funeral to take place (i.e. the minister or officiant and the cemetery, crematorium or service location/s).
Do we have to use a hearse?
There is a wide range of bespoke hearse options available to our client families, ranging from our own fleet of grey Mercedes Benz E-class vehicles through to Horse Drawn hearses, various motorcycle hearses, bicycle hearses, Rolls Royce vehicles, a Route Master London Double-Decker Bus, VW Camper Van, tractor trailers and various old, modern, or American style truck hearses. Our colleagues are able to advise on the most appropriate option for your loved one.
Must the death be registered before the funeral arrangements can be made?
It is possible to start making the arrangements for a funeral before the death has been registered, but it is often advisable for the registration to be done first before any details are confirmed just in case there is a delay, or the death is referred to the Coroner. Our colleagues are able to advise further once given the specific circumstances.
What is a chapel of rest?
The chapel of rest is a viewing room which allows families to privately pay their respects to the deceased.
When do we have to register by?
Deaths in England and Wales or Northern Ireland should be registered within 5 days - if this is not going to be possible, you should inform the Registrar. In Scotland, deaths must be registered within 8 days.
Where do we collect the medical death certificate?
If the death has occurred at home, the GP will issue the medical death certificate. They will either give this to you directly or you may need to collect it from the surgery. If the death occurred in a hospital, you will generally be given the certificate by the bereavement office.
Where do we register the death?
The death will need to be registered in the area where the death occurred, even if the death occurred a distance from home. Call the Registrars to make an appointment.
How do prepaid funeral plans work?
Prepaid funerals are planned and paid for by you before you die, as a way to ensure that your loved ones do not have to take on the responsibility when the time comes. Paying for your funeral in advance protects you from future cost rises and gives you and your family a peace of mind for the future.
Prepaid funerals cover most of the costs associated with the cremation or burial and the memorial service so that the financial burden doesn’t fall onto your family who will be grieving. It allows for you to have a say in how you wish the service to go, what songs and readings you may want and the location you would like it to be held in. You can make the payments in installments or as a lump sum, with the prices fixed at the cost of the day you agreed to the prepaid plan.A prepaid funeral plan takes the stress away from your relatives, as your chosen funeral director will be ready to put everything into place straight away.
What is a funeral plan?
A funeral plan allows you to plan and pay for your funeral in advance.
All Heart of England Co-op Funeral plans are fully guaranteed, which means there will be no more to pay for your chosen services when the time comes, no matter how much prices rise.
We offer a choice of set plans which includes the key elements of the funeral arrangements as well as a tailor-made funeral plan option allowing you to select the specific products and services you would like to include.
Who can buy a funeral plan?
All plans have guaranteed acceptance for anyone over the age of 18. Please note our plans are suitable for funerals in mainland Great Britain only.
How do you redeem your funeral plan?
When the time comes, all your loved ones or representative need to do is contact the funeral home where the plan was taken out any time day or night (we operate a 24 hour service, 365 days a year) and we will offer our support and guidance. This call will be handled by a trained colleague who will advise what needs to be done next including information and advice on registration, coroners involvement and how to go about making the funeral arrangements. If you are unsure about which location to contact you can call our Funeral Plans Team on 024 7638 2331 during office hours Monday to Friday, alternatively we also have a freephone telephone number 0800 652 7226 to assist outside of those office hours.
What happens if I die whilst travelling away from home or abroad?
Our funeral plans do not include repatriation services as part of your funeral plan if you die abroad, however, the plan would be used as normal once you had been repatriated. Our funeral colleagues will, if requested, make arrangements for repatriation with your next of kin. If you are in mainland Great Britain but away from home, we can arrange for you to be collected and brought into our care at which time ‘Additional mileage’ charges may apply.
Can I add flowers to my funeral plan?
Flowers can be selected from our current floral brochure and added to your tailor-made plan, prices will be guaranteed for the chosen products. Set plans do not include any provision for flowers but these can be added and paid for at the time of the funeral arrangement.
Can I add masonry to my funeral plan?
We no longer provide memorial masonry elements to our funeral plans.
What is the Unattended cremation?
This plan covers local collection of the deceased during office hours, outside of these hours an additional fee is payable at the time of arrangement. This plan covers the cremation at a crematorium of our choosing. There is no ceremony or service, it is purely a direct cremation option. There are no discounts associated with the Unattended plan. If you are unsure if this plan is suitable for your requirements, please speak to one of our colleagues before purchasing.
Can I have additional requests on my funeral plan?
Tailor-made plans allow you to add a contribution towards any specific request such as obituaries, catering, doves, bugler or a choir. This is a contribution towards the final balance due on the funeral invoice when the time comes.
Set plans do not allow for any extras to be added at the time of taking out the funeral plan, however these additional items can be added by your representative when the time comes and payment can be made at the time of ordering.
What if I change my mind and wish to amend the funeral plan?
Set plans cannot be amended or added to. You can choose to upgrade your set plan to one which provides additional services (i.e. upgrade from a Silver plan to a Gold plan) if you would like to make any other changes to the content of your set plan, we may need to issue a tailor-made funeral plan dependent upon the changes you wish to make.