First steps in organising a funeral

There is so much to think about when someone has died. There are formalities to complete, people need to be told, and a funeral to organise. Find out here some of the first things that need to happen, and discover practical things you can do to make a start.

After the initial news of the death of someone you knew and loved, there are some important things that need to be done. These are two of the more immediate things:

  1. Register the death. There is some helpful guidance on this on the government’s births, marriages, and deaths advice page.
  2. Meet a Funeral Director. If you’re not yet sure which one to use, you can find one near to you on the National Association of Funeral Directors’ website, or on the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) website.

The Funeral Director will talk to you about what kind of funeral you would like.

One of the first questions they’ll ask is whether you’d like a burial or a cremation. You might like to discuss this with other family members if you’re not sure what the preference was of the person who died.

You’ll then be asked where you would like the service to be held. There’s more you can find out about locations on this site.

The Funeral Director will ask about various details, including:

  • Whether the funeral should be civil, humanist or religious. Remember you don’t have to be religious or a churchgoer to have a Church of England funeral – it is open to all.
  • Whether there is a particular minister or celebrant you have in mind to take the funeral.
  • What sort of coffin you would like.
  • How you would like the coffin to be transported to the service.
  • Whether you would like flowers.
  • They might ask whether you have any thoughts on music or other special ideas to reflect the life of the person you knew. The person who leads the service will talk to you more about this.

There are helpful websites that offer local contacts for some of these choices, such as http://www.funeralservicesguide.com/ and https://www.funeralzone.co.uk/. Your Funeral Director will also have contacts nearby.

If you choose to have a Church of England funeral, someone from the church will visit you to listen to the story of the person you knew, and will go through all the details of the funeral service itself.

 

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