Kwaetus' Guide to Arranging a Funeral

At Kwaetus we understand that preparing for your end of life and dealing with someone else’s death are extremely stressful and emotional times, so we’ve put together this guide to get you gently through this new experience.

What do you need to do before arranging a funeral?

For a funeral to take place, the death must be registered within 5 days of it occurring. You can register a death here.

Once the death has been registered, you will be issued with a death certificate; you will need to give this death certificate to your chosen funeral director or to the crematorium when applying for a cremation.

Before you start putting funeral arrangements in place, it is best to check whether the deceased has already made their own arrangements through a prepaid funeral plan or their life insurance. This information may be found in their Letter of Wishes or Will, but not everyone remembers to add this type of information. To include this in your own Will or Letter of Wishes, login into your Kwaetus account, this will save your loved ones a lot of upset, energy and money in the future.

How do you arrange a funeral?

Due to COVID-19, there are new restrictions on funeral arrangements and attendance. The social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times and all attendees from different households are required to keep 2 metres apart.

The number of guests allowed to attend a funeral has been restricted to 30 as long as the venue is big enough to allow for social distancing to be followed.

Now that we’ve covered the COVID-19 restrictions, let’s take a look at how to actually arrange a funeral. If you find that the deceased has not made a pre-arranged funeral plan, there are two options; you can hire a funeral director or do it yourself.

A funeral director will take over all of the arrangements, all you have to do is give them instructions, however, funeral directors come with a fee added on top of the cost of everything else.

If you decide to arrange the funeral yourself, you will need to directly contact your local council’s Cemeteries and Crematorium Department.

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral depends on whether you choose to do it yourself or choose to hire a funeral director and what extras you choose to include. Listed below is just a short list of things to consider:

  • Burial or cremation fees
  • Newspaper announcement
  • Hire of cars/herse
  • Cost of the Wake (the celebration after the funeral)
  • Flowers

What if you can’t afford a funeral?

Funeral costs can be expensive and come as a surprise especially during these difficult financial times we’re all experiencing, but there is money available from the Government to help towards the cost.

This support is called a Funeral Expenses Payment, you can apply for this here. There are certain criteria you have to meet to be eligible such as your relationship to the deceased and whether you are in receipt of benefits. If you are found to be eligible, you could get up to £1,000 towards the cost of a funeral.

If you are not eligible for this payment a Public Health Funeral can be arranged. This is a cremation organised by the local authority at a date and time of their choosing with no extras such as flowers or cars.

What do you wear to a funeral?

Traditionally, guests wear all black to the funeral as a mark of respect to the deceased, however, the deceased may have included what they would like their guests to wear in their Will or Letter of Wishes. We have seen many funerals with imaginative dress codes requested by the deceased such as football stripes and even fancy dress. If you would like to include a similar request in your own Will, log into your Kwaetus account.

What to write on funeral flowers?

The deceased may have noted their wishes regarding the flowers at their funeral, it is best to check their Will or Letter of Wishes first. A Kwaetus account gives you space to include details like this and gives you the option of sharing your wishes with loved ones for them to follow in the future. Being well prepared and notifying family and friends now will save a lot of upset and anxiety for them when the time comes.

If a note of their wishes regarding flowers has not been included in their Will, traditionally, funeral flowers in the form of their name or relationship to the ones closest to them such as Mum or Dad are created. This is a personal choice, do what feels right and represents the love between you and the deceased.

How long after death is a funeral?

Depending on the circumstances, a funeral is usually held one or two weeks after the death has occurred. Some religious beliefs require a funeral as soon as possible, while other funerals may take longer due to availability at the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department or other venues.

What happens at a cremation? 

A short ceremony is held to say goodbye and mark respect to the deceased before their body is burned into ashes and put into an urn. Many people then scatter the deceased’s ashes in a place that either means something to them or as requested by the deceased in their Letter of Wishes or Will. Others may keep the urn home and put it in a special place, to keep the deceased close.

There is a lot to think about when arranging a funeral which can make an already painful grieving process more difficult. By taking the time now to make sure you have a Will or Letter of Wishes in place before you die you will really make a difference to the lives of your loved ones when your time comes.

Why not take a few moments now to sign up for your Kwaetus’ Free Trial to see how easy creating a Will or Letter of Wishes really is?

For the more complex wills, Kwaetus can connect you with local and professional Will writers, email us here for further information.

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