Planning A Funeral

1. Finding a Funeral Director

I can help guide you to an appropriate director or you could ask friends who have used a funeral director.
I feel its helpful to ring round a few to find the one that most suits you and your needs.
Some firms will offer a basic service for £2,000 plus disbursement costs.
However most funerals cost £3,000 – £5,000  and the cost goes up if you wish to buy a plot for burial or for ashes.

2. Burial/Cremation

Burial – you need to buy a plot which in cemetery or woodland – it can cost anything up to £6,000 depending how many people you buy it for.

A woodland burial can be as little as £600 but depends on the site. Digging the grave is extra!  It is important to check how long the burial rights will last and what will happen to the grave when these run out or when the site is full.

Cremation – in Bristol the cost for half an hour is £650  – £865 – which includes the room, the organist and the cremation. The time slot varies from county to county. In Bristol you are given 30 minutes in total. This gives you 20 minutes for the actual service, as 5 minutes is allowed to get people in and another five for them to leave. However you can book the crematorium for an hour, which takes away the feeling of being rushed. You can take in flowers, photos but most won’t let you use candles!

I suggest a memory table at the front and ask people to bring something to put on it that reminds them of the person.

If you are having a service elsewhere and thena cremation I suggest to people that they have the cremation first, the day before or in the morning and then the service. Most crematoriums can give you the ashes within a day

3. Doctor

You need the signature of one Doctor for a burial and two for cremation.

4. Hearse

You don’t have to use one – you can put the coffin in back of an estate car or use a bike and side car or a bier or a horse drawn hearse.

5. Service

Don’t have to have anything. You can send the body straight to be cremated. You an have the ceremony at your house – in the village hall – and then go to the crematorium

6. Celebrant

Don’t have to have anyone to conduct a service. Most Funeral Directors will offer you a Vicar or a Humanist, or you can use someone you know or ask for a celebrant, like myself, who will help you put together the service you want.

7. Music

You can play whatever you want.  Take the CDs to the Crematorium a couple of days before hand to make sure they work on their equipment – this is very important if it is a download.

8. Your Wishes

Let someone know what you want or better still write it down before you die. I go to families that have no idea what the person wanted and people find it very hard to make decisions just after their loved one has died. So you help them if you give them some ideas of what you want and if you have the CDs in your home. Some Crematoriums have a computer system so you can order whatever you want, like Westerleigh

9. Coffin

There are a wide range – from cardboard – which you can decorate yourself and paint whatever colour you want – ecopod – whicker – bamboo – wooden. You can make your own or buy one direct and store it in garage or use it as a book shelf. If you do when you take it to crematorium you must have the persons name and age clearly displayed on it.

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