Planning a funeral can be emotional and overwhelming. We hope that this step-by-step guide to planning a funeral offers some support and direction during this difficult time.
Once you have registered your loved one’s death and received the death certificate you can start planning their funeral.
Firstly, find out if any funeral wishes are in place – perhaps within the will or a funeral plan. Your loved one may have discussed this with relatives or close friends. It’s also important to know how the funeral will be paid for; whether provisions have been made.
Involving others helps with the tasks involved and decision making. It can also be comforting to others to know that plans are being made … they may want to be involved by helping you.
Involving a funeral director eases this incredibly difficult time. They take care of the deceased, make the necessary arrangements and manage the funeral proceedings. Importantly, their role is also to support and listen to you.
The most common types of funerals are burials and cremations. If you don’t know the person’s wishes, our article explains the factors involved with choosing which funeral type is best.
It’s important to know what your loved one’s funeral will cost and how it will be paid for. In 2022, the average UK funeral cost was £3,953, excluding transport, flowers and a memorial. The basic funeral costs should cover the fees of the funeral director, doctor and clergy/officiate as well as the cost of the coffin.
Your loved one may have left wishes for the service, either written (will/funeral plan) or through discussion with a friend or relative. A key decision to make is whether the funeral service will be religious or not. The eulogy and any poems should also be planned; what to say and who should read them during the service.
Some funeral services are themed, according to the wishes or lifestyle of the deceased. From dress code to music, transport to flowers… there is the opportunity to say goodbye your way.
Once the funeral requirements are in place, it’s time to choose where and when the funeral will take place. You can then create the order of service and let people know the date and location involved, plus any dress code requirements. (Some people request bright colours or the deceased’s favourite colour, for example.
After the funeral service, the wake is an opportunity for people to mourn the passing of the deceased and also to celebrate their life. From a hiring fully catered venue to self catering at home, a range of options are available. The wake can be a private event or an open invitation can be extended during the funeral service.