There is no requirement to use a funeral director.
If you choose to use one remember that, like anything else you pay for, you should be happy with the price you are paying and the service you receive.
It is important to remember that most funeral directors are commercial businesses.
Some funeral directors are run by corporations - Co-op Funeralcare, Dignity and Funeral Partners being the largest. Others are independent funeral directors or small chains.
Did you know?
- Speaking to a funeral director over the phone or meeting them does not mean you have you use them - it’s your choice.
- In some areas, councils offer a Residents Funeral or Municipal Funeral at a lower rate if you or the deceased live in a certain area. You can check online or ask your local council.
- Friends and family may have recommendations, but be aware that the company may since have changed hands or been bought out by a larger company, even if it has the same name.
- Our Fair Funerals pledge map shows funeral directors who have pledged to be open about all their prices, including displaying them on their websites. This doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t expensive, but they have committed to being transparent.
- Several comparison websites exist now - do an internet search for ‘funeral comparison’, but use them with care as prices are not always accurate.
- Even if you have signed a contract with a funeral director it can still be possible to change. If they have the collected the body they may charge for any work already done. This charge would be passed to the new funeral director who would then charge you.
- Get quotes from several different funeral directors to compare their costs and services – if they have prices on their website this is a good start, but speak to them too so you can decide if you are comfortable with them.
- Ask for a written estimate of costs before you decide whether to use them – they should be able to provide this.
- When you are advised of the cost, make sure it includes any disbursements or third party fees, such as the crematorium/cemetery, minister/celebrant and doctors’ fees.
- If you are working to a budget, ask funeral directors if they can help you organise a simple funeral within your budget.
- Be aware that funeral directors often ask for a deposit before the funeral can take place and some ask for all payment in advance.
- Tell them if you are applying for the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment or Funeral Support Payment, or for any charitable grants, in case they can offer a lower deposit or wait for the outcome of these applications before going ahead.
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