St John’s Winchester Charity

Funeral arrangement thoughts

This morning someone asked very simply what key things they needed to consider when a loved one passed away. Without a face to face conversation covering every nuance and option, this was a tough question! We hope you never have to arrange a funeral, but most of us at some point will so here we have some pointers to help you.

  1. Registration: when anyone passes away, their death needs to be registered. Very broadly speaking, if it was expected you will need to pick up the medical certificate from either the local GP or from the hospital, depending on where they passed away. If it was unexpected then the coroner may be involved and they and the funeral director will guide you through what happens next and the time frame.
  2. Choose the funeral director: you don’t normally have the funeral director on speed dial. It’s an important, brief relationship and if you don’t like the company once you meet them you can change. It is very straightforward. No one will shout at you for changing your mind. If you don’t want to go to the funeral director’s premises, they should offer to come to you.
  3. Avoid emotional overspending: ‘the rules are there are no rules’, so if you do not want limousines or lots of flowers or a solid mahogany coffin then don’t be made to feel that they are the norm. Spending more money doesn’t mean you loved them any more than if you didn’t. If the funeral is over your budget talk to your funeral director.
  4. Consider the finer details: which include some significant matters. Such as where the refreshments after the funeral will be held, how will you let people know when the funeral is, and an appropriate order of service that will reflect the person who has died and whether money donated to charity in memory is a better option than lots of flowers?
  5. Settling the estate: There’s usually nothing complicated about being an executor or settling someone’s estate, but it can be time-consuming. You may decide to do it yourself, or you may decide to pass some or all of it to a solicitor to deal with. They will be paid from the estate.

We will break these points down further in future issues but if you have any specific questions please to email