Q: Why do GP’s charge a fee for cremation forms?

A person cannot be cremated unless the cause of death has been properly ascertained and recorded. Before cremation takes place two death certificates must be signed – by a doctor and a GP independent from the first. As this process isn’t part of a doctor’s NHS duties, they are chargeable. Doctor’s may also charge for their mileage if they had to travel to complete the forms.

Q: Do I have to use a funeral firm that’s part of a trade association?

Choosing a funeral firm that’s part of a trade association isn’t mandatory; however, firms that aren’t members are not recommended. Funeral firms that are members of a trade association have a code of practice which must be adhered to all times; this guarantees a high level of quality. If you have an issue with a funeral firm that’s not a member of a trade association, you could incur expensive legal costs.

Q: Do all funeral firms charge the same price?

Prices can significantly vary, even between funeral firms that belong to the same trade association. This is because they will have different packages and suppliers which charge different rates; therefore, having a standard uniform price isn’t possible.

Q: How can I find a good value funeral firm?

Don’t choose the first funeral firm that you find. Contact multiple different firms and ask for a quote for their services. Members of trade associations must provide a consolidated price list and simple fixed price funeral. This will help you make a more informed decision.

Q: What information do funeral firms require?

Before your funeral firm starts making any of the arrangements, they will require:

· The deceased’s full name, age and address.
· The resting place of the deceased.
· Contact information for the deceased’s doctor/GP.
· The death certificate.
· Information on the deceased’s/your religious preferences.

After acquiring this information, your funeral director will guide you through your options regarding the coffin, clothing, transport and flowers, etc.

Q: Can I get a refund if something goes wrong?

If you feel dissatisfied with any aspects of the funeral service, you should try to resolve the problem directly with the funeral firm. If you are still unsatisfied, trade associations provide a Funeral Arbitration Scheme designed for resolving disputes between funeral firms and clients. Member firms must comply with their decision, even if it results in a partial or full refund.

Q: How do I pay a funeral firm?

Each firm will have their own payment processing procedures. In most circumstances you will have to pay a deposit to cover their expenses and 50% of their fee. They will then send you a consolidated invoice after the funeral has taken place.

Q: When can I start arranging a funeral?

You can start making arrangements with specific firms and service providers whenever you choose; however, the funeral cannot take place unless the death has been officially registered. This site will also aid with the planning process.

Q: How much cheaper is cremation than burial?

Cremation is generally cheaper; however, this can depend on a number of factors regarding your locality, such as your local council and the price of burial plots. It’s always best to ask your funeral director for information on prices before you make a concrete decision.

If you feel I have missed something or have a question of your own, please email me – jan@funeralcostshelp.co.uk