Most people choose to entrust the organisation of a funeral to a professional Funeral Director. They do so partly for reasons of convenience at what is generally a stressful time, but also to ensure that the remains of the deceased are disposed of with dignity and propriety.
In the United Kingdom today there are around 633,000 registered deaths every year. Of these deaths, 71% are cremated, with the remainder being buried in churchyards and municipal or private cemeteries or repatriated home to/from another Country
Friends, family, clergy or your doctor may be able to suggest reputable organisations, but the trade associations might also be helpful. There are two trade associations which operate within the funeral business.
Each operates its own code of practice, although none of the codes is currently supported by the (Office Of Fair Trading OFT). Each code of practice requires its members to:
Provide information on charging, including displaying a price list on the premises and providing an individual copy
Provide a written estimate of the cost of the funeral
Offer a basic or simple funeral
Further information on each code of practice can be obtained from:
The National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) 3 Bullfields Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire CM21 9DB Tel: 0845 230 6777 Web: www.saif.org.uk
National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) 618 Warwick Road Solihull West Midlands B91 1AA Tel: 0845 230 1343 Web: www.nafd.org.uk
When choosing a funeral director:
Ask for a detailed description of costs when getting a quote
When asking for a telephone quote make sure that it is also put in writing
Be sure to get quotes from more than one company and find out if he/she is a member of any of the trade associations
If you are at the Funeral Directors premises, do not be afraid to leave to consider your options
Remember that just because a firm has been there for many years it does not mean that it is still Family owned. If this is important to you ask who is the owner - even ask to meet him or her! A Family owned firm will reflect its owner
Funeral Directors are amongst the most open professionals. They are usually entrenched in the local community. You can talk openly about the funeral arrangements you want to make.