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Losing a loved one is an emotional experience, and the task of arranging a funeral can feel daunting. Knowing which steps to take when a loved one passes away and making decisions about a funeral service can feel almost impossible when grieving, this is where L.E. Brand & Sons can help. As a local, family-run funeral director, we have provided personalised and compassionate support to families since 1880. Our team is available 24/7 to assist you and your family with all your needs, from the initial phone call to the final arrangements. We handle everything from registration and service coordination to paperwork, ensuring you are supported every step of the way.

If you are uncertain about how to start planning a funeral, or if you need compassionate support during this difficult time, you need to look no further. In this article, we will explore the key steps to planning funeral arrangements and provide valuable insights to help you navigate this difficult time. If you need advice or guidance about planning a funeral, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Planning Funeral Arrangements at a Glance

At L.E Brand & Sons, our extensive experience in supporting families through the challenging times following a loved one’s passing enables us to provide valuable assistance during these difficult moments. To ease the burden of funeral planning, we’ve created a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the necessary arrangements. Here’s what to do when someone passes away:

  • Register the death within 5 days to obtain the death certificate.
  • Check to see if the deceased has left any funeral instructions in their Will (or elsewhere).
  • Check if they had life insurance or a prepaid funeral plan.
  • If using one, hire a funeral director.
  • Decide on the type of funeral – cremation or burial.
  • Choose the type of coffin.
  • Decide on the type of funeral service (e.g. religious or non-religious).
  • Choose the venue (e.g. chapel, burial site etc).
  • Arrange the transportation.
  • Choose the flower arrangements (or select a charity for donations.
  • Plan the service details in full (including dress code, music, readings, eulogy etc).
  • Create the order of service.
  • If having a wake, book the venue and catering.
  • Send out invitations.

These are the essential steps for planning a funeral for your loved one. Continue reading as we offer detailed guidance and valuable advice for each step. If you’d rather speak directly with our compassionate team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today for more information.

Our Guide to Planning Funeral Arrangements

When To Start Planning a Funeral

You can begin planning a funeral when someone has passed away and their death has been registered. A death must be registered within 5 days. This can be extended for an additional 9 days if a medical certificate has been issued.

If they passed away at home, you can obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) from the deceased’s GP. If they pass away at a hospital, the MCCD can be obtained from the hospital.

A relative or someone present at the death can register a death at the Registrar’s office. Once the death has been registered, you will receive a Certificate of Registration of Death. This certificate allows you to obtain an application for cremation or a certificate for a burial so that you can begin funeral planning.

As your funeral director, we at L.E Brand & Sons understand how stressful this period can be. Therefore, we can assist with all necessary paperwork.

Funeral Instructions & How To Pay For a Funeral

It is important to review the deceased’s Will for any funeral instructions they may have left. You should also check to see if the deceased had life insurance or a prepaid funeral plan to assist with covering the funeral costs. If there is no life insurance, prepaid funeral plan or savings, investments, or estate available for funeral costs, you will need to decide on how you will manage funeral expenses.

We can provide price lists tailored to your budget when you appoint us as your funeral director.

Plan Ahead With Our Pre-Paid Funeral Plans

Some people never get around to discussing funeral wishes with their loved ones, which can lead to all sorts of worry and anxiety when the time comes. By taking some time now, you can provide your loved ones with financial and practical help, as well as peace of mind, by having your funeral arrangements in place. Speak to us today about arranging your Funeral Plan.

Appoint a Funeral Director

Choosing a compassionate and professional funeral director is crucial when planning a funeral. A funeral director can offer invaluable guidance and support during this challenging time, assisting with all necessary arrangements. At L.E Brand & Sons, our dedicated team is available 24/7 to attend to your needs and care for you and your loved ones. From the first phone call to the final steps, we provide knowledgeable and compassionate support every step of the way.

As your chosen funeral directors, we can…

  • Provide professional guidance and advice.
  • Collect the deceased and transport them to the funeral home.
  • Care and preparation of the deceased until the funeral is held.
  • Liaise with third parties, such as the crematorium or cemetery.
  • Present the deceased in our Chapel of Rest.
  • Assist with all necessary arrangements.
  • Provide funeral personnel.
  • Organise the coffin and funeral transportation.
  • Arrange any personalised touches.
  • And much more.

If you would like to speak to our compassionate team today, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information.

Choosing the Service

When facing the task of planning a funeral, the many options available can be overwhelming. The type of funeral you choose will hinge on the beliefs, values and wishes of your loved one and family. Each type of funeral offers unique characteristics to help you commemorate your loved one. Choosing the type of service you’d like for your loved one’s funeral is a highly personal decision and whether religious or non-religious, it’s good practice to reflect the beliefs and values of the departed.

Here are some examples of types of funeral services…

  • Burial

A burial is a traditional funeral service whereby you will choose a coffin or casket for your loved one, in which they will be buried or entombed in a mausoleum. Burials can be either in-ground or above-ground, depending on the cemetery and family preferences.

  • Religious Funeral

A religious funeral is a traditional funeral service with a religious ceremony. Religious funerals may include prayers, hymns, and readings in line with the deceased’s beliefs and typically take place in a church or chapel and are led by a religious minister.

  • Traditional Cremation

A traditional cremation involves a standard funeral service followed by cremation. This type of funeral service includes a formal ceremony, and the cremation itself. The ashes can be kept, buried, or scattered as desired.

  • Celebration of Life

A celebration of life funeral focuses on the person’s individuality, personality and life. Music and memories typically play a big part in celebrations of life. They can be a part of a non-religious funeral or as a separate memorial.

  • Eco-Friendly Funeral

An eco-friendly funeral may be a woodland burial and typically uses biodegradable materials for the coffin and memorial. This type of service can be religious or non-religious and typically takes place outside.

  • Direct Cremation

This simple and dignified direct cremation service is for those who don’t require the traditional elements of a funeral service such as a ceremony or procession that involves a hearse. It involves the immediate cremation without a funeral service.

  • Alternative Funerals

Alternative funerals are personalised ceremonies that depart from the traditional to create a unique and meaningful tribute to the deceased. They can incorporate unconventional themes, locations, music, art, or nature to reflect the personality of the deceased.

At L.E Brand & Sons, we can help you with choosing the funeral service that is right for you and your loved ones. We can help you commemorate your loved one in the way that best suits them.

Cremation or Burial

Once you have chosen the type of funeral service you would like, you can then proceed to choose from a cremation or a burial. Several factors may influence the decision including the wishes of the deceased, the cultural or religious preferences of your family, your budget and more. Whichever you decide, both cremations and burials have a process that will need to be followed…

Planning a Cremation

  1. Choose a crematorium.
  2. Complete a crematorium application (called a ‘Form 1’).
  3. Obtain a green certificate and the medical certificate signed by two separate GPs.
  4. The funeral service will be held before cremation takes place.
  5. The cremation will take place following the funeral service.
  6. If not held already, a private wake will take place.
  7. The ashes can be collected after the funeral and scattered if you wish. Alternatives for ashes can also be Cremation Urns or Jewellery.

Planning a Burial

  1. Choose the cemetery, church or burial ground.
  2. Obtain a burial permit for the burial plot and a burial certificate.
  3. Obtain a green certificate and the medical certificate signed by two separate GPs.
  4. The grave can be marked with a headstone, plaque or statue.
  5. The funeral service and burial will take place.
  6. If not held already, a private wake will take place.
  7. If you wish to, you will be able to mark the grave.

Selecting the Coffin

The type of coffin you select will depend on the committal of your loved one. Since cremation and burial have different requirements, we provide a range of coffins and caskets for both options. If you are responsible for choosing a coffin or casket, there are several factors to keep in mind. You may want to consider the following:

  • The cost of the coffin or casket.
  • The materials used.
  • Whether it is environmentally friendly.
  • The style of the coffin.
  • The personality and taste of your loved one.
  • Different materials and types.

There are a variety of coffins and caskets available to suit all manner of ages and sizes. Whether your loved one has pre-planned their funeral and selected their coffin, or you are deciding for them, we’re confident that we’ll have the coffin or casket you desire. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our friendly and compassionate team are here to help and assist with any queries you may have.

The Venue, Transportation & Service Details

The next step will be planning the service itself. There are several details that you and your family will need to make decisions about. If the deceased has left funeral wishes in their Will or by other means, then you may wish to plan the details according to these. You will need to consider:

  • The Venue: Choose a venue that aligns with the type of service you are having, some options include chapels, burial sites or places of worship.
  • Transportation: Tailor your loved one’s funeral to their wishes, including how they arrive at their funeral. We offer Horse-Drawn Carriages, Limousines and Vintage Hearses.
  • Flowers or Charity Donations: You will need to organise flower arrangements or, instead of flowers, choose a charity for donations.
  • Music: Choosing a loved one’s favourite song can make a service truly personal. For a religious service, you may also wish to use popular funeral hymns.
  • The Order of Service: Your funeral director can help you to organise the order of service. This will consist of song lyrics, times and names of those doing readings, photographs and more.
  • Eulogy: A eulogy is a speech, poem or passage about the life of the person who has passed. Family members typically read eulogies.

Other factors of the funeral service to consider are pallbearers, the dress code, the memorial, organising the wake and sending out invitations. Contact us today for trusted advice and guidance.

Taking Care of You Every Step of the Way

If you require our services you can contact us on 01375 672142 or use our contact form. You are also welcome to visit our branch where a compassionate team member will be available to offer advice. Our opening times are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm. A dedicated team is always available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can be contacted outside of office hours.