Arranging a funeral

You are very welcome to come to our office, open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm. Alternatively, we are able to meet you at home any time.

The choice of funeral director is important as you should feel comfortable and confident with them. There is a lot of choice for which funeral director you use, particularly in Harrogate.

When a death certificate has been issued by the Registrar, you will also be given a certificate authorising the funeral.

It is important to check whether the deceased left any instructions within their Will about the funeral. For example, wishes for their body to be used for medical research or organs to be donated for transplantation. If there is no Will, the next of kin should decide, with help and guidance from a funeral director. It is important to check whether the deceased has already made arrangements for their own funeral, or carried out funeral insurance.

You will need to make early decisions about:

  • whether it will be a burial or a cremation
  • where it will happen (church, crematorium chapel, cemetery chapel, graveside, elsewhere)
  • when the service will happen (day, date, time)

Then you can decide the finer details in your own time, and discuss them with David or Alex.

We can make all the arrangements for the funeral, burial or cremation, religious or non religious. We will also advise on all the procedures and documents needed to register the death.

If you are considering a headstone most cemeteries will advise to wait for a period of approximately six months before placing it. However, please speak with us as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delay after this waiting period.

Costs and Charges

The costs of a funeral fall into three main categories:

  • Cost of materials, such as coffin or casket, clothing and memorials
  • Funeral director’s fee, including making arrangements, hire of vehicles, liaison with third parties on documentation and management of the funeral
  • Disbursements paid to other organisations on your behalf, such as church or crematorium fees and obituary notices

The ultimate cost will depend on your choices for the funeral.

We will explain clearly to you what the options are and how much they cost so that you are fully informed about the choices you make.

For more information, take a look at Our Pricing page.

Burial

Everyone has a right to be buried in the churchyard of the parish in which they live – assuming that one exists, and that there is space left.

There is normally a fee for digging a grave. In a local authority cemetery there may be a further charge if you wish to purchase the exclusive right of burial. This means that no further burials can take place in that grave without your permission. In many areas, you need to purchase the exclusive right of burial if you want to put up a memorial.

There are alternatives to burial in a churchyard or cemetery, such as burial in a vault, burial at sea and woodland burials. There are also options for green funerals and natural burials that may be discussed with us.

Many bereaved people take comfort from placing belongings such as photographs and letters in the coffin with the person they have lost. It may also be your wish that they are dressed in their own clothing. The coffin may be decorated to reflect an interest or pastime they may have enjoyed. In a burial, there are fewer restrictions about possessions, clothing and decoration than in a cremation. 

More information on burials is available here, provided by Which?

Cremation

Before a cremation funeral can take place, three statutory forms have to be completed. One by next of kin, the others by two different doctors. Each of the doctors is entitled to a fee. One will be the doctor who has attended the person in their last illness who must see the body before completing the form, and another doctor who must also see the body. When a coroner has issued a certificate for cremation, no other doctors are required to certify, and the coroner’s certificate is free. A final document is signed by another doctor, who is the medical referee to the crematorium. 

They must receive the above certificates up to two days before the cremation is due to take place. The fee for this usually comes as part of the crematorium fee.

Most crematoria incorporate a service chapel. You may wish to use this, if you don’t want to hold the service itself in a church or other location. Or you may choose to use the crematorium for committal only.

You may wish to consider music to be played. Commonly, crematoria provide one or more of the following:

  • An organist
  • Pre-recorded music from which you can choose
  • A cassette or CD player on which you can play music of your choice

We will also be able to advise you about the options available in respect of disposal of the deceased’s ashes following cremation.

Simple funeral plans have become more popular in recent years, providing a cheap funeral alternative to families with less money, or who do not want a full funeral service. Contact Us to find out about our current simple funeral plans, and allow us to provide you with an estimate free of charge.