I will give you a scenario that is a common one up and down the country. Your elderly relative has died in hospital. The cause of death is natural causes due to frailty of old age. Their body has been taken to the mortuary. You have contacted a local
funeral director to make the funeral arrangements. You have decided to go to the funeral home although a funeral director can visit you in your own home if requested?
As soon as you call the funeral home some basic details will have been taken. Thise
* The name and age of the deceased.
* Where they have died.
* Whether at this stage you are thinking of burial or cremation?
* Your name will be taken and of course a telephone number. Also a time and date will be set
when a funeral director can come and see you or when is convinient for you to come to the funeral home.
When someone dies you will have to register the death. As this death has occured in hospital you can register at the hospital. You will need
to speak to the PALS (Patient Affairs Liason Service) office they will talk you through the resitration process. Once this has been completed they you will be given a GREEN form. You will need to bring this to the funeral home. A funeral cannot take place without this form. You will also be given a certified copy of an entry form. This is commonly called thecdeath certificate. You will
need this to shut down the deceaseds bank accounts etc. The PALS office will also arrange for cremation forms to be completed by the doctors. When a person is cremated two doctors have to verify that death has occured natuarally and that no foul play has taken
place. One docotr will be the GP of the deceased or the last doctor to treat them before death. The second doctor will be another doctor from another practice who wiuld not have known the deceased. As thsi death has occured in hospital the hospital will doctors
will take care of this.
When you sit down with the funeral director the basic information would have already been taken upon the intitial conversation so all that is left to do is to go over the finer details. Now most funeral homes sell what I call
funeral packages. This is where you will be presented with certain options. For example if you require one hearse, a limousine, a plain coffin and chapel of rest visits then you will be given a package that has all of those options. All arrangements can be
tailor made to your own requirments. The more cars you have, the fancier the coffin the more the funeral will cost. Funeral directors professional charges cover: removing the decased from the place of death, making all the necessary arrangements, supply of
a coffin and transport on the day of the funeral. The only costs that are NOT included in the funeral directors charges are the dispersments.
Dispersments are costs
paid to third parties. These third parties include, clergy or celebrant, crematorium fees, doctors fees, florist fees, church fees and any other service you require outside of the funeral directors charges. Some funeral homes require these charges to be paid
befre the funeral can take place? Some simply take a deposit which could be a percentage of the funeral cost? That is something you will need to clarify with the funeral director. Some will give you a break down of the costs including dispersments then is
done in the form of an estimate. The final account will usually come one month after the funeral has taken place. Like I saud each funeral hope operates differently in this respect so yiu need to clarify this BEFORE you sign any paperwork.
Once formal arrangments have been made then all that is left to do is wait for the day of the funeral. Obviously if you have arranged to see touyr relative in the chapel of rest at the
funeral home then you will be advised as and when you can go and pay uoiur last respects. preparation of the deceased for chapel visitation may include embalming. This is not a legal requirmewnt and you do not have to have it done to have a viewing. However
as I have said before each funeral home operates differently so you will need to ask what is invloved.
This all seems very daunting especially of you have never done it before. but please lean on your funeral director for support. That is what
we are here for. Please do not be afraid to ask questions and of course remember that you can make the funeral as plain or as elaborate as you want. The options availible now are plentiful and there is no right or wrong way to do this there is just your way.