Advice on Funeral Arrangements

What to do first

It is best not to make funeral arrangements until you are positive that the death does not need to be referred to the coroner, because this may affect the date when the funeral can be held. You should also find out if there is a will, since this may give requests about the funeral arrangements. If the deceased had a pre paid funeral plan or a pre paid Civil Ceremony lodged with F2die4™ this may also contain requests for the funeral.

Arranging a funeral without a funeral director

It is possible to arrange a funeral without employing the services of a professional funeral director. All that is required for burial in England and Wales is a Death Certificate signed by a doctor and a Certificate of Burial from the registrar of deaths. You should contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your Local Authority for advice and guidance on how to proceed.

Choosing a funeral director

Friends, family, ministers or your doctor may be able to suggest reputable local funeral directors. Alternatively you can check out the listings in our directory of services. The chosen funeral director will need the Certificate of Burial or Cremation (Green Form) or an Order for Burial, or a Certificate for Cremation giving permission for the body to be buried, or an application for cremation to be made.

Cremation or Burial?

It is best to refer to the will to check if the deceased had any preferences. It is usually the responsibility of the executor or nearest relative to decide whether the body should be buried or cremated.

The funeral director will help you decide where the body should stay before the funeral, and other funeral details such as starting point, time and place of funeral.

If you plan to have a religious service, contact the appropriate person for the chosen religion. If you are not sure the funeral director should be able to help point you in the right direction. You do not have to have a religious ceremony, you can design your own non-religious service or use the services of to appoint a Civil Minister who can then help you to arrange a Civil Ceremony

You also need to decide if you prefer flowers or perhaps a donation to charity. If you want flowers and a cremation is planned, you can decide what should be done with the flowers. The local hospital or old people's home may be glad to accept flowers. Please search our directory section to find a local florist.


No one is able to be cremated until the cause of death is definitely known. Five forms, from the funeral director or crematorium, need to be completed.

  • An Application Form (form A) signed by next of kin or executor
  • Two Cremation Certificates (forms B and C) each signed by a different doctor. You will need to pay for these. If the death is referred to the coroner, these two certificates are not needed. Instead the coroner will give you a Certificate of Cremation (form E)
  • A certificate (form E) signed by the medical referee at the crematorium. The medical referee can refuse cremation and either request a postmortem examination or refer the matter to the coroner.
  • Certificate for Burial or Cremation issued by the registrar, not required if the coroner has issued a Certificate for Cremation

It is up to you to decide what to do with the ashes, these can be buried in a churchyard, scattered in a favourite spot, or kept. You also have the option to pay for a memorial plaque at some crematoria. There are lots of other fantastic ways to disperse the ashes, put them into a firework display, have them shot out of a rocket or sent into Outer Space. Or have them scattered from a Hot Air Balloon,  you can also have them made into a LifeGem diamond,into a pendant or a glass vase, to name just a few ideas. The possibilities are endless.


The person who died may have already arranged a space in a churchyard or cemetery, this may be mentioned in the will. Many churchyards are no longer open for burial because there is no space. If you would like the burial to be in a churchyard, you can find out from the priest or minister about the possibility of burial in the chosen churchyard. Most cemeteries are non-denominational so you can have most types or service or ceremony. Including a non religious or part religious Civil Ceremony either in the cemetery chapel, followed by a grave side ceremony before burial or a Civil Ceremony at the graveside.  Please contact Charlotte Graham who will help and advise you.

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