Arranging a funeral for a child

picture of a child running in the horizon

If you’re arranging a funeral for a child, it’s a good idea to get support from family members, friends and bereavement charities who can help you through this difficult time. You’ll find a list of child bereavement charities at the bottom of this article.

You might also want to ask a funeral director for help. They’ll deal with the paperwork and help you arrange the funeral. This means you can focus on celebrating your child’s life the best way you can.

Depending on the type of funeral you want, you may be able to customise the service to fit your child’s personality. This article should help you come up with some ideas.

Ideas for a child’s funeral

Remember that funerals don’t have to be sombre and serious. You might feel that it’s better to focus on happy memories instead.

For example, you could cover the coffin with pastel-coloured cloth and decorate the venue with toys and balloons. And instead of wearing dark clothing, you could ask people to wear your child’s favourite colour or something that celebrates a cartoon or activity they liked.

Or how about playing videos as people enter or exit the venue? These could be home movies or photo montages. You could also play some of your child’s favourite songs during the ceremony.

These are just ideas. Unless you want a very traditional funeral, you’re free to choose almost any elements you like. Ask your funeral director if you’re not sure what’s allowed.

What to say at the funeral

Most funerals in the UK include a eulogy. This is a formal spoken tribute to the person who has died.

If you don’t feel up to writing a eulogy, you could share a few quick thoughts or memories instead. For instance, you could talk about things that made your child laugh, their favourite hobbies or something they said that you’ll always remember. It doesn’t have to be a carefully written speech – you can just speak from the heart.

If you prefer, you could write a eulogy and ask a close family member or friend to read it on your behalf. Or you could prepare a reading from your child’s favourite storybook.

Ways of remembering

Many people choose to remember their child with a special keepsake, which can they cherish long after the funeral is over.

If you’ve lost a baby, you could have small plaster casts made of their hands or feet. Or you could ask a specialist photographer to take photos of them. There’s a charity called Remember My Baby that offers this service for free in the UK.

Would you like to give something back to your community? You could plant a tree, donate a bench to a local park or sponsor equipment at a nursery or playground. You could also ask family and friends to donate to a children’s charity, or you could raise money through a website like JustGiving or GoFundMe.

If you’re planning a burial, many cemeteries and burial grounds have sections dedicated to babies and children. The charity Sands also has memorial gardens at locations across the UK. These are spaces specifically dedicated to remembering babies who have died before, during or after birth. Some gardens allow you to place your own memorial plaque. Contact your local branch of Sands to find out more.

Get help paying for the funeral

If you live in the UK, you can access a special fund to help pay some or all of the funeral costs. These funds have different rules and work in different ways, so be sure to check the details.

Many funeral directors charge a reduced rate or nothing at all for a child’s funeral. You might want to talk to several funeral directors to find one that suits you financially and personally. Our search tool can help you find funeral directors in your area.

If you’re on benefits and you live in England or Wales, you may also be eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment. This can help cover some costs that aren’t covered by the special funds.

Child bereavement charities

Several UK charities offer free support to grieving parents and their families. Here are a few of them:

 

For more support, you can see this list of UK bereavement charities.

 

Funeral Choice helps people find and compare local funeral directors. For more funeral planning support, visit our advice centre.

 

 

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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