What does a funeral director do?

wicker coffin covered in flowers in a church

Most people need help with planning a funeral. A funeral director is there to support you and your family every step of the way. We’ve put together this guide so you know what to expect.

What is a funeral director?

A funeral director plans and coordinates a funeral. They can organise everything from collecting the body of the person who has died, through to planning the service and the wake. They’re sometimes called an undertaker.

What are the duties of a funeral director?

A funeral director will help you before, during and after the funeral. It’s up to you how much support you’d like. You can choose to have a funeral director arrange every part of the funeral, or just some parts.

We’ve listed the main things a funeral director does below. It’s worth knowing that not all funeral directors provide all the support on this list. So if there are specific things you need, make sure you ask the funeral director if they can provide them.

Before the funeral

During the funeral

After the funeral

What a funeral director will ask you

As part of the funeral planning process, a funeral director will ask you questions to help them understand what you’d like.

They’ll ask you questions about your loved one, such as:

They’ll also ask you practical questions, including:

What questions to ask a funeral director

When you meet with the funeral director, you might find it helpful to ask these questions:

Don’t worry if you forget to ask something when you meet with the funeral director. You’ll usually have a couple more meetings or discussions to finalise the details. You can also call them to ask anything else that you need to know. It’s perfectly normal to forget to ask a few things. Funeral directors are used to this and are there to support you.

Ask about funeral costs

It’s good to talk about the cost of the funeral, especially if you’re worried about what you can afford. You can ask the funeral director to explain all the costs and which items are optional. You can also ask them about flexible payment plans and other ways to help you pay for the funeral. Learn more about paying for a funeral.

Do I have to use a funeral director?

No, you don’t have to use a funeral director to plan a funeral. However, most people prefer to because it can be a big help at a difficult time. Funeral directors can take care of everything, including all the legal paperwork. This allows you to focus on coping with your feelings and spending time with friends and family.

If you do want to arrange a funeral without a funeral director, you’ll find it easier if you have a simple ceremony. The more complicated your funeral plans are, the more likely it is that you’ll need a funeral director to help you.

How to find a funeral director

Most people choose a funeral director who’s local to them or the place where the funeral is taking place. You can find funeral directors near you by:

When you’re choosing a funeral director, it’s a good idea to check if they’re a member of The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) or The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

Learn more about planning a funeral

 

Photo by The Good Funeral Guide on Unsplash

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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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