Choosing a funeral director

Woodvale circa 1902

When a person dies, either the next-of-kin or an executor will need to organise a funeral, often with the help of a funeral director.

A funeral director will help the bereaved to decide which type of funeral service is most suitable, liaise with third parties and arrange and oversee the funeral service. When choosing a funeral director, check that they belong to a trade association.

The funeral director will:

  • collect the deceased person from the place of death or the city mortuary
  • meet by appointment, the executor or person arranging the funeral to discuss funeral arrangements
  • arrange with Bereavement Services either a burial or cremation service, advising them of all relevant instructions and requirements
  • arrange the attendance of a minister, priest or other officiant and an organist, if required
  • organise the necessary disbursements, to include cemetery or crematorium fees, doctor's fees, minister's fees, organist fees and, if appropriate, mortuary retention fees
  • ensure that all necessary official documents are completed and delivered to the place of the funeral within the required timescales
  • transport the coffin and any floral tributes to the cemetery or Woodvale crematorium
  • ensure the funeral is carried out under the guidance of a funeral director

Additionally, on request the funeral director will:

  • prepare the deceased person for viewing, a procedure which may include embalming and / or cosmetic treatment
  • arrange for the publication of obituaries
  • provide floral tributes
  • organise a collection for a named charity
  • arrange a suitable location for the mourners to meet following the funeral
  • remove the cremated remains from the crematorium, to their chapel of rest, pending a decision on their final resting place
  • arrange for the private burial of the cremated remains at a selected cemetery or churchyard

It is not compulsory for a funeral director to be used and advice on how to arrange a self-help funeral can be provided by Bereavement Services.

Further information on funeral directors is available from the National Association of Funeral Directors and National Association of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors.