Cremations and Burials
It is often assumed that funerals can be completed only with the use of a funeral director. This is not correct.
Although a funeral director will be invited to organise the majority of funerals, some people prefer to organise funerals themselves. The Charter for the Bereaved provides information on how to go about this. More detailed leaflets giving you local information on arranging a burial or cremation are available via our online request form.
There is no legal requirement to use the services of a funeral director but many families find the prospect of organising a funeral entirely without support from an undertaker very daunting, not least from a practical point of view. A middle road is to find a funeral director who will provide as much or as little help as you require.
A funeral director typically organises the funeral by collecting and moving the body, arranging embalming, (if required), viewing of the deceased, providing a coffin, hearse and other elements. Carrying out these services relieves the bereaved from doing what they may feel are unpleasant and difficult tasks. Ultimately, the funeral director must operate commercially and in charging for his or her services, funerals can be expensive. In addition, the funeral director imposes him/herself on the arrangements to a greater or lesser degree.
Some people do not wish to use a funeral director. This can be for a wide variety of reasons. It is your right to make this decision without giving a reason.
Almost all aspects of a funeral are relatively straight forward in themselves, the difficulties arise because of the emotional strain of being bereaved, the pressure of time, the lack of experience of looking after the body of someone who has died and a lack of knowledge about the paperwork required. The entire funeral can be handled by the bereaved family and charter members, such as Stafford Bereavement Services are able to assist in facilitating this.
For additional information get a copy of The Natural Death Handbook a complete manual for anyone considering caring for their dead and organising a funeral without the services of a funeral director.
Please see our funeral expenses.
It is your right to organise a funeral without the use of a funeral director.
It is your right, as executor (or next of kin) to be given the body by a mortuary, hospital, etc., in order to carry out a funeral without a funeral director.
It is your right to obtain a coffin (minimum biodegradable type) via your Charter member.
It is your right to obtain a Personalised or Independent funeral leaflet from your Charter member describing how to arrange a funeral without a funeral director.