When someone dies you need to decide to use a Funeral Director or you can organise the relevant information yourself. If you can choose a Funeral Director you need to choose someone you feel comfortable with. This post will help you to understand some of the things to consider. It’s also important to think about the associated costs of a funeral, and make sure you are able to pay and how you plan to pay for the relevant services.

Getting started:

  • What does a Funeral Director do?
  • Finding a Funeral Director
  • Things to consider and ask a Funeral Director
  • Before you go ahead
  • How much does it cost?
  • If you don’t use a Funeral Director

What does a Funeral Director do?

If you choose to use a Funeral Director, all or some things can be dealt with, but it can be more expensive. Using a Funeral Director presents several options:

  • Funeral Directors make all arrangements after consultation with you and depending on the decisions made by you and your family.
  • Funeral Directors will organise most of the arrangements, but you are responsible for songs, music, hymns or readings.
  • You can arrange everything to do with the Funeral, but the Funeral Director will organise certain elements such as the coffin or hearse.

Finding a Funeral Director

There are many ways to find the right Funeral Director. First of all you need to know if the person had a funeral plan already in place. In some cases there may be a plan with a particular funeral company and may already be paid for.

If you’re looking for a funeral director yourself, it might help to think about the following:

Things to consider and ask

When instructing a Funeral Director you may want to speak to them and ask some of the following questions:

  • What services do you provide?
  • Can we choose from your list of services and just pay for the ones we choose?
  • What do your charges include?
  • Are any items included in your quote optional or are there alternatives?
  • When do we pay the bill?
  • Do we have to pay a deposit?
  • Are you comfortable delivering the choices we have discussed?
  • Can we buy a coffin or its equivalent from another source?
  • Can we provide our own transport?
  • Can friends or family members carry the coffin?

Before you proceed

Contact some different Funeral Directors in your local area to compare prices and options available to you.

When you receive a quote, the Funeral Director should list their fees including set fees from third parties (eg cemeteries, crematoriums, churches or doctors) so you can compare costs. If you don’t get a detailed quote ask for a price list or cost breakdown to help you decide you way forward.

Here are some things to think about:

  • There may be a date that you want, you’ll need to check if it’s available.
  • If you plan to organise part of the funeral yourself, check with the funeral director as not all are happy to accommodate. Some may see certain responsibilities as part of their service while others will be more flexible.
  • Check prices before taking anything on, it may not be cheaper to do it yourself.
  • Even if you make your own arrangements, some Funeral Directors will still provide certain services for a charge.

How much does it cost?

Funeral director fees vary across the UK but the average fee is £3,953*. This will often include a coffin, hearse, collection and care of the deceased, and professional guidance.

You can ask for a simpler or less expensive option, and don’t feel pressured to make choices beyond what you can afford. Having a less expensive funeral doesn’t reflect on the person who’s died or how much they meant to you. Many people arrange funerals which they then struggle to pay for.

*Figures are from the COST OF DYING REPORT 2023 from Sunlife (insurance and funeral plan company).

If you don’t use a Funeral Director

You don’t have to use a Funeral Director if you don’t want to. You can contact your local cemeteries and cremation department to get information about arranging a funeral yourself.

View our Business Directory for help to find a variety of different companies to help with Funeral planning.