Frequently asked questions about funerals

What do I do first?

Call Bryan or Clyve on 01579 343168 24hrs a day.

We will talk you through exactly what you need to do and how to proceed.

Have there been any instructions left?

Have you discussed funeral arrangements recently?

Are there any instructions in a will?

Is there a pre paid funeral plan?

What if there are no instructions?

Although this often can cause distress we can help you to decide on the service that best suits your needs.

We can guide you through all the different types of services available.

We will explain your responsibilities.

Do I choose a cremation or a burial?

If there are no instructions then this decision is normally taken by the next of kin.

Cremation in general is cheaper than a burial depending on where you live.

If you choose cremation then all the family must be informed and agree.

What is involved with a burial?

Normally an interment is preceded by a service in a church or chapel.

We will arrange the Clergy and church or chapel on your behalf.

Alternatively we can arrange for a simple graveside service or a green burial in Pentiddy Woods

What is involved in a cremation?

There are four crematoriums in our area. The Glynn Valley Crematorium, Bodmin is the closest or alternatively, Penmount Crematorium in Truro and Weston Mill and Efford crematoria in Plymouth.

Each has their own chapels where a service could take place. This is convenient if you are not religious.

You can also have a church service prior to a committal at the crematorium.

You will have to decide on what you would like to do with the cremated remains.

Who will arrange the service?

We will take care of everything on your behalf. Once we have initially met and gone through your requirements we will start work on achieving the service in accordance with your instructions.

How is the service planned?

Ultimately it is important that the service reflects the person who has passed away. Each service is based upon the individual and should reflect a lasting tribute to them.

The family must feel at ease with the format and content of the service. If a Minister is involved then we would arrange for them to contact the next of kin and meet to discuss the type of funeral service required.

If you have no minister in mind or are non religious then we would recommend a person that would best suited to take the type of service.

You will need to consider any music, readings/poems, someone to evoke memories in the form of a tribute. This could be a family member or the person conducting the service.

Can I take the service?

Yes you can if it is a graveside service or a service at the crematorium. We will help you to create your own style of service and provide advice on formulating a personal and unique send off.

What about transport?

A hearse is the only funeral vehicle that is required. Alternatives such as a horse drawn carriage or a motorbike and sidecar hearse are available upon request at an additional cost. We offer limousines for family members if you so wish. These vehicles will collect  and return you back to your home or reception after the service.

Who takes care of donations?

We look after donations in memory on your behalf.

We will set up an account and arrange a retiring collection at the service. Alternatively donations can be sent direct to our office.

We will send you a list of donors and a total amount received four weeks after the funeral and forward a cheque onto the chosen charity shortly afterwards.

How do I order floral tributes?

We have our own bespoke florist www.fullblooms.co.uk

We can arrange for Theresa our florist to call you and book an appointment to discuss designs and create your own individual and unique arrangements.

After the funeral we will give you the names of anyone who gave floral tributes. We can also supply flowers to mark an anniversary or special time of year.

 How do I publish newspaper notices?

We can publish a notice in a local or national paper and give you guidance on the wording and layout.

We can also insert a thanks into a publication after the service.

Who designs the order of service booklets?

We have our own design team who will create an order of service that details every part of the service. There are various options available and a proof will be sent to you prior to printing.

What about a reception after the service?

We will arrange this for you.

We can recommend and book a suitable venue.

We can supply high class catering.

What are my payment options?

There are several ways to pay for the service we provide. They are:

Cheque

Bank Transfer

Credit Card

From the estate of the deceased

Can I receive funding for the funeral payment?

Assistance is available from the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Social Fund which can provide assistance to individuals who meet the required criteria. To qualify you must demonstrate that you are the most suitable person to take responsibility for paying the funeral account – additionally you must be receiving at least one of several qualifying benefits and have insufficient savings to pay for the funeral.

The DWP Funeral Payment will provide a limited amount, which may cover a very basic funeral, or provide a contribution towards a more traditional funeral. Your chosen funeral firm will be able to advise you about the qualifying criteria and the likely contribution available. Form SF200 can be downloaded here –
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/363675/sf200_print.pdf

How do I manage the estate?

You can either instruct a solicitor to handle the estate on your behalf which we would advise especially if there is property involved or a disagreement within the family.

You can take care of the estate yourself.

What is Probate?

‘Probate’ is a term commonly used when talking about applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs. It’s sometimes called ‘administering the estate’. If the total assets of the estate are over £15,000 and are spread across various accounts then you will need to apply for probate.

If the person who has died leaves a will.

In this case one or more ‘executors’ may be named in the will to deal with the person’s affairs after their death. The executor applies for a ‘grant of probate’ from a section of the court known as the probate registry. The grant is a legal document which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets (property, money and possessions). They can use it to show they have the right to access funds, sort out finances, and collect and share out the deceased person’s assets as set out in the will.

If the person who has died didn’t leave a will

If there is no will, a close relative of the deceased can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case they apply for a ‘grant of letters of administration’. If the grant is given, they are known as ‘administrators’ of the estate. Like the grant of probate, the grant of letters of administration is a legal document which confirms the administrator’s authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets.

In some cases, for example, where the person who benefits is a child, the law states that more than one person must act as the administrator. 

When a grant may not be needed

A grant of representation may not be needed where:

  • the person who died left less than £15,000
  • they owned everything jointly with someone else and everything passes automatically to the surviving joint owner

To establish whether the assets can be obtained without a grant, the executor or administrator would need to write to each institution informing them of the death and enclosing a photocopy of the death certificate (and will if there is one)