How to Arrange the Funeral of Your Loved One in the Best Possible Way

When we are faced with the death of a loved one, it can feel like an insurmountable loss – and yet, if we are to handle or arrange their funeral, the situation is made even more difficult. Not only do we have to deal with someone’s loss – we have to make practical arrangements and keep our wits about ourselves. Of course, nobody wants to arrange a funeral at such a challenging time, but if you are tasked with such a big responsibility, you want to make sure you do everything right. Fortunately, in most cases, it is entirely possible to do all things on your own – with the expert help of a funeral director. They will make sure your loved one’s instructions will be followed to the letter. If your loved one didn’t leave any instructions for the funeral, your funeral director could provide you with more than your usual share of options to ensure that you correctly do things. It pays to know what’s in store and how to go about it, however, so here’s how you can arrange the funeral of your loved one in the best possible way.

How are they arranged? The general recommendations

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In general, most of the funerals arranged today are done with the help of a funeral director. When you have decided to find one, look through professional bodies like the SAIF (Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors) or the NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors). With this, you can be confident that the funeral director you choose follows a standard code of conduct and adheres to the best practices in their industry, as confirmed by funeral directors from Carrollandcarrollfunerals.co.uk. It is also better if you get a funeral director who is a member of such bodies because they have procedures in place for lodging any complaints – so your loved one is protected at all times.

On the other hand, it is possible for you to arrange a funeral without any help from a funeral director; you can contact your local authority’s cemetery and crematorium or contact the Natural Death Centre to know what to do.

What you can expect from a funeral director

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If you have decided that it’s best to rely on the experience and expertise of a funeral director, they will take care of almost anything for you, except the registration of the death, which you would have to do yourself as an official partner or next of kin.

But there are some things you can expect from your funeral director – in other words, they are already a given, no matter how basic the funeral is. So, for example, it would already include a simple coffin with a lining, and it would also include the body’s transport to the premises of the funeral director, and the care of the deceased, including the washing of the body and its dressing up and laying out of the body. It will not include the embalming in most cases, although you can confirm this with your chosen funeral director.

Another thing you can expect from the funeral director is the hearse, which will take the body to the burial ground or crematorium. If need be, they will also be the ones providing the pallbearers or the people who will carry the casket or coffin, and they will ensure that all other arrangements are made, such as getting the forms or paperwork you require.

Aside from this, your funeral director can make arrangements for the following, even if they don’t provide it themselves, such as the flowers, the press notices, the organist, the celebrant, the medical certificate for cremation and the doctor’s fees related to this, along with the crematorium or burial fee for grave preparation. They can also help you with the cars, special arrangements for viewing, a memorial service, catering services, and special stationery.

Deciding on the kind of funeral you would like your loved one to have

It would be much easier if your loved one already gave instructions on the type of funeral they want to have. But in most cases, you would have to decide on this yourself. You can, for example, opt for a cremation or a burial and know that cremations are less expensive than burials, as you also have to contend with the grave or burial plot. You can also choose to have a traditional or classic funeral or a green funeral, depending on what you think your loved one may have wanted.

The service can be up to you; you can have a standard memorial service or a celebration of life, and you can hire a whole choir or get an organist for something simpler. The point is that you should choose a funeral that is a good reflection of the life and the beliefs of your loved one.

The time frame for arranging a loved one’s funeral

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Traditionally speaking, a person’s funeral is held about one week to two weeks after their death. But the length of time needed can also depend on whether the person is brought home from abroad. It will be longer, and it will even depend on the availability of the crematoria or the funeral director. The religious beliefs of the person who died may have something to do with it, as do their family situation or circumstances and the kind of funeral you would want to organise.

As you may well be aware, the funeral of a loved one is a deeply personal and memorable event, and most of us have different –and specific – requirements. You should take care of more than a few details, including the transport, the hymns and songs to be included, the eulogies, and even the food and drinks. It’s best to consult with someone else in your family or your friends regarding what to do; failing that, a funeral director is there to guide you through every step of the way and act as your expert sounding board and confidant in this trying time.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com