Questions to ask when looking at funeral packages
Does funeral planning and the cost which goes with it make you feel anxious? Perhaps it’s never crossed your mind. Or maybe it’s something you’ve had to deal with when you have lost someone close to you. I wish I could say that traditional funerals aren’t a big expense, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.
Now more than ever, families who have lost a loved one that choose a traditional funeral have been shocked by the costs. Furthermore, a report by the Competition & Markets Authority highlighted that most people will go to their local high street funeral directors and not question the cost or guidance they’re given. There are so many decisions to make for a funeral, it’s understandable after suffering a loss, they will want to give their loved one the send off they deserve.
Not only the traditional funeral
At After. Life Arrangements, we do things differently to a traditional funeral director. We organise a simple cremation with a bespoke and unique Celebration of Life afterwards, at a time and venue to suit you. This modern alternative of choosing no funeral is becoming more popular as, not only is it half the price of a traditional funeral, it also gives people the opportunity to focus on the good times and the joy of the life.
But this blog isn’t about what we do. We thought it would be useful to put together some questions that you should think about when planning a funeral, whether you decide to go down the traditional route or with a more modern alternative. Because when you’re grieving it is difficult to know what to consider and we think it’s important that you know what questions to ask a funeral director.
What to ask to limit funeral costs
Whilst it might seem easy to pick a standard funeral director’s package, there are ways to keep costs low, without reducing the love and affection you are showing for your loved one.
Independent or group?
Some funeral directors become part of larger groups or companies, whilst retaining their company name. It is worth asking whether they are independent or not at the outset, as those that are part of a larger group will have specific packages that they offer with little room to negotiate details that you would prefer. We choose an independent approach as there are more options and you can create a unique send off for your loved one.
Preservation of the body
Embalming is not a legal requirement (unless your loved one is being transported internationally) and you are under no obligation to agree to this. It is sometimes suggested that viewing an un-embalmed body would be distressing, however this is not usually the case.
Our office isn’t like that of a traditional funeral director. We don’t have a mortuary or chapel of rest on site. Some find this a more comforting environment for them to share memories of their loved one.
You may already have an idea of the sort of coffin you would like, but if you have never looked into this, there are many different types. From traditional wooden coffins or caskets, cardboard to wicker coffins or even personalised picture coffins with bespoke designs. Ask what types they offer and whether you can source your own if you like.
The traditional hearse is usually offered by funeral directors to take your loved one to the church or crematorium, but did you know that this isn’t necessary? You can choose to organise your own transport, or the funeral directors can organise an alternative, and you certainly don’t need to hire cars for close family to follow behind if this isn’t what you want.
Burial and cremation options
We’re very passionate about the environment and have eco-friendly options when it comes to urns for scattering ashes. But there are choices for burial too, for example, did you know that there are natural burial grounds which are in beautiful countryside spots, designed to give back to the earth. This may suit someone with alternative burial wishes.
The importance of questions before making a decision
We hope this blog has helped you to think about the questions you’d like to ask when planning a funeral. Please don’t be afraid to ask questions before making your final decision in how you say goodbye to your loved one.
If you have any other questions about direct cremations in Cheshire, then please contact us or leave a comment below.
We’d be honoured to help you to plan a simple cremation and Celebration of Life, so please get in touch if you need any help or guidance.