When should funeral arrangements not be a personal choice?

Written by Director, Gareth Coles:

If you’ve read my previous blogs this month, I’ve been writing about the importance of personal choice when it comes to making funeral plans and arrangements. There really is no right or wrong way to say goodbye to a loved one, and at no point should you feel pressured by a funeral director or by anyone else to have a traditional service, or any other type of service if you don’t want one…There are some minimum requirements you must consider regarding the legal disposal of your loved one’s body (or indeed yours if you’re making a funeral plan for yourself) – but there is no legal obligation to have a funeral service. Hence a growing trend for ‘Direct Transfer’ or ‘Direct Disposal’ funerals where the body is taken from its place of rest direct to the crematorium or burial site.

However, there is also a growing trend at the other end of this spectrum – where people want a funeral service that is highly personalised to the deceased and the ‘send off’ brings together all the people important in their life in support of each other.

Generally speaking, we’ve become very removed from death here in the UK. People often die alone or in the presence of medical staff rather than family. More often than not, mourners decline the opportunity to spend time with or see their dead. And we find it difficult to talk about death.  (Please note that none of this is judgement – it’s purely observation, based on my many years of working with the dead and their families here in Cardiff.)

Perhaps then it’s not surprising that whilst the ‘Direct Transfer’ has increased in popularity, people are still keen to have this type of funeral ‘with Service’ – either at a church/religious venue, a crematorium, burial site or another place. This is the type of funeral that many people buy ‘on plan’. It’s a lower cost option that some see as ‘no frills’, but it is a vitally important event that gives people the opportunity to say goodbye.

Ultimately, the funeral service is for the people left behind. A funeral service gives people permission and a safe place to mourn and express their sadness, to speak of their loss and may help them on their grief journey… it’s also the perfect place to celebrate life. The life of a loved one, or indeed your life. So before you buy a funeral plan for a ‘direct transfer’ (£1434), its worth considering a ‘direct transfer with service’ (£1917).

If you’re looking for ways to keep the cost of your funeral down, whilst still ensuring you have a high quality, personalised funeral service, delivered with care and compassion – we’re here for you and will happily walk you through your options so you can choose a funeral plan that’s right for you >