COPING WITH • YOUR LOSS • SPRING / SUMMER 2019 OUR GUIDE TO MAKING THIS DIFFICULT TIME EAS I ER TO MANAGE F U N E R A L T Y P E S • L E G A L M A T T E R S • W A K E S • D E A L I N G W I T H L O S S •
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
Diamond & Son Funeral Directors We create every funeral individually, just for you.
AVRidout Funeral Service
Highcliffe 01425 689 503 414 Lymington Road, Highcliffe-on-Sea, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 5HE To arrange a funeral or find out more about our funeral plans, call us 24 hours a day. avridout.co.uk
Proudly serving your local community since 1928
We offer a friendly, professional service to families in Lymington and the surrounding areas. We have a range of funeral options available to suit all wishes and requirements.
• Bereavement advice • Transparent pricing • Home visits • Private chapel of rest • Floral tributes • Memorial masonry • Prepaid funeral plans
J & L Sturney Funeral Directors
Waterside Funeral Home
Proudly serving your local community since 2000
Our staff are here to support and advise you 24 hours a day Long established funeral directors, proudly serving your local community
191-195 Long Lane, Southampton, 023 8098 5204 Holbury
023 8098 5248 13-15 The Marsh,
62 High Street, Lyndhurst , Hampshire SO43 7BJ 023 8098 6323 Call to find out more about our funeral plans
Hampshire SO45 6AJ
Hampshire SO45 2PD
Call us for advice and support 24 hours a day Prepaid funeral plans available
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
How to choose a funeral director
Writing a Will page 4
Dixon Stewart page 5
A guide to funeral flowers & floral tributes page 10
Care home considerations by William ompson page 7
What does an executor of a will do?
Registering a death where do you begin...
How to get help with funeral costs
Ways to say Goodbye
Redcli e Garden Centre the Ivy Room
Interested in advertising in our October edition ?
Why going on holiday can help cope with grief
For further information or to advertise, contact Carol Shears on 07734 384687 Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dealing with Probate page 18
Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground page 14
Wakes page 12
Colin Hayley & Tapper Funeral Service page 19
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With this advertisement we will deduct £100 from any of the above services.
Maria Jones Funeral Directors Little Holbrook, 56 Brookley Road, Brockenhurst, SO42 7RA
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
M ost people will put o making a will because they believe that it could bring on the day of their demise a little bit quicker and seems a little macabre. After all who wants to
out how much they charge. You may have access to legal advice through an addition to an insurance policy or If you are a member of a trade union you may nd that the union offers a free wills service to members. Many charities offer either a free or discounted will service. Usually they provide a list of local solicitors who will offer this service, although it may depend on you giving either a donation or legacy to that particular charity. There is also Free Will Writing Month which brings together a group of usually well-known charities to offer people aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple Wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in selected locations. The next Free Wills Month campaign starts October but you can register your interest on the website now and get an email reminding you that the campaign has started. So why you should make a will? If you want to be sure your wishes will be met after you
to the people and causes that you care about. It also avoids disputes between relatives. Disputes over wills can cause family arguments and may even need a solicitor to resolve them. Leaving a will should remove any doubt about who you want to leave your estate to. Close relatives and dependants may still be able to make a claim on your estate, but a solicitor can advise you on how likely this is and the best way to prevent it. Although it’s hard for loved ones to talk about death, talking about your will can save everyone a lot of worry. Deciding who you want to leave your possessions to (your bene ciaries) can help you make sure they go to the people you intended. A will can ensure that assets are kept within the family and are passed on down the generations. With a carefully-planned will, you can also cut the Inheritance Tax bill on your estate after your death. Your will can be a way to let people know whether you would prefer to be buried or cremated, and the type of funeral service and music you would like.
For a will to be valid: • it must be in writing, signed by you, and witnessed by two people over the age of 18 • you must have the mental capacity to make the will and understand the effect it will have • you must have made the will voluntarily and without pressure from anyone else. • The beginning of the will should say that this will revokes all others. If you have an earlier will, it should be destroyed. You must sign a will in front of two adult witnesses. It can also be signed on your behalf, as long as you’re in the room and it is signed at your direction.
mistakes and, if there are errors in the will, this can cause problems after your death. Sorting out misunderstandings and disputes after your death may result in considerable legal costs, which will reduce the amount of money in the estate. There are various on-line will writing packages where you can complete a DIY will or have a will writing service visit you and have the will written in the comfort of your own home. However, will-writing rms are not regulated by the Law Society so there are few safeguards if things go wrong. If you decide to use a will- writing rm, consider using one that belongs to The Institute of Professional Will-writers which has a code of practice approved by the Trading Standards Institute Consumer Codes Approval Scheme. Solicitors provide a range of will writing services . The charges for drawing up a will vary between solicitors and also depend on the complexity of the will. Before making a decision on who to use, it is always advisable to check with a few local solicitors to nd
contemplate their own death? It’s a load of paperwork and is perhaps not a priority right now. Finally there is the perception that making a Will is time consuming, complicated and expensive. And in any case they believe that all they own will go to family and friends when they pass on. But not making a will can cause a lot more problems than making one. You can write your will yourself, but you should get advice if your will isn’t straightforward. Your will doesn’t have to be on special paper or use a lot of legal language. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you should make a will, you should consult a solicitor or a Citizens Advice Bureau who can give you lists of solicitors. There is no need for a will to be drawn up or witnessed by a solicitor. It is generally advisable to use a solicitor or to have a solicitor check a will you have drawn up to make sure it will have the effect you want. This is because it is easy to make
Writing a Will The witnesses or their husbands, wives or civil partners can’t bene t from the will. If anything has been left to the witnesses, the rest of the will is still valid, but the witness will lose their entitlement to whatever you had intended to leave them.
die, then a will is vital. A will is the only way to
An executor can witness the will, unless they are a bene ciary. You can keep your will at your home or store it with your solicitor or accountant, your bank or at the Principal Registry of the Family Division of the High Court, a District Registry or Probate Sub-Registry. If you make any changes to your will you must follow the same signing and witnessing process.
make sure your savings and possessions (your estate) go
• getting separated or divorced • getting married (this cancels any will you made before) • having a child • moving house • if the executor named in the will dies
You should review your will every five years and after any major change in your life, e.g:
FACTS AND FIGURES More than 28 million of the UK adult population (58%) are currentlywithout awill. Nearly a third (32%) of over 55s do not have a will in place. 42% of UK adults have not thought about the impact of inheritance tax on the estate they wish to leave behind. One in ten UK adults without a will believe their estate will go to the right people automatically. This is incorrect. Source: Key Retirement Solutions
You can’t amend your will after it’s been signed and witnessed. The only way you can change a will is by making an of cial alteration called a codicil. You must sign a codicil and get it witnessed in the same way as witnessing a will. There’s no limit on how many codicils you can add to a will. For major changes you should make a new will which should explain that it revokes (of cially cancels) all previous wills and codicils. You should destroy your old will by burning it or tearing it up.
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
By Stephen Feldman
B eing named as an executor of a will can be a challenging, if not arduous job, of distributing what has been left by the deceased.
AS AN ADMINISTRATOR OF THE WILL YOU WILL NEED TO: • Taking an inventory of the deceased’s possessions and debts • Notifying and corresponding with all relevant organisations to gather together all the assets • Pay all bills, debts and charges on the estate • Search for any unclaimed or missing assets • Distribute the legacies (whether specific items, cash sums or residue) • Prepare and distribute estate accounts to interested parties • Distribute the residue of the estate to the beneficiaries • Follow the testator’s (the deceased) wishes as closely as possible. AS AN ADMINISTRA R OF THE WILL YOU WILL NEED TO: • Taking an inventory of the deceased’s possessions and debts • Notifying and corresponding with all relevant organisations to gather together all the assets • Pay all bills, debts and charges on the estate • Search for any unclaimed or missing assets • Distribute the legacies (whether specific items, cash sums or residue) • Prepare and distribute esta e accounts to inter sted parties • Distribute the residue of the estate to the beneficiaries • Follow the testator’s (the deceased) wishes as closely as possible. You will also have to apply for a grant of representation or probate to prove that the executors have the authority to deal with the deceased’s
assets to those institutions and authorities that hold assets in the deceased’s name such as bank and building societies. Finally there is also the job, depending on the value of a estate, of completing inheritance tax forms and paying any inheritance tax due and possibly completing any income and capital gains tax returns and paying any outstanding tax The executors should meet to discuss the practical side of carrying out their duties, and whatever is agreed should be put in writing and signed by them all. All the official paperwork may have to be signed by all the executors, even if they agree that one of them is doing the administration. If an executor refuses to administer the estate, any substitute executor named in the will can step in and apply for a ‘grant of representation’ or probate. Finally, if no executor has been named in the will or if the executor named cannot or doesn’t wish to act and no substitute executor is named, beneficiaries can apply to administer the estate.
It can be time consuming and frustrating at times so if you are asked to be an executor think about it carefully. And as an executor it doesn’t necessarily mean you get any of the estate. The deceased’s ‘estate’ – what they have left – may be straightforward but be prepared for the unforeseen. The task may appear to be made easier if there are joint executors as you can share the responsibilities and the various bodies you need to contact and forms you will need to complete. But for practical purposes it’s usually simpler if one executor takes on the tasks on behalf of all the executors. As an executor of a will you will have three main duties to carry out including identifying the assets of the estate and assessing their value at date of death; identifying and paying the deceased’s debts and then distributing the legacies.
Many people assume that their ‘next of kin’ will sort out their affairs (called in legal jargon ‘administering the estate’), but this isn’t often the case. When someone has made a will and appointed executors in their will, the executors will be responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes. The term ‘estate’ simply refers to all the property and assets a person leaves behind, whether it’s hundreds or millions of pounds. Assets for one person may include homes, yachts and overseas bank accounts, while another leaves a wedding ring, old clothes and a shoe box full of costume jewellery. Both have left estates to be accounted for and distributed. The job of an executor involves corresponding with other parties, keeping detailed records, filling out forms and being answerable to creditors, beneficiaries and dealing with the intentions of the deceased, as recorded in the will.
Our initial advice will always be given without any charge to you
At Dixon StewArt we take pride in offering an understanding, sympathetic and professional service and aim to take away as much of the stress as possible. We are able to act in all matters concerning the administration of an estate including Will Trusts, the transfer or sale of properties, inheritance tax and the obtaining of a grant of probate or letters of administration. Our personal service ensures that matters are handled professionally and efficiently and often at a significantly lower cost than equivalent services offered by banks and similar institutions. If you require any further information or would like to arrange a free consultation either at one of our offices or in the comfort of your own home then please contact us or see our website. Dixon Stewart has been providing a full range of legal services to businesses and individuals in and around the New Forest for over forty years.
remember them and this always helps when you are dealing with your own losses. Our initial advice will always be given without any charge to you. Our initial advices can also be given at your home. They are part of the service we at Dixon Stewart pride ourselves on providing. Those initial advice enable you to be fully informed and to decide whether you wish us to do anything further to assist you or whether you are content to deal with all or some matters by yourself. If you decide we are going to assist you further then we will tell you what our charges will be and how those charges are to be paid. Those charges will be fixed. There are no hidden extras. The charges will cover all the work. It is often useful to have a solicitor involved in the administration of the estate even if you have been appointed to act as executor. This is because the beneficiaries of the estate can see that there is someone independent acting and if there are any difficulties in the administration these can be dealt with by the solicitor.
When a family member or dear friend dies you may not only have to deal with your feelings of loss you may also have to wind up their financial affairs. This may involve the obtaining of a grant of probate (where there is a will) or a grant of letters of administration (where there is no will). The grant is your authority to deal with the financial affairs. Sometimes no grant is required. If you have never been involved in the death of a loved one before then this can be a very difficult time. Here at Dixon Stewart we deal with the financial consequences of death every day and consequently any work we do for you will be carried out quickly and efficiently so that you can have access to the monies and investments of your loved one as soon as reasonably possible. Furthermore if your loved one made their will with us we will often know and
Wills | Trusts Probate & Administration of Estates Powers of Attorney & Court of Protection
New Milton 01425 621515
Highcliffe 01425 279222
Contact Dixon Stewart for free advice without any obligation. We are friendly, efficient and right on your doorstep. We will visit you at home if you prefer. Anita Whelan on 01425 621515 or email email@example.com
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
Losing someone close to you is a very distressing time, especially if the death is sudden and unexpected.
If the coroner is involved The doctor may decide to report the death to the • if the deceased was not visited by a doctor in the final illness, or was not seen by the doctor
of death is clear then a post-mortem will not be needed. If a post-mortem is carried out the body will be released if it is decided that no further examinations are needed. If the cause of death is still uncertain then an inquest will be held. You will not be able to register the death until after the inquest. However,
coroner if: • the cause
who signed the certificate within 14 days before or after the death.
of death is unknown, • if it was sudden and unexplained, • if it was violent or unnatural, • if there is a
Other reasons might be that the medical certificate is not available or if the death occurred during an operation or while in prison or police custody. If the coroner decides the cause
suggestion that the death might be caused by industrial disease or poisoning,
an interim death certificate will be issued.
Having to deal with practical issues is often the last thing you want to do. It makes everything feel so final when you are still struggling to come to terms with your loss. It can be especially daunting if this is your first experience of bereavement. However, there are strict official procedures to follow, this may well feel overwhelming but your chosen funeral director will often help guide you through the formalities. There are also a number of websites with practical advice such as the UK Government site (www.gov.uk), Marie Curie (www.mariecurie.org.uk) and the Bereavement Advice Centre (bereavementadvice.org).
THE TELL US ONCE SERVICE
You will need to take the relevant information with you where appropriate: • The death certificate • Their national insurance number • Their passport or passport number • Town/country and date of birth • Driving licence or number and vehicle registration • Blue Badge Also take details of pensions, state pension and benefits. If you are the next of kin and your benefits are likely to be affected, then take your National Insurance number also. You will also be asked the contact details for the next of kin, the husband, wife or civil partner and the person who will be dealing with the estate.
THE FIRST STEPS Before you can register a death you will need to obtain a medical certificate, this will be given to you by the GP or the hospital. (unless it’s been reported to the Coroner) with the Registrar of Births and Deaths in the area the death has occurred. You will usually need to make an appointment with the Registrar which is likely to take about thirty minutes. You will need to tell the Registrar: • the person’s full name • Any previous names such as a maiden name • Their date and place of birth • Their full address • Their occupation • The name, date of birth and occupation of the surviving spouse or civil partner • Details of benefits or pensions If available also take the deceased’s birth certificate, a council tax bill, a marriage or civil partnership certificate, NHS medical card, passport, driving licence and a recent utility bill for proof of address. All deaths will need to be registered within five days
WHO CAN REGISTER A DEATH?
Some registrars will be able to use the Government’s online Tell Us Once Service which will report the death to several organisations at the same time. This might seem too much to deal with but it will save time and minimize the upset of having to contact a number of different agencies. They will notify HM Revenue and Customs, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Passport Office, the DVLA, the local council and public sector or armed forces pension schemes. If the registrar doesn’t have the facility they will give you a reference number so that you can do it yourself online or by phone if you wish.
There are strict guidelines as to who is qualified to register a death. It is usually reported by; • A relative or person who was present at the death • A relative who was present during the deceased’s final illness • A relative living in the register office district where the death occurred • The owner or occupier of the building where the death took place • The person who will be arranging the funeral with the funeral director • An official from the hospital or hospice
WHAT THE REGISTRAR WILL GIVE YOU The registrar will give you the death certificate. It might be useful to ask for additional copies while you are there to give to banks, solicitors etc as photocopies are not normally accepted. You will also be given a “green certificate” which is the Certificate for Burial or Cremation for you to give to the funeral director. You will also be given a certificate to send to the Department of Work and Pensions.
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
For further information please contact David Orr or Jessica Percival of the Wills and Probate Team on 01202 484242 firstname.lastname@example.org www.williamsthompson.co.uk
Will I have to pay for my care home fees? The answer to this question depends mostly on your financial situation at the time. In some limited circumstances, a persons’ care needs and health will make them eligible for non-means tested care. In the majority of cases, those with in excess of £23,250 worth of assets will have to meet the full care costs of care. Generally, individuals with less than £14,250 of capital assets will receive Local Authority funding. Those with capital assets valued in between these figures will be expected to contribute towards their fees. In all circumstances, the Local authority will carry out a financial assessment to determine an individual’s capital income.
Is my home “capital” and taken into account in any financial assessment? In certain circumstances, the Local Authority will not factor in a person’s home when carrying out a financial assessment. If any of the following still reside in the home the property will not be included; spouse or partner; relative aged 60 or over, disabled relative or a dependent child under the age of 18. In addition, the “12-week property disregard” will apply so that your property will be excluded from the means test for the first 12 weeks of admission into a care home.
Is there anything I can do to preserve some of my assets for my loved ones if I need to go into care? In certain circumstances it is possible to ring fence certain assets, particularly when there is a property owned jointly between spouses and partners. With the aid of a properly drafted Will it may be possible to protect at least half of the value of your home.
With all of us living longer, it is estimated that in 25 years-time, the UK population aged over 60 will have increased by 50% (Age Concern).
Is there anything else I need to consider? No one knows what is around the corner and in the event that we require care in the future, we need to ensure that our loved ones have the power to look after us, whether it be the ability to make decisions on our health, our finances or both. A Lasting Power of Attorney will enable you to give that authority to those you choose and avoid additional costs and delays in the future, should your mental or physical health deteriorate without one in place.
Can I just give my assets away now? While genuine gifts to loved ones are allowed during your lifetime, if a Local Authority judges that gift or transfer of assets is a deliberate “deprivation” to avoid future care home fees, it will include this gift as a national value when assessing the value of your assets.
As a result, Care Home Funding is frequently covered in the media.
Williams Thompson Solicitors LLP Avon House 4 Bridge Street Christchurch Dorset BH23 1DX The information contained in this publication is for guidance only. NO responsibility can be accepted by Williams Thompson LLP for action taken as a result of this information contained in this publication. It is not intended to be an exhaustive statement of the law or a substitute for seeking specific advice.
David Orr Partner - Head of Wills and Probate
Jessica Percival Wills and Probate
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
QUESTIONS TO ASK FUNERAL DIRECTORS BEFORE YOU MAKE THE DECISION Choosing a funeral director that will arrange a tting funeral for your loved one and ensuring the arrangements run smoothly and a digni ed service is delivered is the most important task surrounding the death of a loved one.
WHAT DOES A FUNERAL DIRECTOR DO? Choosing an experienced and professional funeral director will help ease the burden and stress of arranging a funeral for your loved one. During the arrangements you can expect as much time as is necessary. You should have personal, face-to-face contact to discuss your individual requirements and take instructions either at the funeral directors or your home. The directors will arrange the venues, transport and required personnel – to a time and day that suits you. They will also consult on choice of cof n and any lasting memorials that you may wish to have. They will also prepare, collect and distribute all the required documentation and coordinate ‘external payments’ that are necessary for the funeral to legally proceed. They can also collect and administer charitable donations, coordinate music for the service, oral tributes, service stationery, obituary notices, catering and any other special requirements. ON THE DAY OF THE FUNERAL The funeral director should personally oversee your chosen arrangements and guide and support you through every step. They will usually meet with you prior to the day of the funeral to ensure all your requirements are met, con rm arrangements and ensure all instructions are correctly recorded and any changes noted and acted upon. In addition they should be present at your side on the day to supervise the occasion and direct all in attendance and ensure suf cient pallbearers are available and instructed to escort the cof n with dignity and respect They should also prepare all locations for the service and committal and liaise with any Minister or of ciants. They should personally see to every detail, including the collection of cards from oral tributes, charitable donations, book of remembrance and other memorials from the day for you to treasure and keep. They should also prepare the deceased in accordance to your wishes, dressing them in their own clothes if you wish or a suitable gown. They should also follow any instructions regarding hairstyles and make-up and care for any personal effects in accordance with your instructions.
They will prepare a private Chapel of Rest and allow you to spend some private time with your loved one by agreed appointment at any time, or they will bring them back home for you to pay your last respects. They will also discuss speci c requirements regarding the processional route for the cortège with you. This may be comprised of a journey that includes treasured memories or personal landmarks. Ask whether they are a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). The NAFD ensure all of their funeral directors adhere to strict codes of practices, compliant procedures and full price transparency policies, ensuring you receive a high level of service.
QUESTIONS TO ASK A FUNERAL DIRECTOR If you are comparing funeral directors, keep in mind that not everything will be included in the overall price that you are quoted. You should ask a series of questions to ensure you receive a high quality service which is best for you and your loved one: • What is and isn’t included in your costs? • What services do you provide? • Can we choose a burial or cremation funeral? • Would you come to our home to discuss the arrangements? • Where will the deceased be kept until the day of the funeral? • Can the funeral be personalised? • Is there a range of cof ns, caskets and urns to choose from? • Can I visit my loved one before the funeral? • What happens if I move house? • Do you liaise with third parties and take care of the paperwork? • Can we choose the day and time of the funeral? • What funeral transport do you provide? • What type of funeral ceremony could we have and where? • Do you offer 24/7 advice and support?
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
T here are a number of ways to get financial help for funeral costs, including from the government, loans and from certain charities. There are two main ways to get help with funeral costs from the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) including the Funeral Expenses Payment and the Bereavement Support Payment. The Funeral Expenses Payment is a one-off grant to help people on certain bene ts pay for a funeral. The payment will cover the cost of the burial or cremation, travel to and from the funeral, of cial paperwork and hearse transport. You can also get up to about £700 more to help with funeral expenses like funeral director fees, owers and other costs. The average payment is about £1,500. If the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan, you can only get up to £120 to help pay for items not covered by their plan. To apply, you must be a close relative, partner or parent of the person who has died and you will also need to be on one or more of a number of qualifying means tested bene ts. You can apply over the phone or by post. If it turns out later that the estate of the person who has died has enough money to pay for the
funeral, you might need to give the Funeral Expenses Payment back. You must apply within six months of the funeral, even if you’re waiting for a decision on a qualifying bene t. You can make a claim before the funeral if you have an invoice from the funeral director. You cannot make a claim if you have only been given an estimate. If you get Universal Credit, you will not get a decision on your claim until after your next payment. Bereavement Support Payment This is a one-off, tax-free payment given to the spouse or civil partner of someone who has died. It’s intended to help widowed partners adjust to a change in household income. This means it can be a good way to get government help with funeral costs even if you’re not on bene ts. It is usually a one-off payment of £2,500 or £3,500, followed by 18 monthly payments of £100 or £350. You will be given the higher rate if you’re already receiving Child Bene t. To apply for the Bereavement Support Payment, you need to be under the State Pension age, and your spouse or civil partner needs to have either paid 25 weeks of
National Insurance contributions or have died due to a work- related incident.
For this support, you need to have spent at least six months on one or more of certain means tested qualify bene ts. You might not be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you get Universal Credit unless you are also claiming Pension Credit when you apply. You can apply online or by post – completed forms can be handed in to your local Jobcentre Plus. The Budgeting Loan can be used to pay for a range of things, not just funerals, so there is no deadline. You will usually hear back within three weeks after your application. Charities that help with funeral costs There are a number of charities that offer nancial help with funeral expenses. You may want to apply to a charity that works speci cally with people in your situation such as the current or former occupation of the deceased or your occupation or the circumstances in which they passed away. There are also charities that offer help depending on the nationality of the deceased. If a child has died, The Child Funeral Charity, React, and
To apply you will need to complete and post a
Bereavement Support Payment pack available over the phone or from Jobcentre Plus who can then send it off for you. To get the full Bereavement Support Payment, you need to apply within three months of your partner’s death. You can still apply up to 21 months later, but you will receive slightly less money A Budgeting Loan The government also provides small, interest-free loans to help those on certain qualifying bene ts. The payments are taken back out of your bene ts over the course of two years. If you stop receiving bene ts, you will need to make arrangements to pay another way. The minimum amount you can borrow is £100 and the maximum amount depends on your situation. You can get up to: • £348 if you are single • £464 if you are with a partner • £812 if you claim Child Bene t The nal amount you get will also depend on your savings, whether you are already paying off a loan and whether you are likely to be able to pay it back.
Children are Butter ies can help with funeral costs. Examples of charities that provide help with funeral costs depending on the occupation of the deceased include the Civil Service Benevolent Fund which helps pay funeral costs for current or former civil servants as does the Care Workers Charity for those who have worked in the care profession. Friends of the Elderly offer small grants towards funeral costs to older people who have little to no savings. Also consider asking your local council if they know of any locally-run schemes. Some utility providers have grants or relief schemes that can help you cover the household bills of the person who has died. The British Gas Energy Trust has also in the past offered grants towards funeral costs.
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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
Funeral notices and announcements in the paper Family members of the deceased often opt to make an announcement in the paper, in order to inform friends and relatives, and the wider community of types of notices which appear in the newspaper – death notices and in remembrance notices. Death notices usually come direct from the funeral director after discussion with the family, but can also be send by the family of the deceased person. They usually contain details as the date of death, the age of the deceased, surviving relatives, funeral or thanksgiving service and arrangements as well as information on whether the family would like owers or charitable donations in the person’s memory. In remembrance notices are messages of love from family and their passing. There are two friends which are supplementary to the of cial notice. It is common to have a number of remembrance notices from various friends and relatives, but only one death notice will appear. Anyone wishing to publish a death notice in the A&T can get friendly advice from our helpful team by calling 01425 613384 or emailing classi email@example.com Prices range from £5 for a linage advert and around £20 for a display advert.
What do the flowers mean? The ower which is most commonly associated with funerals is the lily. A white Stargazer lily denotes sympathy and any type of white lily expresses majesty and purity. Carnations As one of the most popular choices for sympathy arrangements, carnations of various colours have different meanings. A red carnation is associated with admiration while a pink carnation stands for remembrance. White carnations stand for pure love and innocence. In Christianity, pink carnations are said to symbolise the tears of the Virgin Mary.
Orchids These long-lasting owers denote a love that has no end. Chrysanthemums Chrysanthemums are frequently included in arrangements of owers for funeral services. Particularly in European countries, Korea, and Japan, the white chrysanthemum is symbolic of death, lamentation, and grief; therefore, its use is generally reserved for funeral services. Yellow Tulips and Daffodils These bright and colourful owers are the rst blossoms of spring and can be used to convey a message of hope, positivity and comfort.
a close friend, you can send the owers directly to them. This means that the family can decide where they would like the owers to be displayed for the funeral service. Messages For anyone choosing to send funeral owers, it is very important to ensure that they are carefully labelled with a note so that the family know who the owers are from. Sometimes the family will send out thank you notes after the funeral to acknowledge any tributes which they received. Heartfelt and personal messages are always best, but anyone who is unsure what to write can ask the orist for advice or make a selection from a range of standard messages. When to send them If you wish for the owers to be included in the funeral, it is advisable to ensure that they have been ordered at least two days before the funeral is due to take place. Sometimes people like to send owers to the family a few days after the funeral as it shows that you are still thinking of them. Gladioli A fan spray of gladioli is a classic and elegant arrangement for traditional funeral services. The gladiolus embodies strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity. Roses As one of the best loved owers roses can be a beautiful part of an arrangement of funeral owers. A white rose evokes reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. Love, grace, and gentility are the message of a pink rose.
T here is a long established tradition of using flowers and floral tributes to mark the passing of a loved one, relative or close friend. These are often send to the family of the deceased or displayed on the co n or at the burial site. It can sometimes be dif cult to choose the perfect oral sympathy and it is often useful to contact the funeral director to check whether the relatives or friends organising the funeral have made any special requests or chosen a particular colour scheme or style. arrangement to convey a message of sadness and
Other flowers meanings If you would like to design your arrangement of funeral owers further, there are other ower meanings that can be chosen to help express remembrance and grief. Though they may not be the traditional funeral owers, any owers that share your sympathy with the bereaved and celebrate the deceased’s memory are appropriate for a funeral. Cyclamens say goodbye and forget-me-nots send a message of faithful love and memories. Marjoram conveys comfort and consolation and the nasturtium celebrates patriotism. If you are aware of owers that were a favourite of the deceased or that a member of the bereaved family
including local orists, online stores or through the funeral director. Some funeral directors offer a service of arranging and organising owers, or in the case of the family, they may be willing to liaise with a orist to take care of sourcing the required arrangements and displays. Florists will usually have a comprehensive range of styles and colours to enable mourners to select an arrangement that is personal to them or the deceased. It is also relatively simple to purchase funeral owers through a wide range of internet retailers who are likely to be able to offer a wider range of oral tributes than most orists, but do sometimes lack the personal touch. Floral tributes should generally be sent directly to the funeral director which is organising the burial or cremation. They will then be able to make suitable arrangements to ensure the owers are sent to the venue of the burial or cremation. If you have the contract details and address of the immediate family members and you are a relative or
particularly loves, those blooms may also be a
good option. Funeral owers often serve as a touching tribute which can help to bring light to a sad and dif cult time. There are various options for purchasing funeral owers
Types of funeral arrangements Funeral crosses
be ordered from a orist or direct through the funeral director so they can be displayed during the funeral. Posies A small or larger posy is suitable for any mourner to send to either the funeral director or to the home of the person who has died. They are circular and can be created in a range of styles from a modern to a more traditional look. Tied sheaf A tied sheaf is very similar in appearance to a normal ower
bouquet. This type of arrangement is not presented in plastic but is tied with ribbon or twine instead. It is suitable for any mourner to send a tied sheaf. Funeral spray Funeral sprays are a popular tribute expressing sympathy. Traditionally sprays come in both single-ended and double-ended designs. Cof n spray Often a cof n or casket spray is chosen to represent the whole family. Casket sprays tend to be
between two-thirds and the full length of a cof n or casket. It would not be appropriate to arrange a cof n spray unless you were a close family member involved in organising the funeral. Letter tributes Letter tributes will commonly accompany the cof n in the hearse. Frequently used letter tributes include “Dad”, “Mum”, “Gran”, “Son” and other close relatives. These types of tributes are very popular and can be customised with
any colour ower in the shape of any word you choose. Close family will usually provide the letter tribute. Special tributes Special tributes are usually pictures that you would associate with the person who has passed away that is then made out of owers. Popular picture tributes include a heart, a star, a football top in team colours, an anchor, but more unusual options are available. These types of tributes can be sent by any mourner.
Crosses have strong associations with funerals and have a religious symbolism. They are usually sent by family or very close friends of the deceased and come in a range of colours, sizes and styles. They are typically made to order so they can easily be customised or adapted to suit individual preferences. Wreaths Wreaths are circular oral tributes which are most typically associated with funerals. They can usually
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
Deciding on the right funeral Although it’s not an easy thing to talk about, most families will have a discussion, at some point, to decide on what sort of funeral they would prefer. It might be just a brief conversation “I want to be cremated” or “I would rather be buried” but it’s at least a starting point. Other people will know exactly what they want and will plan their own funeral in great detail. They will set out the service, the hymns, the flowers and even plan the wake, which all makes it straightforward for family and friends when the time comes. Often it will be pre-paid by taking advantage of one of the funeral plan packages available. It is possible to arrange a funeral yourself. However
there’s a lot to deal with at such an emotional time that most people are pleased to leave it all in the capable hands of a funeral director. In recent years, funerals have tended to move slightly away from the more traditional services and will now often reflect the deceased’s personality - and even their sense of humour. You can have funeral booklets printed with photographs and the order of service. Adding a short bio is always very interesting too and helps everyone recall the deceased’s experiences and achievements. There are a number of types of funerals and one of them will be the right way to say goodbye for you. So what are the options to consider?
The religious funeral
Green and woodland funerals This type of funeral is
If your religion, whatever it might be, is important to you and the deceased then you will want to have the funeral at your place of worship. Each religion will have its own customs and the bereaved will often find great solace in following the traditions they have always known. The order of service will feel structured, the hymns will be familiar and the prayers a comfort. In some places of worship, the deceased’s family might request a favourite song or piece of music. This might be played at the beginning or end of the service in place of, or as well as, a hymn. This service will be followed by either a burial or cremation.
In a humanist ceremony, the emphasis is on celebrating the life of the deceased. It can be held at your home, the crematorium or at the graveside or burial site; however they cannot take place in a religious building. Before the ceremony the celebrant will spend some time talking to the family and build up a picture of the deceased’s life so it feels very personal. Family and friends will be able to contribute by sharing happy memories, playing favourite music and talking about times they shared.
becoming more popular, you can have a religious or non- religious ceremony. They are an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burials. Biodegradable coffins are used and instead of being buried in a cemetery or graveyard, the deceased is laid to rest in a beautiful woodland setting. Hardwood plaques replace gravestones and trees are often planted.
Burial at sea Although not encouraged and quite rare, it is possible to be buried at sea. There are three locations in England including one to the west of the Isle of Wight. The rules are very involved. Talk to your funeral director for more details.
In recent years, funerals have tended to move slightly away from the more traditional services and will now often reflect the deceased’s personality — and even their sense of humour.
At the crematorium The service at the crematorium can be religious or non-religious. You can ask your own minister to carry out the service or your funeral director can arrange someone to do it for you. If it is to be a religious service it’s usual to choose the hymns and often members of the family or a close friend will do a reading. If it is non-religious your funeral director can arrange for a Humanist to lead the ceremony. Sometimes the family will display photographs of their loved one. It’s often very poignant to see them at the various stages and ages of their lives.
If you prefer to keep things really simple you don’t actually have to have a service at all. It is an unusual option though. After the cremation you can arrange to collect the ashes and have them interred. Or you can scatter them in a place that’s special to you (check with your funeral director about permission) and perhaps hold a little ceremony of your own. Ashes can also be scattered in the gardens at the Crematorium.
COPING WITH YOUR LOSS
A fter the tension and emotion of a funeral, the wake can be an opportunity to fondly remember the person who has died and celebrate their lives in a more informal way than the funeral service. Traditionally wakes involved funeral goers viewing the body of the person who had died, but this does not happen as often nowadays. When planning the wake, consider the character of the person whose life you are celebrating — what would they have liked? For some people, a quiet cup of tea and a cake in the church hall will be perfectly fitting. For others, a pint in the local pub or drink in a wine bar might be a more appropriate have attended the service or cremation are invited to the wake. It can also be the chance for younger members of the family who may have found the funeral itself overwhelming to join in. Ask guests to RSVP as soon as possible. Email replies are often easier than having lots of people ringing you up. It is good to have a rough idea of numbers so you can set out the venue and plan catering. way to remember them. Generally all those who
Practicalities While wakes were traditionally hosted in the deceased’s home, times have changed and often a separate venue is considered more practical and easier to manage. Depending on numbers, there is nothing to preclude hosting a wake at home, which will often help family members feel more relaxed. homemade buffet in a church hall can be a low-key respectful way to celebrate someone’s life. Some background music — perhaps of the person’s Refreshments When considering the type of food to serve, it can be best to avoid anything too heavy, as people don’t always feel like eating a great deal after a funeral. Afternoon tea can be a nice option – a selection of cakes and sandwiches accompanied by tea and coffee is usually enough for most people. If you want to go for something a bit more substantial, then try a mixed hot and cold buffet, featuring sandwiches, crisps, quiches and other savoury treats. Alcohol is generally considered to be fine for funerals these days, and indeed you may find yourself in need of a stiff drink after a long day. If you are looking to host the gathering elsewhere, a
favourite songs — will add colour to the event and it’s a good idea to make sure there is plenty of seating to allow people to sit and chat. The favourite pub or restaurant of the deceased can also be a good option and can take some of the stress off those organising it. Some people provide a glass of bubbly or similar on arrival, then let people buy their own drinks, and have the pub or restaurant take care of the catering. Often it can be easier for both you and guests to have the
wake as close to the funeral location as possible. Whatever you decide, make sure you book the venue as soon as you have a confirmed date for the funeral, as lots of halls, restaurants and hotels are booked several months in advance. Try and gauge the number of people you are expecting, so that the room doesn’t feel too empty. It is sometimes better to be a little crowded, as lots of empty space can add to a sad atmosphere. Work out the timings and leave room in the schedule for delays,
such as the funeral service lasting longer than anticipated or traffic hold-ups. If possible, ensure there is a private space at the venue where people can go if the occasion becomes overwhelming and they need to take a moment away from others. Get family members and friends to help, particularly if you are sorting out the catering yourself. You will be exhausted after the funeral and probably get caught up speaking to guests.
Some nice touches Have a memory
Have a pin board with photos and ask guests to bring their own contributions along. Apart from anything else it provides a talking point, gets the conversation going and often prompts guests to talk about fond memories they have. A slideshow projected on a screen or blank wall can work equally well, if equipment at the venue permits.
Music always helps lift the atmosphere
Raising a toast to the person who has died can be a nice way of formally opening or closing a wake and give family members the chance to thank people for coming to the funeral.
book on a table and encourage guests to write their favourite memories of the person who has died — family members will find it a great comfort to look back on during difficult moments
– try compiling a playlist of the
deceased’s favourite tracks or you could even get a band along to play live.
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