Arranging a funeral FAQs

Your local Southern Co-operative Funeralcare Director will be able to answer any questions you may have about your funeral arrangements. We have also put together some answers to the most frequently asked questions below to help you.

How much will the funeral cost?

The total cost of a funeral will depend on the options you choose, for example, the type of coffin and funeral vehicles, or if you require flowers, stationery or memorials. Third party charges that are out of our control may also vary by location, including minister, celebrant, doctors and crematorium / burial fees. When you have made your funeral choices, we will give you a detailed written estimate of the costs. A fully itemised invoice will normally be provided to you within 5 days of the funeral taking place. View our prices here.

When do I need to register a death by?

By law, all deaths in England and Wales must be registered, normally within five days (unless by prior arrangement with the registrar).

What does the Registrar need to know?

  • Date and place of death
  • The person’s full name (and maiden name, if applicable)
  • The person’s date and place of birth
  • Their occupation
  • Their last address
  • Whether they were in receipt of a State Pension or other benefits
  • Full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner

Where do I register the death?

It is advisable to go to the registration office in the area in which the person died, as you will receive the documents you need on the day. If you use a different register office, it will take longer to get the documents you need which could delay the funeral arrangements. Registering the death will involve some simple questions and the process normally takes about 30 minutes at the registration office. It is likely that you will need to make an appointment in advance.

Who can register a death?

There are a number of people who can register a death;
  • A relative
  • Someone present at the death
  • An occupant of the house where the death occurred
  • An official from the hospital where the death occurred
  • The person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

What is a chapel of rest?

The chapel of rest is a private viewing room, allowing you to visit your loved one. You can spend as much time as you need and we are happy if you wish to display a photograph or a small selection of keepsakes in remembrance of favourite hobbies or pastimes. You may also wish to bring in a CD of personal music to play during your visit.

When can I visit the chapel of rest?

Once funeral arrangements are in place and preparations are completed, you can visit your loved one in the chapel of rest as often as you wish.

Can I bring in clothing for my loved one to be dressed in?

You may wish for your loved one to be dressed in their own clothes to reflect a hobby, job or an outfit of significance. Examples could include a wedding dress, football strip, military uniform, kilts and bikers’ leathers. In certain circumstances, clothing choices are restricted due to local crematoria rules, restricting certain materials.

What happens to our loved one’s jewellery and personal effects?

We will ask you what you would like to happen to your loved one’s jewellery and personal effects. We can return it to you, or you can ask for it to stay with your loved one.

What is embalming?

Embalming can help restore a natural and restful appearance, which can bring comfort when visiting a loved one in the chapel of rest. Embalming is a preservation technique introducing a chemical preservative through the vascular system.

Do I have to have a religious ceremony?

No, whilst religious ceremonies remain popular, you can also choose a funeral service with little or no religious content. The non-religious funeral ceremony tends to focus on celebrating a loved one’s life, personality and achievements as an alternative way to say goodbye.

What is a eulogy?

A eulogy is when someone pays tribute to a person’s life by saying a few words that will help remember that person at the service. You can prepare a speech yourself, or you may prefer to read a favourite poem or passage. The eulogy could be given by family, friends or work colleagues and could even be a letter written by your loved one, read out during the service.

Should I wear black at the funeral?

Black is the traditional worn colour at a funeral, but there are now an increasing number of requests for mourners to wear alternative colours, whether that be a favourite colour to reflect their personality or bight colours to celebrate their life.

What happens to the cremated remains after the funeral?

The cremated remains are normally available 48 hours after the funeral unless otherwise specifically requested. Most crematoriums will retain the cremated remains for a period, giving you time to make your decision about their final resting place.

Are the cremated remains really that of my loved one?

Yes – All cremations are completed individually in accordance with the institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) Guiding Principles for Cremation. Each cremation service has a unique identification number and label which follows the deceased through the whole cremation process.

Does a cremation take place immediately after the service?

Where possible, the cremation usually takes place within a few hours after the service but under guidelines drawn up by the ICCM (Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management) always within 72 hours.