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Those arranging a funeral today have more choice than any other generation before. Options are plentiful and personalising each event means no two funerals are the same. But this can lead to confusion and the last thing anyone facing a bereavement needs, is misunderstanding. In this blog, our MD James Morris clarifies the four main funeral types.

1. Direct Cremations or Non-Attended Cremations
Direct is not especially clear so we prefer using the term non-attended cremation – because that’s exactly what it is. The coffin is taken directly to the crematorium with no-one in attendance, no service and at a time defined by the crematorium.

Advantages of non-attended funerals are their simplicity, lack of family involvement, low cost and no fuss. The downside is it can leave a legacy of unresolved grief for those left behind from the lack of any closure that a funeral provides. It is possible to have a later service or celebration of life, especially as the ashes are retained by the family for scattering, burying or keeping close.

2. Simple funerals
Usually defined as the most basic funeral that still includes all the core elements: funeral director fees, a coffin and provision of a hearse. It does not include extras such as limousines or service related costs such as venue hire or officiant fees. The simple funeral also does not include third party costs which make up the overall fee including cremation or graveyard fees, flowers, newspaper notices or other elements that are traditional to funerals.

So, we advise of three things to be very aware of:
– First the level of ‘service’ provided can vary enormously as can the facilities and staff involved in your loved one’s care.
– Second we can honour a family or deceased’s wishes for ‘keeping it simple’ in many ways that are much more creative or unique than any strict description can allow.
– Finally ‘simple’ can be misconstrued as ‘cheap’. This shouldn’t be the case.
Simple is the starting point for making price comparisons easy. In our experience, those that want a simple funeral don’t actually want corners cut, just choices that really reflect their life and preferences.

3. No fuss funerals
This is a tough definition as it points to an understated and minimalist style rather than cost. In my thirty years of funeral arranging, I have seen ‘no fuss’ actually mean less is more, but the choices made are of the absolute highest quality. In terms of cost, they have been very expensive funerals and because effort is taken to choose unfussy elements, can actually take time and effort to get, well, just right.

4. Low cost funerals
I have kept the least confusing to last because ‘low cost’ on one level does what it says on the tin; it keeps the cost low. There are however some caveats. Usually low cost is at the cost of both quality and choice. For some providers the entry-level pricing that starts as an attraction is soon overshadowed by add-on’s and extras that lead to a final bill far away from the low cost expected. For others, it is an excuse to provide low quality service. In both cases, we believe this exploits already vulnerable people.

Care of the deceased and service to those left behind is of key importance to us so our standards in this respect will never falter. If keeping an eye on costs is a key requirement, we can work within limited budgets by creative funeral planning that ensures the balance is struck between finance restrictions and the fact this is a last chance to say goodbye – something we know is priceless to get right.

What’s right for you?
If you’re planning ahead or just looking for guidance, make sure you are clear as to what’s wanted and do not be compromised from arranging the funeral you really want by any misunderstanding jargon.

It costs nothing to have a conversation, so call us for advice or go online to create your own, free, Plan of Wishes today.