that truly cares
for over 150 years
After a death: Registration, The Coroner
Arranging a Funeral
Frequently Asked Question’s
Here are some of the questions you might want to ask.
Just click on a Question and the Answer will be revealed.
Please call us if there is anything else you would like to know
Q: Who can arrange a funeral?
If you register the death you are taking responsibility for ensuring that there will be a funeral for the deceased. This usually falls to the next of kin (if they are able) or an Executor appointed by the deceased and named in their Will. However, anyone within the immediate family (or the institution where the deceased resided, if there are no family) may accept responsibility. If you take responsibility for the arrangement of the funeral you are entering into a consumer contract with us and are legally bound to finance the funeral; whether the funds come from the estate of the deceased, or your own private funds. See ‘Arranging a Funeral’ then select ‘Registering a Death’
Q: Can I arrange a funeral for myself, or a relative, in advance?
Yes, you can – and we welcome the opportunity to fully discuss your future requirements with you in the strictest confidence. You may choose to finance these arrangements via one of our Shropshire Funeral Plans, or you may simply wish to instruct us regarding your future funeral requirements, and we will hold them on file until the death occurs. The main advantage of this approach in arranging a funeral is that it can be a little less emotionally draining for you, and we can settle all of your personal requirements prior to the event. This ultimately brings you peace of mind in knowing that your wishes are fully catered for. For someone entering a care home; the costs relating to pre-purchasing a funeral plan are recognised by the Inland Revenue as a legitimate expenditure and are tax exempt.
Q: Should I choose burial or cremation?
You are probably needing this answer because this was never discussed with you. The first question to ask is; did your loved one leave any instructions relating to this? The answer may be found in their Will, on a Pre-paid Funeral Plan document, or simply by asking their close siblings, or friends. If this is the death of a parent and their spouse/partner has pre-deceased them; what did they choose for their spouse/partner, and was this choice affected by religious persuasion? The second question is: do I need a specific grave to visit, afterwards? If the answer to the second question is “No” then you may consider cremation and a scattering of ashes at the crematorium, or privately. Both burial and cremation options can lead to the purchase of a grave space in a cemetery or churchyard, depending upon local availability. We are pleased to discuss local options available to you at any time. See ‘Arranging a Funeral’ then select ‘Burial or Cremation’
Q: What happens if a death occurs whilst on holiday?
If the death has occurred in the UK, we are able to relocate your loved one from the place of death to their home town. Simply contact us and we will help you. If the death has occurred abroad, provided that you have taken out a holiday insurance cover and it is valid, the answer is simple; you should contact your holiday ‘Rep’ in resort (if applicable) and they will organise matters for you. If you are not on a package holiday, you should contact your holiday insurer who will advise you accordingly. Holiday companies and insurers are familiar with these circumstances and it is a matter of routine for them. We will liaise with your contact abroad to repatriate your loved one. If there is no insurance cover in place, do remember that a British Consulate/Embassy is present in most countries to assist UK citizens with any difficulties. See ‘Arranging a Funeral’ then select ‘Funerals at a Distance’
Q: With no church connections, who conducts the funeral service for us?
You will probably wish to go along with your loved one’s wishes and preferences, and it is largely dependent upon whether you specifically want the funeral service in a church prior to the committal at the cemetery or crematorium. As your local funeral director, we will be able to assist you by approaching the clergy on your behalf. There are many benefits to be had in engaging your local clergy at this time, particularly relating to pre and post-funeral support and social engagement within the local community. The clergy are quite used to accommodating and supporting non-practising families, and you need not be embarrassed if this is the case. You are not obliged to go to a place of worship, a service may be held completely at the graveside, or crematorium chapel. If a funeral service is to be held at a crematorium chapel, then you may choose either clergy, or a civil celebrant to officiate. Civil celebrants will lead the service and there are few restrictions regarding the content, they do not, however, provide any after care for you or your family.
Q: Should I allow my child to attend a funeral?
Children are as much a part of your family as you are, and are very open to learning and new experiences. Your child will know that something has affected you deeply, and will be aware of a change in the mood and behaviour of the household. You should be very open about what has happened, and attempt to discuss the death in clear terms with them. There are many publications to help you with this. The golden rule is to ask your child if they would wish to attend the funeral and not try to sway them either way. An exception might be around routinely poor behaviour by the child which may be difficult to manage on the day, and may cause an unwanted distraction.
Q: What should I wear at a funeral?
Unless there has been a clear indication to the contrary (for example; “Please wear something pink…”) it is still usual to dress conservatively for a funeral. For gentlemen; a suit and tie with clean shoes is the normal attire. For ladies; an outfit/dress, shoes and accessories that reflect the importance of the occasion. How dark the clothing is will ultimately depend upon your wardrobe, but the family will appreciate your efforts nonetheless. If you are one of the bearer party escorting or carrying the coffin, then you might wish to co-ordinate your attire with the other bearers.
Q: Should I visit the Chapel of Rest and see my loved one?
If you saw your loved one at peace at, or around the time of their death, you may wish to hold that comforting memory of them. After a sudden, or upsetting death, or where you might have been absent at the time, it may be more important to you for your peace of mind, that you visit the Chapel of Rest. We will be open with you about any issues there may be regarding the appearance of your loved one and the decision to see them is yours alone. We are proud of our exemplary modern facilities, and we assure you of our professionalism regarding the care and preparation of your loved one (in fact, we are an accredited teaching institution for the profession). We have a range of beautiful Chapels of Rest across three locations in the Telford area. We welcome any questions that you may have regarding this subject. See ‘About Us’ and select ‘Our Chapels of Rest’
Q: Is there any help I may receive towards the cost of a funeral?
In terms of State Benefits, you may qualify for financial help towards funeral costs for a UK resident by being the partner of the person that has died, and you are in receipt of one or more following benefits: Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit which includes a disability or severe disability element, Child Tax Credit at a rate higher than the family element. You will need to complete form SF200, which may be obtained via the DWP or your local register office (check that they have a supply available). We will assist you with the completion of this document, should you require our help. It is important to note that any payment forthcoming from the DWP will not cover funeral costs completely. Please discuss your financial constraints with us at the funeral arrangement meeting. We are able to offer our own easy payment scheme in addition to the above.
"Thank you for organising and performing a perfect funeral for Dad, it was much appreciated."
"It is perfect.......Thank you!!"
"We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the beautiful funeral service you provided"
"The sympathetic and professional manner of you and the team has made everything so much easier."
"Just wanted to say thank you to everyone at John Williams for your advice and support and moreover contributing to what was a magnificent day"
"I couldn't have been happier with the service and organisation so I'd like to thank you! You've been brilliant!"
"We are grateful to you and your colleagues for the way you are dealing with the "