What to consider when arranging a funeral

A funeral is a way of celebrating or remembering the life of a person who has died.

The funeral service is our final opportunity to say goodbye to a loved one, an occasion for family and friends to come together to support one another, and an important element of the grieving process.

The funeral service is also a reflection of the person who has died - it can be organised in a way that is important and meaningful to them.

Will or record of wishes

Start by finding out if the person who has died left a will or a record of their wishes with regards to their own funeral. This can be used to help shape the ceremony.

Date of service

You can only finalise the date of the funeral once the death has been registered with the local registry office.

Type of service

Before the body of the person who has died is taken to the crematorium or place of burial, you may like to hold a service in their honour.

The service can be held in the chapel of the cemetery or another suitable location, such as a place of worship or community space.

Lambeth cemeteries and crematoria offer a beautiful and calm place in which to hold a funeral service, whether it's in the crematorium, the cemetery chapel or as a graveside service. See our cemeteries and crematoria.

Appointing a funeral director

You may want to appoint and pay for a funeral director to arrange the funeral for you, or you can do it yourself.

You should check if the person who died had made arrangements for their funeral - this could include prepaid funeral plans or life insurance.

If you hire a funeral director, choose a funeral director who’s a member of either:

These organisations have codes of practice - they should give you a price list when asked.

Funeral costs can include:

  • funeral director fees
  • things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called ‘disbursements’ or ‘third-party costs’), for example crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
  • local authority burial or cremation fees

Lambeth Simple Funeral

The Lambeth Simple Funeral is a direct service arranged by our team to assist those who may be constrained by budget or may wish for a simple, dignified funeral.

About the Lambeth Simple Funeral.

Paying for a funeral, burial or cremation

The average cost of a basic cremation is now estimated to be around £3,765 and £4,927 for a burial. This doesn't include costs for coffin upgrades, memorials, and flowers.

In their lifetime, people often assume that there will be enough money in their estate to cover their funeral.

If you’re arranging a funeral, you’re responsible for the costs, so it is a good idea to check how the funeral will be paid for and whether the estate of the person who has died will cover the costs.

Two sets of costs arise when arranging a funeral, burial or cremation:

  • Disbursements - payments to doctors for cremation, the cemetery or crematorium, floral tributes, death notices and the minister or officiant fees.
  • Funeral arrangements by the funeral director - the cost of collecting and handling the body, the coffin, hearse and cars, and all arrangements.

More information on the costs of covering a funeral.