Matters that need to be organised when someone dies

When you are in charge of organising a funeral, it can feel daunting, especially when dealing with emotions such as sadness and grief. It’s important to seek help if you are struggling, as you will need to consider things such as organising the funeral, what will be involved, how the cost will be met and who will be invited.

Asking yourself some questions before you begin can help you plan with confidence and peace of mind. Perhaps the deceased gave clear instructions, whether through conversation or in their Will.

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Did they have a preference for cremation or burial? Do they want their ashes in an urn or scattered in a special place?

What type of casket did they want? Perhaps they specified an environmentally friendly burial?

How will the cost of the funeral be met? What about the travel arrangements? Is there a pre-paid funeral plan or burial insurance in place?

Are there any family members and/or friends who have a special wish? Do they want to read, play a certain piece of music, or carry the coffin? If there is no formal instruction, the executor named in the Will can arrange funeral decisions.

Who can help?

You can ask for help from anyone – be they family or friends. Most will be happy to help and get involved while others may not feel comfortable or feel they can help with this.

Inviting family and friends

As well as contacting friends and family members about the funeral, you can put the death announcement in the local newspaper. You may prefer a funeral director to do this for you. For help with a funeral, contact a Funeral Directors Essex at a site like

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When you tell people about the funeral:

including the date, time and place of funeral or memorial service

Include instructions about flowers or donations to charity

Paying for a funeral

It’s important to think about how the funeral costs will be paid and how much it costs. Do not ever feel pressure to organise a funeral service that you cannot afford. At such a sensitive time, the last thing you need is a funeral that you will struggle to pay for at a later date.

Choosing a casket

A wide variety of caskets are available from a variety of places. Check if the casket is suitable for burial or cremation before buying. Costs can vary widely, so be sure to check the price list.

Alternative coffins

If you prefer an alternative coffin, or the deceased expressed a preference, there is a wide variety to choose from. You can also decorate this yourself. You may also want to consider the use of funeral sheets and not have a coffin at all, although only a few of these can be used for cremation.

Be aware of cost, as some alternative options can be as expensive as traditional caskets. Alternatives can be made from:

Wool, willow, rattan and other natural fibres

Cardboard, which is highly durable and surprisingly interesting.

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