Some Common Funeral Myths Tackled
Funerals are a tough subject to deal with, whether it is your own you are seeking to arrange or on behalf of someone else. One of the hardest parts of the funeral is the arranging of it and this is made more complex by the number of myths and misconceptions many of us have about the entire process. Here we try to clear up some of these myths and allow you to approach the process with plenty of information.
Basic legal requirements
At the moment, the only legal requirement for a funeral in the UK is that the death needs to be certified and registered and the body must be disposed of. Under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1926, the definition of disposal is by ‘burial, cremation or any other means’ and disposed of has the same definition.
So how does this affect your arrangements for a funeral? For starters, it does mean there is no legal requirement to have a funeral director involved in the process. We hear lots of stories about people who have approached a cemetery office or crematorium, only to be told they only deal with a funeral director – this is incorrect and shouldn’t be their approach.
In fact, as long as a Registrar’s Certificate or Coroner’s Order for Burial is delivered with the interment form before the burial and the deceased is brought to the cemetery with enough people to carry and lower the coffin, the funeral must be allowed.
Other common myths
Sadly, there are many myths surrounding funerals and burial that make the process more complicated and difficult for the bereaved.
Take the transport of the coffin containing the deceased. The myth says that you have to have a hearse to move a body but this isn’t the case. All you need is a vehicle large enough to carry the coffin and people to help you move it at either end of the journey.
Other myths that complicate the process and are untrue include that you have to pay a charge if you move a body over county borders. This is incorrect, although you do need to notify if you plan to take a body outside England and Wales – so if you are in England want the funeral in Scotland, you would need to notify the appropriate local authorities.
Many people think there are two options for funerals – either burial in a cemetery or cremation at a crematory. Even this isn’t completely true – you can also opt for a private land burial. This is a relatively straightforward approach that removes many of the restrictions placed by cemeteries but does require some forward planning.
For example, you need the consent of the freehold owner of the land and be certain there are no restrictions associated with title deeds or registration of the land that would prevent a burial. There are also some regulations about where the burial can take place in relation to watercourses and a minimum depth that must be met.
Finally, within 96 hours of the burial, a slip must be added to the Certificate for Burial or Cremation that includes the date and place of burial and this is filed with the Registrar of Births and Deaths. The landowner must also prepare and keep a burial register themselves.
…the whole place looks so beautiful! I am just glad we found Westall Park in time. The beauty of the whole place buffers the sadness of the loss…
Everyone is welcome to visit Westall Park within opening hours, but if you would like to have a guided tour or to purchase plots then, to make sure we can give you our undivided attention, we recommend that you book an appointment. Our office is manned Monday to Friday 9am to 1.30pm & 2.30pm to 5pm however the site is open for visitor access 7 days a week.