Advice

Funeral Advice

Cremation

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Burial

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Religious/Non-Religious

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Code of Practice

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FAQ’s

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What to do when your loved on passes away?

Where a loved one passes away

If your loved one passes away at home

If your loved one has been ill for some time and the death was relatively expected, then the first thing you should do is contact their GP (or the on-call doctor if out of surgery hours). The doctor will then visit you as soon as possible to certify the death. Once this has been done you can contact us at any time of the day or night and we will discuss the various options available to you (e.g. transferring the deceased to the Private Chapel of Rest). We will then arrange a suitable time to meet with you to make the necessary arrangements and advise you on the procedure for registering the death.

If your loved one passes away in Hospital

If your loved one has passed away in hospital then the staff will inform the appropriate person to certify the death and take care of the deceased. You may then contact us to arrange a suitable time for us to meet with you to make arrangements and advise you on the procedure for registering the death. We will also liaise with the hospital to arrange the necessary paperwork.

If your loved one passes away in a Nursing/Care Home

If your loved one has passed away in a Nursing Home or Care Home then the senior member of staff will contact the GP of the deceased (or on call doctor if out of surgery hours) who will visit the Care Home to certify the death. Once this has been done you may contact us at any time of the day or night. We will then transfer the deceased to our Private Chapel of Rest (most care homes require this to be done as soon as possible). We will then arrange a suitable time to meet with you to make the necessary arrangements and to advise you on the procedure for registering the death.

If your loved one passes away suddenly or unexpectedly

If your loved one passes away suddenly or unexpectedly the case will be referred to the coroner, the coroners office will be in contact with you to keep you informed of developments but we suggest that you contact us as soon as possible so that preliminary arrangements can be made before permission is given for the funeral to take place, we will then advise you on the procedure for registering the death.

Registering the death

Registering the death will give you the documents you need for the funeral, although we can start making arrangements and giving you advice before that. The person who registers the death is usually a relative of the person who has died. If no relatives are available, then the death can be registered by; anyone who was there when the person died, someone who lives in the place where the person died or the person who’s taking responsibility for arranging the funeral. The person who registers the death will need to visit the local Registrar, which might mean making an appointment. If you’d like support, we can accompany you to the Registrars office.

 

Numbers for Registrars

Sheerness Gateway, 38-42 High Street, Sheerness, Kent. Tel: 01795 417850 by appointment only

Medway Northgate, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1LS Tel: 01634 338998 www.medway.gov.uk/registeroffice email: register.office@medway.gov.uk by appointment only.

Maidstone Kent History and Library Centre, JamesWhatman Way, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1LQ. Tel: 0300 0415151 by appointment only.

Sittingbourne Library, Central Avenue, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 4AH. Tel: 0300 0415151 by appointment only.

Canterbury Wellington House, 4 St. Stephens Road, Canterbury, Kent. Tel: 0300 0415151 by appointment only

The Registrar

The Registrar will need to know some things about the person who has passed away; the date and place of their birth, their full name, the date of death, where it happened, their occupation, their home address, if they had a pension or allowance from public funds and if they were married.

The Registrar will also need to see their; Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, National Health Service medical card, Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate (if they were married). The Registrar will issue a green certificate for  burial or cremation, we’ll need to see the certificate. Additional certified copies of the entry of death can be obtained from the Registrar for a small charge (these may be needed for legal or financial purposes). Registering a death might work differently if the Coroner or Procurator Fiscal is looking into the death. If this happens we can talk to you about it and give you advice.

Cremation

What is a crematorium?

A crematorium is the building where cremations are held. It is the main alternative to holding a funeral in a church. In a crematorium there is a space to hold a service, a cemetery and they have gardens outside.

The Cremation Service

If you choose a cremation, one of the first things to decide is what sort of service you would like and where to hold it. You might want to hold it in the crematorium or, if you prefer, you can hold the service in another place, like a church, and then have a shorter service called a ‘committal’ at the crematorium.

Cremation Costs

The charge for the crematorium will vary depending on where you lie. Your funeral Director will be able to let you know what the costs for crematoria in your area are.

Burial

Choosing a Burial

The choice between burial and cremation is a very personal one and may be influenced by many factors, including family tradition, religion or the wishes of the person who has passed away.

Choosing a Grave

If you opt for a buriel, you will need to think about where this will take place.  Your Funeral Director will help you check local regulations and availability. If you purchase a new grave some local authorities allow you to reserve or purchase a grave space next to the one to be used.  If there is a grave already in existence that you would like to use, perhaps part of a family plot, then we can arrange to use that. We will need the deeds of the grave or any documents relating to the grave. If these aren’t in your possession, we can help you locate them. We will also check that there is space for further burials.

Burial Costs

Costs you need to consider for burial might include; purchasing a new grave, reopening an existing grave and removal and replacement of existing memorials. There may be a charge for the exclusive right of burial, which means no further burials can take place in that grave without your permission. In many areas, you must purchase this if you want to put up a memorial. We can advise you on local charges.

Religious/Non-Religious Funerals

Religious beliefs

Faith, culture and beliefs form an important part in many peoples lives, these beliefs and values often become so much more significant at times of distress and bereavement. We are able to help to organise the most fitting ceremony for your loved one and will work with you and your faith to make it special.

We are able to assist you with Church of England, Catholic, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist Funerals.

Non Religious beliefs

We are experienced in arranging funerals for everyone including the ‘humanist’ funeral. This is led by a humanist officiant, or family or friends of the deceased. Humanist ceremonies usually focus on celebrating the life of the deceased, their personality and their achievements.

Here to help

Whichever ceremony you decide to choose, the most important aspect for us is to arrange a fitting service or ceremony for you and your loved one, to provide a proud and perfect day and giving attention to detail at every moment.

Funeral Directors Code of Practice

SAIF (The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors)

Luke Allum Funeral Directors is a member of  SAIF Independent Funeral Director, this will give you confidence that you will be using the very best in the profession. We will not be bounded by corporate rules and will be flexible to your needs, providing a highly personal and compassionate services.

FAQs

Do I have to regsiter the death before arranging the funeral?

You do not need to register the death before you start making the arrangements with the Funeral Director, however it will be necessary to  have registered the death, otherwise the funeral itself can not take place. We ask that we see the ‘Green Form’ given to you by the Registrar as soon as possible.

Which Registrars office should I go to?

The death has to be registered at the Registrars office in the area where it occurred. This is the case even if the death occurred far away from home. However there is a facility available; to attend your local office to register the death that occurred in another area. This is called Registration by Declaration and involves 2 Registrars transferring paperwork by fax and post in order to complete the registration. Depending on circumstances, this can delay the date of the funeral; ask us for advice.

Can I get assistance with funeral costs?

Assistance is available from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Social Fund which can provide assistance to individuals who meet the required criteria. To qualify you must show that you are the most suitable person to take responsibility for paying the funeral account.  We are able to help you with this is.

What do Funeral Directors do?

Funeral Directors are there to care for you and administrate. Our administrative duties include arranging the transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork and implement the choices made by the family regarding the body and funeral arrangements. We are also listeners, advisors and supporters. We are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having trouble coping and recommend sources of professional help. We can also link you to support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

What is a funeral plan?

A funeral plan is an arrangement that allows a customer to pay in advance for theirs or another persons’ funeral. The plan is a contractual arrangement with a Funeral Director, who, assuming the plan has been paid for, is responsible for arranging the funeral when its required.

Pre paid funeral plans allow you to choose and agree the arrangements for the sort of funeral you wish to have in advance. It also allows you to fix the cost, protecting you from future inflation of funeral related costs.