There are a lot of decisions involved in funeral arrangements. We will discuss these with you and advise you of all the options available. If your loved one has let their wishes be known about aspects of their funeral, we can help you to action these. Most people who are arranging a funeral want the service to reflect the personality of the deceased and be a celebration of the memory of their life.
We understand that, especially at this difficult time, it can take time to decide all aspects of the funeral. You will never feel pushed or hurried to make any decisions with Williams & Lowe. Our role is to facilitate your wishes, make practical arrangements, advise you and provide emotional support.
Our services include:
- Guidance on every aspect of making the funeral arrangements either at your home or in one of our offices
- 24 hour sympathetic personal service
- Advice on registering the death and DHSS assistance
- Estimates and professional advice without obligation
- Supplying floral tributes
- Design and printing of service sheets
- Placing newspaper notices
- Handling donations
- Monumental masonry
What happens first?
When you initially contact Williams & Lowe, we will ask for some preliminary details and if necessary we may advise the removal of the deceased to our private chapel at the earliest convenience. You will need to sign a form for this to be carried out. The removal will be done with the utmost respect and sensitivity.
Chapel of rest
The deceased will then rest in our private chapel until the funeral, or you may wish to make alternative arrangements, such as a resting home or in a church. Relatives and friends are welcome to visit the chapel and pay their last respects up to the day of the funeral. We only ask that these be prearranged times so that a staff member is available . Access can be arranged after working hours and at weekends where necessary.
The next step is for the family of the deceased to meet with either Godfrey Williams or Caroline Lowe as funeral directors to discuss arrangements for the funeral. This can be done either in your home or at one of our offices. During this time the funeral director will advise on procedures and any legal requirements. They will also discuss costs and charges and a full written estimate will be sent to you as soon as possible after this. Please read this carefully before signing it.
The cost of the funeral is divided into two parts: our charges and disbursements. Our charges cover the provision of a 24 hour a day service, funeral arrangements, documentation and personal attendances, the conveyance of the deceased to our private chapel and the use of the chapel until the day of the funeral.
Help with funeral costs
There may be financial help available if there is not enough money to pay for a funeral. You must be in receipt of one of the following to applyfor financial assistance: income support, housing benefit, family credit or council tax benefit in order to apply for a social fund grant. We can offer guidance through the application. If the social fund is satisfied that a grant is appropriate, they will make a contribution towards the cost of a simple funeral in the UK. This includes:
- A simple coffin and gown
- Use of a hearse
- Supplying the bearers
- Minister and organist fee
- Cemetery/ cremation fee
- Doctor’s fees
- Contribution towards the funeral director’s fee
Disbursements are fees that are paid by us to third parties on your behalf. In addition to arranging the funeral itself and taking care of the deceased up until the funeral, there are a number of services we can carry out on your behalf. For charging purposes, these are included in the disbursements:
The deceased cannot be cremated unless the cause of death is definitely known. There are two certificates (forms B and C). Form B must be signed by the deceased’s own doctor or by the doctor treating the deceased during his/ her illness. Form C is signed by a different doctor. We will arrange both of these for you and notify you of the cost along with any other disbursements. Certificates for cremation are not required when the death has been referred to the coroner.
You may wish to place an announcement in the local or national newspaper. This enables you to announce the date, time and location of the funeral for anyone wishing to attend and to express your wishes regarding flowers or donations to a specified charity. Please note, we strongly advise against publishing the address from which the funeral will leave, so as not to attract any unwanted visitors while the service is taking place.
Traditionally flowers are the most visible sign of emotion, love and respect. We can arrange the floral tributes on your behalf and have a selection of brochures available to choose from. If you have specific requests about floral tributes from other people, we can make the known through the press notice.
We have a range of stationery available. We will discuss hymns when you meet with the funeral director to talk about the funeral arrangements.
Local newspapers publish obituaries free of charge. All we need from you is a short piece about the life of the deceased. We can provide examples of this to help you and can offer any advice when you are writing the obituary.
Expressions of thanks
A charge is applicable for this and is dependent on the number of words.
Donations to charity
If donations to charity are requested, we will accept these on your behalf and forward them to the specified charity.
Please read our help & advise page for further information. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to talk to us about arranging a funeral.
Godfrey Williams and Caroline Lowe established Williams & Lowe Independent Funeral Directors in 2004 with the aim of
providing a caring, confidential service to the bereaved in a peaceful and tranquil setting.