Guide

Arranging a funeral

Last updated: 9 October 2017

Your options

You should think about:

  • where the body is to rest before the funeral
  • the time and place of the funeral
  • how much you can afford to spend on the funeral
  • whether to have a funeral service
  • whether to have flowers, or make any donations to charity
  • whether to put a notice in the newspaper
  • whether the body should be buried or cremated

Funeral services

Funerals can be:

  • religious or non-religious
  • traditional or non-traditional
  • formal or informal

If you would like a minister to do the service but don't know one in the area, a funeral director can help you find one.

If you would prefer a non-religious service at the funeral, the Humanist Society of Scotland can help you.

Burials

Check the person's will to find out if they had already paid for a lair (burial plot) in a churchyard or cemetery. If not, you'll have to buy one. The cost of this depends on the location – your local council can talk to you about this.

If you're using a funeral director, they'll make the arrangements for you.

You must give your funeral director the death certificate before the funeral can take place – you'll get this when you register the death.

You may have to complete a burial form, which will include where the person is to be buried. Your funeral director will give you this, or if you're arranging the funeral yourself you can ask your local council.

Cremations

You must give your funeral director the death certificate (you'll get this when you register the death) and a cremation application form. Your funeral director can give you advice on filling this in, but you must complete it yourself.

If you're arranging the funeral yourself, give these documents to the crematorium.

The cremation application form will ask for some medical details, such as whether the person has a pacemaker. These have to be removed before cremation – your funeral director or the crematorium will talk to you about this.

The ashes

You can choose what you want to happen with the ashes after a cremation. Your funeral director or the crematorium staff can explain what choices are available.

Arranging a funeral
Your options