Making funeral arrangements

Choosing a funeral director

Things to Consider

If you are arranging a funeral you are responsible for the costs so it is a good idea to check how the funeral will be paid for and whether the estate of the person who has died will cover the costs.

Many funeral directors require payment before probate is granted (probate is the official proof that a will is valid). It may be worth considering how to pay for the funeral in advance, if that amount is not readily available.

Two sets of costs arise when arranging a funeral, burial or cremation:

  • Disbursements - payments to doctors for completing documentation papers 4 & 5 for cremation, the cemetery or crematorium, floral tributes, death notices and the minister/officiant fees
  • Funeral arrangements by the funeral director - the cost of collecting and handling the body, the coffin, hearse and cars, and all arrangements

When choosing a funeral director, obtain some quotes as soon as you have decided what you require.

The bank account of the deceased will be frozen unless it is a joint account. Building societies and National Savings may release sums of money for payment of funeral expenses, although they do not have to until a grant of probate or letters of administration are obtained.

If a person died in hospital or residential home, the possessions will be surrendered to the nearest relative or to a person with written authority from whoever is dealing with the will.

There may be pensions or lump sums payable from any Trade Union, professional body or other association, or from a provident club which pays benefit when a member dies.

About Funeral Directors

Funeral directors will manage funeral arrangements and give advice and support. Funeral directors aren’t regulated or licensed but most are members of one of two trade associations. You can check to see if a funeral director belongs to one of the two Trade Associations on their websites:

Members of these trade associations must provide you with a price list on request. They cannot charge you more than their written estimate unless you give them permission. It is not always clear from their adverts if a funeral director is independent or part of a group, so ask the funeral director before you go ahead.

We have put together a list of local funeral directors who are prepared to assist with different or untraditional funerals or provide a basic funeral.

Having chosen the funeral director ask for a written estimate of the total cost so you are clear on what has to be paid and for what. If the cost of the funeral is likely to cause financial problems this can be discussed with the funeral director.

Local Funeral Directors List

Funeral directors are listed in alphabetical order and not by preference. Each funeral director uses our services on behalf of their clients on a regular basis.

Before choosing you are advised to confirm the estimated prices stated and the services offered. For example:

  • viewing of the deceased either in or out of business hours
  • type of coffin offered (the colour and style can vary and may not be suitable to your requirements)
  • times offered for the proposed funeral service (often a ‘basic’ funeral will offer no choice of service times at the local cemetery or crematorium
  • if it is possible to purchase additional services (an extra limousine may be needed)

Please note that prices are for funeral directors services only. Your chosen funeral director will make other payments on your behalf. You will have to pay for these additional fees which are usually known as disbursements.

The costs will vary according to your needs and will include such fees as cemetery/crematorium services, a minister or reader for the funeral service, flowers, organist, doctors fees (for cremation) and newspaper notices. These costs should be itemised separately on your funeral account.

Funeral directors

Alan Greenwood and Sons

  • 9:00am/9:40am: £1400
  • 10:20am onwards: £1800
  • Contact Kington branch: 020 8546 3960

Co-op otherwise known as Funeralcare

  • 9:00am/9:40am: £1895
  • 10:20am onwards: from £3405
  • Contact: Kingston branch - 020 8549 9493 Surbiton branch - 020 8399 3920

F.W. Paines (also known as Dignity Funerals)

  • 9:00am/9:40am: £2915
  • 10:20am onwards: £3705
  • Contact: Kingston branch - 020 8547 1556 Surbiton branch - 020 8399 2060 Norbiton branch - 020 8546 4813

Garners Funeral Services

  • 9:00am/9:40am: £1795
  • 10:20am onwards: £2480
  • Contact: Kingston branch - 020 8549 3329 Tolworth branch - 020 8390 4996

Lambert Funeral Directors

  • Service at crematorium with family attendance:
  • 9:00am/9:40am: £1300
  • 10:20am onwards: £1600
  • Cremation committal service but no attendance, cremation only:
  • 9:00am/9:40am: £950
  • 10:20am onwards: N/A
  • Contact: 020 8390 6213

White Rose Modern Funerals

  • Fees by arrangement
  • Contact Teddington branch: 020 3281 1045

Things to check

  • Check if the deceased has contributed to a scheme to pay for the funeral
  • Check if there are letters from an employer with details of an occupational or personal pension
  • Check other paperwork to see if there is a Cremation Society Certificate, life insurance policy or details of a pre-paid funeral plan