Working in the funeral industry, one comes across many funeral myths that tend to obscure the truth and that can confuse those who require clarity of information. These enduring funeral myths seem to come up time and again, in every part of the country, and among every kind of person.
You need to use a funeral director
There is absolutely no legal requirement to use a funeral director and it’s perfectly fine to arrange the funeral yourself. However, funeral directors do simplify the process and provide customers with invaluable practical, organisational and emotional assistance. Read our DIY challenge, when we challenged a blogger to arrange a funeral without the use of a funeral director.
A funeral plan guarantees the cost of your funeral
While a funeral plan like the Beyond Open Plan does guarantee the cost of many of the fees associated with a funeral, including the funeral director’s fees, the coffin, transport and collection of the body, it’s difficult to guarantee every cost. This is because there are disbursements and third party fees that are likely to change. However, this doesn’t mean a funeral plan won’t save you a great deal of money in the future. We’ve explained it in more detail in this article.
A funeral costs on average £3,800
Estimates of the average cost of a funeral vary depending on who you ask. However, a commonly cited figure is £3,800. We at Beyond believe this fee to be misleading, as it places too much importance on the prices being charged by the large, corporate funeral directors, which have historically been much higher than independent services. The average cost of a funeral arranged through Beyond over the last 12 months is around £2,800, which we consider to be a fairer reflection of current costs.
The best funeral is a traditional one
Though many people prefer the atmosphere and aesthetics of a traditional funeral, it is by no means the best funeral for everyone. Funerals are extremely personal occasions that should represent the deceased, their personality and their passions in the most accurate way possible. Fortunately, attitudes towards funerals are changing and it’s becoming more acceptable to organise a memorial service that does things a little differently.
“Just leave me by the side of the road…”
You may have been told by a relative that when they pass away, they don’t want any fuss or funeral and that you can just leave them by the side of the road. Though it may go against their wishes, to do this would actually be illegal, as a formal burial or cremation is a legal requirement in the UK.
Funeral directors are just out to make money
Funeral directors perform a role that’s extremely emotionally exacting, yet still regularly face accusations of greediness. The truth is that funeral directors are just like everyone else. There are good ones and bad ones, cheap ones and expensive ones, caring ones and disillusioned ones. However, the vast majority are sensitive and supportive individuals who want to provide you with a high quality service and see you through tough times. Take a look at the reviews they receive if you don’t believe us and have a read of our Featured Funeral Directors series if you want a better insight into the job.
You have to be embalmed
If you want to have a funeral with a viewing of the body, then embalming is typically considered a necessity. However, if you opt for immediate burial or direct cremation, embalming is not required at all. Embalming is only really required if the body of the deceased is being repatriated.
A cardboard coffin is the cheapest coffin
Although cardboard may seem like a particularly cheap material, cardboard coffins aren’t necessarily the cheapest coffins. Due to the industrial process, levels of demand and the way they’re made, wood veneer coffins can actually work out to be cheaper, so make sure you do your research before you decide!