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Frequently Asked Questions

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InHouse Wills & Probate

Award-winning Will writer

Planning a Funeral


It is very common to include in your Will a simple statement about your funeral, expressing a preference for burial or cremation as appropriate - but that still leaves many more details to be finalised. It is our experience all too often that when the time comes the family simply turn to the nearest funeral director, or perhaps the one who handled a previous family funeral, and go with whatever suggestions that funeral director makes. It is only afterwards that the family realise some of the other options they could have taken. There is only one chance to say the final goodbye and it is important that it is done properly.

Besides choosing the funeral director, the family should consider who will lead the funeral ceremony; this will set the whole tone of what happens on the day. In the past virtually all funerals were conducted by the local vicar or other appropriate religious person and the form of the service followed very traditional lines. Nowadays many understand that a non-religious person can lead a service - but then fall into the trap of thinking it has to be a ‘humanist’. A humanist is someone who follows a particular philosophy regarding religion, but this can mean that they can only provide a limited range of funeral ceremonies. In contrast, an independent funeral celebrant is free to deliver the most appropriate ceremony for your situation, still including any religious or traditional elements if you wish.

InHouse cooperates closely with local independent civil funeral celebrant Margaret Wood, who can then work with any funeral director of your choice. Margaret can help you make choices about your own funeral ceremony, or can be there to assist your family through the process, advising about options that otherwise you might not have even considered. She can handle the whole ceremony, or can bring in contributions from family and friends as appropriate. Matters to be decided can include:

It is important that the ceremony reflects the personality and values of the individual and is not just a set of standard phrases with the individual’s name inserted. The ceremony also needs to reflect the needs of the bereaved as they come to terms with their loss.

At a time of bereavement it can be a great comfort to your family to know that they are following your wishes. Different family members might disagree over what is appropriate, but if you have already specified what you want it can smooth away the difficulties. You can specify as much or as little as you want and can make the arrangements personal to you - including such religious or cultural elements as you choose.


Email enquiries@inhousewills.co.uk for the personal advice that you need.

Look at a pre-paid funeral plan, for advice about removing the financial worry of a funeral.

Planning a Funeral

Are you overwhelmed by the range of choices available for funeral ceremonies? Let specialists in this area help you make the right decisions for your situation.