How to arrange a funeral

When a loved one passes away there seems to be so much to do. In many cases we are at a loss at what we are supposed to do; where do we start, what are the procedures? We have put together a list of practical points / matters to help you when making decisions at such an emotional and difficult time.

1 The death will be certified by an authorised practitioner (GP or other health professionals)

If the death is sudden or unexpected the coroner is likely to be involved and all parties must await the coroner's instructions.  In other circumstances a health practitioner will be called to certify the death. This is essential before the funeral director can remove the deceased to the chapel of rest. Funeral directors are available at any hour should you have any queries.

2 The doctor or GP will issue the medical certificate with the cause of death

At this point, you can make an appointment to register the death and obtain a copy of the death certificate and documents to allow the burial or cremation to go ahead. You will need to know the following when registering the death; Full name of the deceased, date and place of birth and death, home address of the deceased and occupation. You will also be asked to provide the medical certificate with the cause of death. If the coroner is involved, no medical certificate is issued and you should await further instructions from the coroner. .

3 Check if there is a will and/or any special wishes left by the deceased with regards to their funeral

Does the deceased have an existing funeral plan? If the will is lost or misplaced, it can be searched online at: If the deceased already has an existing funeral plan, arrangements are already in place and there is less to consider. However, if there is no will or existing plan you should now consider the type of funeral you would like for the deceased.

Planning the funeral

The funeral director is there to help you throughout this process and will cover each of these points in detail at the time of the booking. To make if easier we have put a list together for you to go through and consider prior to your appointment, if you wish.

1 Decide if it is going to be a burial or cremation

Where will the funeral take place? (Church, crematorium, graveside, at home, woodland site or local village hall)

2 Decide on your budget for the funeral

Money advice is available online, please click here

3 Who will officiate?

You may choose a religious minister, a humanist (provides a non-religious ceremony without hymns or prayers), a civil funeral celebrant (provides a non-religious ceremony, but can include hymns and prayers), a family member or a friend.

4 Transport

On the day of the funeral, the funeral director can provide a hearse, horse drawn carriage, motorcycle and sidecar or other specialist transport to convey the deceased.

5 Will you invite floral tributes or donations to a favourite charity?

You can arrange for tributes in memory of the deceased on the donation page of the website. A donations box for a particular charity can also be made available at the funeral service.

6 Would you like any music during the service?

You may wish to choose music that has sentimental value for before, during and after the service. 

Would you like a live musician to play?

7 Will you announce the death and funeral in the local paper, on Facebook or other media sites?

If so, the time and date need to be clearly indicated together with any instructions with regard to floral tributes or dress code and any words you wish to accompany the announcements. The funeral director can prepare this on your behalf.

8 Will there be a wake after the funeral for family and friends? Are there any refreshments to consider?

Catering can be arranged by the funeral director or the family.

9 Is special clothing to be worn by the guests?

Are there any clothing requirements such as a particular colour or theme that you wish for guests to follow at the funeral service?

10 Will you want to create a table for memorable items and photos?

You may wish to have a memorial table with personal photos and items belonging to the deceased at the wake.


Opening hours

Monday - Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Telephone enquiries & immediate assistance available 24 hours

Contact us

W.R.Bettelley Ltd
315 Uttoxeter Rd