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Frequently Asked Questions

A funeral is an opportunity to pay a tribute to someone you love. Funerals are an important step in the grieving process as well as an opportunity to honour a life lived. It provides an opportunity for friends, and family to express their love, respect and grief.
Most definitely - to help, we would give a quick briefing to ensure that all are prepared and we will be on hand to help at all times with carrying the coffin.
You are able to collect the cremated remains the next working day, following the funeral. It is possible to have them back on the same day of the funeral as long as the service takes place first thing in the morning.
Yes. Once the coffin has left the funeral directors, the deceased cannot be removed from it.
The cremation process is governed by strict rules and regulations. The crematorium authorities take great care to ensure that every individual cremation is kept completely separate.
It is an hygienic preservation technique that involves introducing a chemical preservative through the vascular system. We only suggest this option when a deceased person is to be viewed, or the coffin is to be opened during a church service.
Yes, you can put personal items in the coffin, however we cannot allow any metal and glass items.
Yes you can, alternatively we can dress the deceased in one of our gowns.
The chapel of rest is a viewing room which allows families to privately pay their respects to the deceased.
It is best to allow between 7 to 10 days, however in particular circumstances the funeral can take place within 24 hours of the death. We will, of course, ensure that the date of the funeral is convenient for the family.
Death abroad is not at all uncommon and can usually be dealt with very simply. Quite often, a holiday insurance will cover the cost of repatriation.

While not necessarily complicated, the number of different potential scenarios and different countries are so large, the procedures are too numerous to deal with here.

Please contact one of our offices for immediate assistance and guidance on how best to make arrangements and the options open to the family.
A funeral service is a ceremony that takes place with the body of the deceased present. A memorial service is a ceremony honouring the deceased without the body present. A memorial service can be held close to the time of death or at a later date, such as a birthday or anniversary.
Yes, although arrangements can be made with the funeral director before a death is registered, it may not be possible to finalise the day or time of the funeral or place the death notice in a newspaper until registration has taken place.
If a relative who has been a hospital inpatient dies, the doctors who has been treating the deceased will usually be able to issue the Medical Certificate. Ask the ward staff or Doctor what you need to do to collect this Certificate, or ring your local Funeral Director for advice and contact numbers.

Most hospitals will give family members the opportunity to sit with the deceased before transfer from the ward or private room. The deceased will then be taken to the mortuary, prior to collection by your chosen Funeral Director.
The Doctor can only issue the Certificate if he knows the cause of death, and has been treating the deceased for this illness in the last 24 hours. If this is not the case, or if there are other circumstances involved (such as a recent operation, or a possible industrial disease), the Doctor will have to refer the death to the Coroner.

If the death has occurred at home, the Coroner will arrange for the deceased to be taken into his custody, in order that the death can be investigated.
In England and Wales, the death has to be registered at the registrar's office in the area where the death occurred. This is the case even if the death occurred a distance from home.

However, there is a facility available to attend your local registrar's office to register a death that occurred in another area. This is called 'Registration by Declaration', and involves the two Registrars transferring documents by fax and post in order to register the death. Depending on the circumstances, this can delay the date of the funeral - ask your Funeral Director for advice.
In order to register the death, you will need to obtain a Medical Certificate from the Doctor who was treating the deceased during the last illness. When the Coroner is involved, this Certificate is replaced by one from the Coroner. The Coroner's Office will be able to advise you or your Funeral Director when you will be able to attend the Registrar's Office.

To register a death in England and Wales, the deceased's NHS Medical Card is the only other document required. However, this is not compulsory, so do not delay registering the death if you cannot find it - the Registrar will explain to you what to do if the Medical Card is subsequently found.

If you have the deceased's Birth or Marriage Certificates to hand you can take them along to the Registrar, but the documents will not be retained. All that is required is the information contained on them e.g. the deceased's place and date of birth, and maiden name if applicable.

The DSS Form
Now called the SF200 Funeral Payments from the Social Fund should be taken or sent to your DSS Office with any pension or benefit books in the deceased's name, or in joint names. This is also used to assess whether a surviving partner is eligible for benefits such as Widows Benefit. You can download the form on the Department of Works and Pensions website.

Funeral Director's Form
This is green, and should be given to your Funeral Director to allow the funeral to take place. NB: If the Coroner has investigated the death, and cremation is required, this will be replaced with a form, which the Coroner will send direct to the Funeral Director.

Certified copies of Death Certification
These are copies of the Register Entry, and are the Certificates required by Banks, Insurance Companies etc. to attend to the deceased's affairs. There is normally a small fee for these.

No. Arranging the funeral involves your Funeral Director discussing with you the type of funeral required, and offering you advice and information as appropriate. This can be done as soon as you have made certain decisions about the funeral - e.g. whether it is to be a burial or cremation.

Then, once you have registered the death, you can arrange with your Funeral Director for the green form to be handed over or collected.

No - there is no requirement to hold a religious funeral service, and there are a number of alternatives. Perhaps a relative or friend could take the service if they feel able to do so. Other Members of the congregation could speak or read verses or poems. The British Humanist Association have a network of officiants who will provide a very personal non-religious ceremony. Ask your Funeral Director for more information or to organise a Humanist/Civil ceremony.

For more information on Humanist funerals - visit: www.humanism.org.uk

For more information on the Institute of Civil Funerals - visit: www.iocf.org.uk

The following information should be treated as general guidance. We are not able to guarantee the availability of a loan but we do understand how the Department for Work and Pensions makes a decision.

Contact the social fund helpline for further assistance on 0845 608 8657

The DWP Social Fund awards financial assistance to individuals who meet a number of criteria. To qualify, you, and all other family Members who share your responsibility for the funeral, must be receiving at least one of several benefits, and have insufficient savings to pay for the funeral.

The DSS Funeral Payment will provide a limited amount, which may cover a very basic funeral, or provide a contribution towards a more traditional funeral. Your Funeral Director will be able to advise you about the qualifying criteria and the likely contribution available.

You may receive help from the social fund via the DWP if there is not enough money to pay for the funeral and you are responsible for making the funeral arrangements and you or your partner are receiving any of the following benefits: Family Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit.

Check what amount of money is available from:
  • The estate of the person who has died, such as money from bank or building society accounts.
  • Any insurance policies of charities, lump sum payments made by a pension scheme or relatives. (either yours or those of the person who has died).
  • Any savings you have in a bank or building society, National Savings (including certificates or premium bonds) or in cash at home.
  • The savings may be in your name or the name of your partner.
  • The Widows' Payment does not count as savings.
The Social Fund may make a contribution towards the cost of a simple funeral within the United Kingdom. This includes:
  • Bringing the deceased home if the person died away from home but within the United Kingdom
  • The Death Certificate
  • A Standard coffin
  • The Hearse for the coffin and bearers
  • Contribution towards fees of funeral director to include chaplain and organist fee
  • Cemetery fee or Crematorium fee
  • Doctors' fees
The local social services department of the council if the person received meals on wheels, home help or day centre care or had an appliance or piece of equipment issued by the department.

Any hospital the person was attending.

The family doctor to cancel any home nursing.

The Inland Revenue.

The Social Security office if money was being paid directly into bank or building society accounts - for example retirement pension, attendance allowance.

Any employer and trade union.

Professional associations (ie clubs or organisations).

A child or young person's teacher, employer or college if a parent, brother, sister, grandparent or close friend has died.

A car insurance company (if you are insured to drive the car under the deceased's name you will cease to be insured).

The local offices of the gas, electricity and telephone suppliers.

The local housing department or landlord if the person who has died was living in rented accommodation.

The local council Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit section if the person who has died was receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit.

The Post Office so that they can re-direct the deceased person's mail.
At the time of making funeral arrangements it is not always easy to realise the emotional benefit that is gained after the funeral by having somewhere to go, a place that you and your family can return to, knowing that a loved one is there.

It has only recently been acknowledged that simply having a relative's cremated remains scattered or buried in a garden of remembrance does not assist the healing process after the funeral. Today most cemeteries and crematoria that are administered by local councils offer the facilities of small graves that can be purchased solely for cremated remains. Other types of memorialisation are usually available as an alternative.

These memorials can be visited by your family allowing them to pay their last respects.
Nowadays we can use a whole range of alternative vehicles to transport the coffin to its final resting place. Most people will have seen a horse drawn hearse and these can be black, white or silver, pulled by 2, 4, or up to 6 horses that are either black or white (grey). Less common but still available are a whole range of motorised hearses based on more unusual vehicles such as VW camper van, Land Rovers, Morris Minor Traveller, customised Hot Rod or a motor cycle. Other motorised vehicles that can be used are a vintage lorry, a double decker bus, a narrow boat, fire engine or anything else that can be modified to carry a coffin. The list is almost endless so it is best to talk to us to get a full picture of what might suit your needs best.

A funeral can be made unique and individual in many ways and we are often being asked for a piper, bugler, jazz band or dove release.

The coffin itself can be very much a personal statement of the deceased and we can arrange for any type of illustration to be printed onto a coffin these days.

As long as it is legal and dignified we will assist you in anything we can to make each funeral as individual and memorable as possible.
'Green funerals' is a term often used to describe funerals, which are designed to be simple and environmentally friendly. We can advise you on a whole range of ‘Eco-friendly’ coffins such as wicker, bamboo, seed grass, wool or cardboard, which may be considered to be more environmentally friendly than the traditional solid timber or veneered timber coffins.

Woodland burial sites are where trees or wild flowers are planted instead of using a headstone, eventually turning the site into a woodland or wild meadow. There are many such sites available throughout the United Kingdom - your Funeral Director will be able to provide you with information should you require it.

The type of disposal of the decease’s remains might also be considered. Nowadays, there are so called green burial grounds or woodland burial grounds that can be used for full earth internments or for burial of cremated remains. We can advise what is available locally.
The company is still wholly owned and run by the family. Currently the Son, Grandson and Grandaughter of D.J. Bewley are running the firm.
Yes – D.J. Bewley The Family Funeral Service offer a range of pre-paid funeral plans, ensuring financial benefits, reassurance that the funeral will be undertaken as you would wish and reducing the stresses for your family of organising a funeral at a time of grief. We also offer a funeral plan without pre paying but we can still record your funeral wishes.
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