When a loved one passes away, one of the first things you need to organise is a cremation service. If you’ve never done it before, finding the right cremation funeral services can be confusing. On the surface, it might appear that all cremation services in the UK are the same, plus there are so many to choose from.
To help you, at a time when you need it most, we’ve put together a checklist – here are our top tips on how to choose a cremation provider.
1. Explore different options for cremation providers
Planning a cremation service is a sensitive and emotional thing you have to do when a loved one passes away. There are so many decisions to make that it can be completely overwhelming.
Catherine, our Customer Experience Director at Pure Cremation, says: “The death of a loved one is among life’s most stressful experiences and in a lot of cases people are making funeral arrangements for the very first time in their lives. This means that every funeral firm has a duty of care to provide accurate information and support to these vulnerable customers, especially those engaging with customers via the internet.”
While it might be tempting to choose the first option you find, you’re more likely to find a cremation provider you feel comfortable with if you do some research first. You want to be certain they’ll deliver the funeral service cremation your loved one would have liked.
You’ll need to consider several different factors when doing your research – price and value for money, location and availability, funeral home cremation cost, and whether the provider is trustworthy. Follow our tips, and you’ll have all the answers you need to make an informed choice.
2. Get to know your cremation provider
When you’re doing your research online, it’s not easy to get a real feel for the qualities and attitude of a funeral and cremation service. It isn’t always obvious, even with a local funeral home, and it’s all too easy to hide an online business’s nature and structure.
There are four key questions you should ask.
Who owns the business?
You’re more likely to trust a business if you know who the owners are. Nobody likes dealing with a faceless corporation, particularly when you’re dealing with something as sensitive and emotional as a cremation funeral service.
Where is the cremation provider based?
The cremation provider’s location is crucial, especially if you require a meeting to make the arrangements or wish to have a ceremony.
If you can’t find a premises picture on their website, then harness the power of Google maps and Streetview.
You’ll find our postal address and company registration details in the footer of our website pages. Our history, photos of our team, and our HQ, Charlton Park Crematorium, are all easily found on our website.
Where will your loved one be cared for?
This may not be at the address on the website but should be at an appropriate facility.
We look after everyone at our HQ in Hampshire, in the same building as the customer care team. Being able to say (truthfully) “Dad is here with me...” makes a huge difference.
Can you visit the crematorium if you wanted to?
You might want to witness the coffin’s committal to the cremator, and after the ceremony, you might choose to leave the ashes at the crematorium. The ashes might be scattered in the gardens of remembrance or placed in a columbarium. It would be reassuring to know that you can visit if you want to.
While we arrange the cremation by phone and email, our lovely grounds are open to visitors 7 days a week and you can make an appointment to speak with a member of the team.
What is the funeral experience of the cremation provider?
Choosing an experienced and professional funeral provider will ease the burden and stress when arranging a funeral for your loved one.
Here at Pure Cremation, our founders have more than 30 years’ first-hand experience of caring for the bereaved and the people that matter to them. Our wider team has many years’ experience in every aspect of a funeral, from transporting the deceased, arranging funerals, and managing crematoria.
3. Learn about the cremation provider’s pricing and service delivery
It’s always a good idea to compare the cost of a cremation service. Funeral and cremation service UK packages can vary considerably. When you first get in touch, the initial price may seem very reasonable. However, there may be a long list of additional costs you want to include if you’re going to get the cremation service you want for your loved one.
You must understand precisely what you’re paying for and why. Considerations include the following.
What is and isn’t included in the cremation provider’s price?
- Is the cremation fee included?
- Will there be any extra costs for mileage?
- Are there any additional charges for bariatric clients?
- Are doctor’s fees included?
Doctors’ certificates for cremation are often missing from the headline price but apply in at least 70% of cases (doctors’ fees don’t apply in Scotland). Some providers also charge extra for the return of the ashes.
Pure Cremation is committed to price transparency. All prices are clearly displayed on our website – and £1,295 for a direct cremation covers everything from the collection from hospital to hand delivery of the ashes. Add £250 for a collection from non-hospital settings, any time, day or night.
Does the cremation provider try to persuade you to add extras?
Many families don’t understand the options they have when they select cremation. They might also forget some essential details such as memorials, visitations, urns, and other keepsakes.
Some providers might use this knowledge gap to their advantage by either cutting corners, hiding costs, or both.
Here at Pure Cremation, this is all we do, so we won’t sell you a more expensive service. We DO check that you understand what we don’t offer...and if we’re not right for you, we’ll say so.
Do they offer a complete 24/7 service?
Some firms only collect the deceased during office hours or from a hospital. We have a team on duty 24/7, all year round. We come as quickly as you need us – whether that’s within a couple of hours, or we can wait a couple of days if you want more time to say goodbye.
Does the cremation provider perform all the care themselves?
Any mention of VAT will indicate that you are dealing with a broker or marketing company. Real funeral providers don’t have to charge VAT as they are providing a VAT EXEMPT service.
Our wonderful staff performs the collection, care, cremation, and return of the ashes. Every family we look after wants a very simple cremation but with the same standards of care for their loved one and the same expert advice and support with paperwork that they’d get at the best funeral homes.
Will the cremation provider tell you the date and location of the cremation?
Most families want to know the date. We always telephone and email the information at least two working days before the event. All unattended cremations take place at Charlton Park Crematorium.
4. Decide on the type of cremation service you want to arrange with your provider
There are various cremation services to choose from, as well as different cremation funeral providers, and cremation packages. An increasing number of people are choosing a cremation without a funeral service, for example.
The cost of dying will depend on the type of service you select, and it’s best if you make this decision before choosing the best cremation service provider.
Your options include:
- Cremation with a traditional service
- Cremation with a memorial service
- Cremation without a service, also known as a direct cremation service
- Cremation after body donation to science
5. Contact the cremation provider
You want to work with a trustworthy cremation company, and the best way to determine this is to get in touch and make arrangements to meet them or call. You’ll be able to discuss the details of the funeral cremation service and ask any questions. A trustworthy and reliable cremation provider will also offer advice and help if there are aspects of the cremation you’re unsure of.
6. Compare the prepaid plans of selected cremation providers
It’s always sensible to compare the prepaid cremation service plans of selected cremation providers. One provider may appear to be cheaper than another, but do they offer the same service? Check exactly what is included in the price, as sometimes there might be a hidden cremation services cost.
You should also make sure that the prepaid plan is safe by ensuring the provider is registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). This is a voluntary organisation that regulates UK Prepaid Funeral Plan Providers.
From July 2022 the Financial Conduct Authority will enforce new regulations and only those companies that have been properly authorised by the FCA will be allowed to sell pre-paid funeral plans of any kind.
7. Learn if the cremation provider follows the code of cremation practice
In the UK, providers who offer Direct Cremation to the public should follow a code of practice. Here at Pure Cremation we have developed our own code of practice. This policy document addresses obligations in four key areas. These are our:
- Obligations to the family
- Obligations for the care of the deceased
- Obligations to the public
- Obligations to our staff
8. Find out more about the cremation provider’s expertise
You want a cremation provider to be sufficiently experienced. A reputable provider will be able to offer guidance, tips for arranging a funeral, information on grief counselling, and additional resources for their clients.
We know how important it is for our clients to have all the necessary information. We make it a priority to be here when you need us most, to offer help and advice, whether you need our services now, or if you’re planning for the future.
9. Check testimonials for the cremation provider services
Some cremation providers will have online reviews from previous clients. Reviews are an excellent source you can use if you want to establish trust. What other families say about their experience with a company can give you some valuable insight.
We are very proud of our great reviews, which all relate to the arrangement and execution of Pure Cremation services.
Inform your family on the choice of a cremation provider
Death and funeral wishes are not a comfortable subject for people to talk about with their loved ones. We all know facing death is inevitable, but we still prefer to bury our heads in the sand. If you have any preferences, such as your choice of cremation provider, you must let your family know.
Why is it important to plan a cremation service in advance?
If you have a clear plan in mind, you should make the necessary arrangements. Funeral pre-planning is a sound decision to make. It saves your loved ones the stress of arranging your funeral. Your family will know exactly what to do. Not only that, but pre-planning also fixes cremation service at today’s prices. This means your family won’t have to pay any more in the future.
There are many reasons why you should plan ahead. Get in touch today and we’ll help with the arrangements.