For those of you reading who are less familiar with our services, let us provide a quick overview.
In short, we are a sustainable funeral provider that organises eco-friendly cremations and whose founding ethos revolves around transparency, sustainability and integrity. We operate as a carbon-neutral social enterprise and we price our funerals and funeral plans at fixed, competitive and transparent rates. We do this because we know that a dignified end of life service should be accessible to all and that this can be achieved by removing the numerous ceremonial add-ons often encountered within the funeral industry.
Our two primary services are direct cremations, which can be arranged for £1,295, and pre-paid funeral plans, which can be purchased for £1,595. Included in both of these services is the unwavering, consistent support of our team who will be on hand throughout the whole process of purchasing and arranging a funeral to offer guidance and assistance. Our team has undergone training with Quaker Social Action to ensure we are prepared to best answer the questions of families in need, be it regarding planning the funeral itself or when seeking advice on the costs and potential financial support required.
Below are our responses to some commonly asked questions. We hope these will help equip you with simple solutions to your queries, and in turn help ease the concerns you might have regarding paying for a funeral.
What is a funeral bill and what should it look like?
A funeral bill is essentially the final bill owed for a funeral. As there are numerous different funerals and the services included in them vary so dramatically, so too will the associated costs. Each funeral provider might list these costs differently on their bill: some funeral providers itemise their services individually whilst others list items collectively. However, most funeral providers provide two similarly separate sections on their bills. These tend to be divided into:
- Disbursements (or third party fees): the costs paid to other parties on your behalf by the funeral director. These costs might include doctors’ fees; minister, celebrant or clergys’ fees and crematorium of cemetery fees.
- The funeral director’s charges: the costs owed to the funeral director for the services and items provided. Depending on the funeral provider, these might include such things as the transportation of the deceased; care of the body; a coffin or urn and a viewing in the chapel of rest, amongst others.
Due to the variety of ways in which funeral bills are formatted, it might be difficult to compare the costs of different funerals like-for-like. Don’t be disheartened though, as any good funeral provider should be more than happy to talk through potential confusion regarding their bill’s pricing or formatting.
Important note: If you or a loved one are applying for the government’s funeral expenses payment scheme. A funeral bill, invoice, or contract is needed to support the application. To read more about what the Funeral Expenses Payment scheme entails, visit our guide here.
How you might save time and money by doing it yourself
Every funeral plan should show an itemized breakdown of the services included in its cost. Depending on how comprehensive you wish the funeral plan’s support to be, you might purchase a plan that includes such things as: flower arrangements and limousines, someone who will lead the service, an appropriate urn or coffin and even service sheets. Of course, the more extensive the included services, the more expensive the funeral is likely to be. If you have concerns about high costs, it may well be worth looking into which aspects you can arrange yourself.
Important note: Our care team has crafted a guide on how to plan a Ceremony of Life celebration for your loved one. To find that guide, download our PDF here (underneath “Ceremony of Life”).
Allocating responsibility and doing it yourself
And you will likely be surprised by how many of these there are!
If you have a close support group of family and friends and feel that you may be overwhelmed by the task of arranging the entire funeral yourself, consider nominating others for individual roles.
You might ask one friend to deal with the administrative paperwork, another to source and purchase an economical coffin or urn and someone else to start cultivating memory boards or flower arrangements for the service itself.
If someone close to you has a beautiful voice, they may be happy to help with the music. Another loved one might be a dab hand in the kitchen and more than willing to help with the catering. Don’t be afraid to pool your loved one’s collective talents and skills, or to ask for assistance and support when planning the funeral.
Besides, in addition to saving costs you may be surprised by how many of your connections are happy to gain purpose and direction following the aftermath of a loss. Allocating the funeral planning responsibilities not only lessens the individual load but might also provide welcome direction through which some can channel their grief.
What are the benefits of purchasing a funeral plan?
Whilst it is entirely possible that many might feel capable of arranging a funeral without a funeral director, others might prefer to purchase a funeral plan and rely on the funeral director as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for assistance with the arrangements.
If you are concerned about the costs of a funeral, purchasing a funeral plan in advance may help alleviate these worries. This is essentially because when you buy a funeral plan, you lock in the plan’s advertised services at today’s price before there are any potential increases to the cost. In addition to offering financial reassurance, purchasing a funeral plan might help reduce potential stress following the actual loss, for you will know what has already been arranged and possibly even agreed with the loved one prior to their death.
As with funerals themselves, there is a varying tier to funeral plan costs and the services they include. At Neo, our funeral plan costs £1,595 and includes:
- Administration support
- The collection of the deceased and taking into our care
- A solid FSC-certified pine wood coffin
- A biodegradable urn
- Hand delivery of the ashes if this is what you wish for
- A remembrance tree with a tree certificate
- Carbon offsetting
If at any stage of the planning process, even during preliminary research into the industry’s options, you have questions concerning our funeral plan, service, or other general queries, our support team will be more than happy to help. We are on call 24 hours a day, around the year. Our team is fully experienced at listening to people during very challenging times and are always willing to guide newly bereaved families through the steps they need to take.
We wholeheartedly understand how distressing the circumstances leading to these enquiries might be, and we are on hand to offer whatever support is necessary to lessen your worries and concerns. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today so we can begin assisting with your planning.