Last Updated on



In our opinion there is no such thing as a normal funeral. Each and every funeral is individual to the family concerned. It is up to the family to pay their last respects and say their farewell in the manner that is most suitable for them.

The following information is there to help answer questions that we are most often asked about the funeral and services associated with it:

Q). What Should I Do When Someone Dies?

A). When death occurs, call Middleton & Wood of Burntwood Funeral Directors, who are 'on call' 24 hours a day every day of the year. The funeral director will contact a minister on your behalf if you wish.

Q). Is There A Difference In Cost Between Burial And Cremation?

A). The funeral director's charges for cremation are usually similar to those for burial, but the cost of purchasing a grave and a memorial tends to make the total cost of burial more expensive than cremation.

Q). Who Can Get Help From The Social Fund Of The Department Of Work And Pensions?

A). You may get help if you have insufficient money to pay for a funeral. You are responsible for arranging and you or your partner is claiming:-

a) Income Support

b) Housing Benefit

c) Council Tax Benefit

d) Family Credit

e) Disability Working Allowance

The Benefits Agency of the Department for Work and Pensions will give further information regarding conditions attached to the claims and payment. Payments have to be paid back to the Social Fund from any estate of the person who died.

Q). What Are Doctors Forms?

A). When a funeral is a cremation, two doctors MUST attend and certify death. The FIRST doctor must be the doctor who attended the deceased during his/hers last illness. The duty of the SECOND doctor is essentially one of confirmation. This doctor must not be related to the first doctor either through family or practice. For this service, each doctor makes a separate charge, which we, the Funeral Directors usually pay on behalf of the deceased's family.

Q). Where Is Our Loved One After They Have Been Collected By Yourselves?

A). Our premises are self contained and once collected by our staff from the hospital, home, residence or coroners your loved one remains on our premises until the funeral as part of our commitment to the family.

Q). How Many People Can Be Seated In The Limousine?

A). In each limousine there is room for six people in the rear compartment.

Q). How Do We Know What To Do At The Funeral?

A). On the day of the funeral the Funeral Director; who will be known to most of you before the funeral, is there to help and guide you, your family and friends. If you are unsure of any thing please tell the Funeral Director.

Q). Can The Family Escort The Coffin?

A). Yes, although we would ask that you contact us as soon as possible to ensure that it is safe to do so. Some Churches do not allow this due to Health & Safety Regulations.

Q). Can We Visit The Deceased And Pay Our Last Respects?

A). Yes, our Funeral Home is open and available to you at anytime by appointment. If you wish to visit our private chapel, please ring and inform us when you would like to come and we will be pleased to arrange for an appointment and for a member of staff to meet you.

Q). Can We Have The Deceased Brought Home?

A). Yes, we can bring the deceased home either on the evening before the service or on the morning of the service, so the deceased can leave from home: subject to accessibility. A senior member of staff will check the location and advise.

Q). Can We Choose What Music Is Played At The Crematorium?

A). Yes, If you have a special request or would like a particular piece of music playing either as you walk into or out of the Crematorium Chapel, please let the Funeral Director know as soon as possible. Please note that only original recordings are allowed because of copyright laws.

Q). Should Children Attend A Funeral?

A). If you are old enough to love someone you are old enough to pay your respects. Children of any age can certainly attend funeral services but the child must be prepared so they know what to expect. Time must be given to answer their questions both before and after the funeral. It is most important that the child is asked whether they want to attend.

Q). Can We Request Donations To Charity?

A). Yes, if donations to charity are requested in lieu of flowers, we will accept and list donations on your behalf and forward them to the charity of your choice; usually at no charge.

Q). Does The Coffin Move After The Funeral Service At The Crematorium?

A). No. After the service has ended, the coffin does not move until all relatives and friends have left the Crematorium Chapel. At some Crematoria there are curtains that close at the head of the coffin, but this is only done at the request of the relatives.

Q). Are The Handles On The Coffin Removed Before The Cremation Takes Place?

A). No. There are strict laws regarding cremation. Nothing may be removed from the coffin before cremation without the permission of the Home Office.

Q). Is Each Cremation Carried Out Individually?

A). Yes. The identity of the coffin name plate is checked by the Crematorium Attendant before it is placed in the Cremation Chamber. This only holds one coffin or casket at a time and again there are rules that must be abided by.

Q). What Happens To The Flowers After The Funeral?

A). At Burials the flowers are placed around the grave, at Cremations the flowers remain at the crematorium for approximately four days before being turned into compost. The family can have the flowers returned to the family house or sent to a local Hospice or care home.

Q). Do I Get The Cremated Remains Back That Belong To Me?

A). Yes. Once the cremation has taken place, the cremated remains are removed and left to cool before being placed in an urn. This urn is clearly identified as to whose remains they are.

Q). What Can I Do With The Cremated Remains?


1. You can place them in the Garden of Remembrance, you may know where they are but you can not place a head stone or tablet with them.

2. You may wish to purchase a grave just for the purpose of interring the cremated remains. This allows you to have a headstone and have other members of the family buried there in the future.

3. You may keep them at home in a special urn or memorial.

4. You may scatter them privately in a special place.

5. The remains may be buried in an existing family grave, subject to permission.

6. New concepts such as turning a small amount of them into a certificated diamond, a glass ornament or contained within various keepsakes are all available options.

If you would like to discuss any of the above alternatives, please contact us and we will be pleased to help you.

Q). What About Catering After The Funeral?

A). If you require catering after the funeral you can make your own arrangements or contact us to make a booking at a hotel, restaurant, public house or social club. Alternatively we can provide catering and staff at your home.

Q). When Is The Funeral Account Payable?

A). The Funeral Account is sent to the person responsible for the arrangements or the solicitor, when necessary, about a week after the funeral. Payment is requested within fourteen days, unless by prior arrangement and agreed with one of the partners.

The account can be paid for by cash, cheque or credit card.

Q). How Soon After A Burial Can I Put A Headstone On The Grave?

A). If the grave is 'earth' then the grave will take six months or more before the ground is firm enough to place the weight of a headstone. If the grave has a concrete runner then subject to availability and permits the stone can be in place within a month. Special stones are ordered and subject to twelve week delivery.

For further advice please contact your Funeral Director, who will be pleased to advise you. Our memorial selection consists of the finest stones sourced from around the world.

An Independent Family Business

© Copyright Middleton & Wood of Burntwood 2003 - E&OE , all rights reserved.