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Arranging an independent funeral

Although a funeral director will be invited to organise the majority of funerals, some people prefer to organise funerals themselves.

They may feel that personally organising a funeral is their final tribute to the deceased person or they may wish to save money. An independent funeral can mean taking responsibility for collecting and moving the body, arranging embalming and viewing of the deceased, providing a coffin, hearse and arranging the service or it can just mean arranging the burial and service. A booklet is produced by the Department for Work and Pensions which explains the legal formalities (dwp1027), What to do after a death.

You may also need to contact the cemeteries and crematorium department of the local authority.

There has been a move towards a more ‘green’ type of burial which promotes bio-degradable coffins and gives the option of a woodland burial. The Natural Death Centre is a charitable project launched in Britain in 1991. It provides information to help people arrange inexpensive, family-organised, and environmentally-friendly funerals. It has a more general aim of helping to improve the quality of dying.

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