How to discern an independent funeral director, a corporate funeral director and a remote ‘tech’ funeral director
When faced with planning a funeral, the services of a local funeral director can help to guide you through decision making and solve any complex issues.
This guide is to help inform you about local funeral directors in Richmond and Kingston upon Thames – and how to discern ‘independent’ vs ‘corporate’ vs ‘tech’.
There are a few notable differences to be aware of.
The first contact with a funeral director
The death of a family member or friend is a vulnerable time. It is important that you feel comfortable with the funeral director you are talking to and working with.
When you make that first call, how interested in your situation are they? Death and families can be complex and require knowledgeable, sensitive handling.
Ask if you will have a consistent point of contact throughout – it will make a big difference to you, to know who you are talking to.
Funeral costs can vary significantly
Discussing a funeral should be flexible to your family needs. It is not a time for you to be ‘sold a package’ that is inflexible and based only around price.
You have choices, whether your needs are for no fuss, or you would like a personalised approach to fully reflect your family member’s life.
Independent funeral directors will offer choice and flexibility. Be aware of long-standing local funeral director names that are now corporate owned, by either Dignity plc or Coop or Funeral Partners. Their approach to pricing and customer service will differ and largely be inflexible.
Pricing should be transparent so you know what you are paying for – and are only paying for what you want.
Tech funeral companies claiming to be local – but they are not
Emerging into the UK funeral market are ‘tech’ companies not actually UK based, tapping into the funeral market through aggressive Google AdWords campaigns.
We came across one such company claiming to be at our address where we have had our office and meeting room for 3 years. We had never heard of them – their name reminded us of a familiar brand of cat food!
A little detective work discovered this company originate in Europe, had bought a high volume of virtual addresses across London and the UK and promptly cancelled them within a month once they had their Google pin – (apparently a typical way remote tech companies ‘act’ to look like they are located somewhere).
What this means for you is that they are not physically located where they are saying so. Their websites for funeral director in Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames are replicated across the UK.
You just need to be aware that they will be outsourcing funeral services on the ground – and their service will only be as good as to whoever they are outsourcing to.
Ask them to validate how local and established their relationships are. Where will your relative’s body be held, where are their facilities? Who is physically overseeing the identification and care of your relative?
Whilst the organisation of a funeral from the outside may appear quite standard, matters surrounding death can be complex.
Points about funeral arranging to be aware of:
- There is no right or wrong way to organise a funeral – it is what is right for you as a family, or the wishes left.
- You don’t have to have a hearse for transport
- The coffin doesn’t have to be carried in, it can be pre-placed in the chapel before you enter
- Services can be family led, or officiated by a minister or celebrant
- Direct Cremation – no service or mourners as advertised on TV – is not the only option for a simple funeral
- To spend wisely does not cheapen a funeral
Things to consider before speaking to a funeral director:
- Will it be a burial or cremation?
- How many attendees are you anticipating?
- Would you prefer a no fuss approach keeping things low key?
- Would you like to personalise a funeral to reflect a life as you knew it?
- Would you like a minister or celebrant to lead the service – or for it to be family led?
Don’t worry too much if you’re not sure of exactly what funeral arrangements you would like. An experienced funeral director will guide you and make recommendations.
Independent funeral directors in Richmond and Kingston upon Thames
In Richmond and Kingston upon Thames there are a small community of independent funeral directors that really do care about what they do.
White Rose are a husband and wife team – Nick and Jacqui – based in Teddington – we take exceptional pride in how we work with a family, you are only communicating with us throughout.
When looking for advice or a quote, please call us, we’re here to help White Rose Modern Funerals – 020 3281 1045