About Celebration of Life™
Where do you cover?
We cover the whole of mainland Great Britain excluding the Scottish Highlands and Islands, as part of our standard service. We also offer our services across the Isle of Wight at an extra cost to cover ferry fees and additional travel time.
What times are you open?
Our opening hours are 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week, however urgent care is available 24 hours a day. You can also contact through the website or via email 24/7, we respond to messages as soon as possible during opening hours.
What do you do differently?
You can talk to our friendly in-house team, even for just a question - we won't pester you or send you unwarranted messages. With our direct cremation we not only let the family know the date of the cremation, but also the time, something we find families really appreciate knowing. Our team will keep the family updated throughout, we're here for you every step of the way. We also donate to plant a tree in memory of the loved one who passed and send the family a certificate of dedication with our thank you letter after the ashes have been delivered. We believe we provide the best direct cremation service in Britain, but don't just take our word for it, take a look at our reviews to see what our customers say!
About our direct cremation
How much is a direct cremation?
Our direct cremation prices starts from £895 across mainland Great Britain (excluding the Scottish Highlands and Islands) for someone who has recently passed away. There are commonly 3 other costs that you may need or wish to add. We can return the ashes to you by hand for £100. You may need us to do an urgent collection which is £295 and unless a coroner has done a post-mortem then a doctor will need to complete a medical certificate for cremation which costs £82.
What will my loved one be wearing?
It is usual for the deceased to remain in the clothes they are wearing at the time of collection. However, if the clothes are spoiled or if the deceased are not wearing any clothes or are in a hospital gown, we would dress them in a peaceful white cotton funeral gown instead. If you would like them to be wearing specific clothes then we can dress them. There is a charge of £50 for our team to respectfully and carefully dress your loved one.
Can I attend the cremation?
A direct cremation is an unattended, so there is no service at the crematorium. However, we do let the family know the date and time of the cremation so they can do something special at home.
Can you take over from another funeral director?
Yes. They may have a small charge for the collection, just as we would have charged if we had done the urgent collection. We will deal with the funeral director on your behalf and work towards keeping this cost to a minimum.
Can the cremation take place at a local crematorium?
Yes, but this will cost more. The way we're able to keep our standard cost down is by working closely with hand selected crematoriums where we get a trade price for cremations which we pass on to you. This means we ordinarily use a crematorium of our choice which can vary depending on availability and location. If you would like to use a crematorium of your choice, then please ask our team for a price.
Can I visit my loved one at a chapel of rest?
As we operate centrally to cover the whole of the country, we are unable to provide chapel of rest visits.
How long does the whole process take?
Once the death has been registered, the collection from hospital will then take place within 5 working days (a collection from a private address will take place straight away on the day the death occurs), we will then notify you of the cremation date and time a few days in advance. After the cremation date, we will be in touch within 21 days to arrange the hand return of ashes. If you need the process to be completed quicker, please speak to our team.
How do I know that the ashes are correct?
Every cremation is individual. There are no bulk or multiple cremations that take place, this is a myth in this country. From the moment your loved one is collected, they are identified with 3 pieces of unique information and this remains on them and on the coffin throughout, right through to the ashes being placed into the urn with the corresponding markers and cremation certificate. So you can rest assured that the ashes are correct.
What is an unattended cremation?
An unattended cremation is simply another way to say Direct Cremation. Whereas a traditional cremation includes a gathering of guests and ceremony, an unattended cremation takes place without any mourners or a procession. Instead, most people choose to hold a memorial service somewhere special either before or after the cremation.
What are the ashes returned in?
Our standard ashes return service includes this forest design biodegradable scatter tube that you can bury directly into the ground or use to scatter the ashes in a special location. Alternatively you can supply us with any urn you like and we will deliver the ashes back to you in that.
About our prepaid plan
Why is the price different for a prepaid plan?
Our prepaid direct cremation plan is fully inclusive and covers you for any eventuality, so your family won't have any extra costs to worry about no matter how and where you pass away. Whereas if you're arranging a funeral for someone who has died, you will only need to purchase what is actually required. Funeral prices also tend to increase every year, so although it might be cheaper now, in 10 years time it's likely be much more expensive. Our prepaid direct cremation plan is fixed and guaranteed, no matter how high funeral prices rise.
Where does my money go?
The total cost of the plan is £1,450. From this, £500 is retained by us to cover the setting up and running of the plan as well as marketing and company running costs. The remaining £950 is paid into the Celebration of Life Trust which is completely separate from the business, ready to pay for the funeral when it’s needed. The funds are looked after by independent professional trustees. The trust accounts are also audited annually and the trust as a whole receives a full actuarial verification every year. When you die, the money gets paid to us so that we can supply your funeral. A Solvency Assessment Report is completed annually and the last report from June 2023 can be found here.
What happens if we go out of business?
This is unlikely to happen, but if it does then this will not affect the funds that are in the trust as this is completely separate from the business. A new funeral provider will be nominated to ensure that the funerals will take place as originally planned. There are plans in place to ensure that customers are not negatively affected by this unlikely scenario, including a last resort option of all monies being returned to the plan payers of an equivalent amount to cover the cost of a replacement funeral plan on the same terms as our plan.
Can I pay monthly?
Yes, you can pay over any period up to 5 years. Instalment plans include an instalment charge of 4.8% of the total cost of the plan per year charged monthly, so the higher number of instalments you choose will mean the higher the cost of the plan. To find out more about payment options visit our prepaid plan page and scroll to the bottom for our payment calculator or give us a call.
What happens if I die before my instalments have finished?
If you have a new plan with us that includes our protection promise, this means that as long as you've not missed any payments and you die after 24 months, we'll still cover your funeral. If you die within the first 24 months then your representative will need to pay the balance or we can refund the total amount paid in full.
Will my family have to pay more?
No. When we say our plan is fully inclusive, we mean it. You're covered no matter what, whether you need an urgent collection, removal of a pacemaker, extra large coffin, doctors' fees and the return of ashes, we cover everything.