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We are here to exceed your expectations by providing a personal, caring, first class, professional, sympathetic, caring, discreet, open and honest dignified funeral service, 24 hours a day, from a truly Independent Funeral Director. Here at C.Crawford Funeral Service, nothing is ever too much trouble. We will provide the care and all the time you need without hurrying you. This is exactly the service that we provide here, at C.Crawford Funeral Service, nothing is ever too much trouble.

How to Register a Death

Once a Doctor has certified death, a Medical Certificate showing the cause of death will be issued. If the person has died in hospital, these are normally collected from the Hospital Bereavement Office. If the person died at home or in a nursing home, the Medical Certificate will be available from the Doctors Surgery.

The death must be registered by the Registrar of Births and Deaths for the sub-district in which the death occurred, even if the deceased resided in a different area, however, you do not need to wait until you have registered the death with the Registrar before you can make the funeral arrangements, please come in and see us straightaway.

If the death has not been referred to the Coroner, you must register the death within five days. If there are circumstances which prevent this, you must contact the Registrar and advise them accordingly. When you register the death you should take the Medical Certificate together with the deceased’s medical card and birth and marriage certificates (if they are available).

You must telephone the Registrar to make an appointment to register the death. On registration, the Registrar will give you a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (known as the Green Form, which we will require from you).

Copies of the Death Certificate are available but you will have to pay a fee for each copy. You may need additional copies of the Death Certificate to send to Insurance Companies, Pension Companies and so on. If you are going to need additional copies, request these at the time of registration.

When you register the death, you can also register or be given details from the Registrar regarding the “Tell Us Once” service. This service automatically lets the Government Departments and Local Authority Services that need to be told about the death and saves a lot of telephone calls you would normally have to make regarding the death. Details will be provided from the Registrar and are also available from our funeral home.

Deaths Referred to the Coroner

In certain circumstances, such as sudden death, the Doctor must notify the Coroner. This should not cause any undue concern or alarm, sometimes the Coroner is able to establish the cause of death by making simple enquiries. If the death is referred to the Coroner please contact us for guidance, but you do not have to wait until the Coroners investigations are completed before you can make the funeral arrangements, please come in and see us straightaway.

The DWP Social Fund Payment for Funeral Costs

It may be possible for you to receive a Funeral Payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”), if you are on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral that you are arranging. How much you will receive, depends on your circumstances and if you are eligible for help. Please visit your Local Jobcentre for further information on how to claim or look on the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions Website for up-to-date information and details. Please note, however, that the DWP Funeral Payment will NOT cover ALL the funeral costs, they will only cover part of the Funeral Payment and you will need to pay C.Crawford Funeral Service all outstanding funeral costs/fees before the Funeral date. Please let us know if you wish to make a claim for a DWP Funeral Payment. Celina is more than happy to help you with this claim.

The Cost of Funerals

Funeral costs consist of two parts; Our Charges and the Disbursements (e.g. the cost of the Cemetery or Crematorium, Church costs, Ministers fees, Doctors’ fees, etc).

Funeral Directors Charges

Our charges include: providing a 24-hour service for the support and assistance to our clients. The transfer of the deceased to our premises from the local area. Preparation and care of the deceased. The use of our Chapel of Rest (by appointment) until the time of the funeral. Making all the funeral arrangements on your behalf, obtaining statutory forms from hospital/doctors and the delivery of all the necessary documentation to the appropriate authorities and the services of the Funeral Director on the day of the funeral.

Disbursements

Disbursements include the following: the cost of the Cemetery or Crematorium, Church costs, Ministers fees, Doctors’ fees, Horsedrawn carriage fees, Flowers, Newspaper Announcements, Orders of Service, etc.

The Simple Funeral

We recognise the need for a dignified low cost funeral for those who wish to keep the funeral costs to a minimum or those who prefer a simple funeral. For this reason, our Simple Funeral provides a broad choice depending on the particular services you require.

The Simple Funeral Includes:

Transfer of the Deceased from the Local area to our premises within normal working hours. Use of our Chapel of Rest until the time of the funeral. A simple Oak veneer coffin complete with interior lining, coffin plate and handles or a simple “Cardboard” Coffin. Making all the funeral arrangements on your behalf and the delivery of all the necessary documentation to the Cemetery/Crematorium. The provision of a Hearse only either via the home address/care home or direct to the Cemetery or Crematorium on the day of the funeral.

We believe that everyone is entitled to a dignified funeral. If the funds to pay the funeral costs are limited, please ask for a confidential discussion of your particular circumstances and we will try to help as much as possible.

Funeral Plans (Pre-Paid Funerals)

Pre-paid Funeral Plans are available from us, please speak to a member of staff for details. In addition to relieving any financial strains on your family members, you can rest assured that when the time comes, your wishes will be carried out in full, leaving no difficult decisions to be made.

Funeral Wishes

Some people have difficulty making their wishes known to their loved ones, others want to seek advice and assistance from a Funeral Director before the funeral is needed but do not require any money to be paid upfront to us - the funeral is paid for at the “time of need”. “Funeral Wishes” are the wishes that you would like for your funeral, recorded in a document for you to keep safely for your family/friends to make everything easier for them about what you would like for your funeral, when the time comes to make your funeral arrangements.

You may know about the personal wishes of your loved one regarding what they would like at their funeral and therefore you may wish to record their wishes whilst emotionally able.

“Funeral Wishes” are often included in Wills, but this is not always appropriate as the content of the Will is sometimes not known until after the funeral has taken place.

Whatever the circumstances, if you know how you would like the funeral to occur and want to record your “Funeral Wishes” with C.Crawford Funeral Service, then please contact Celina on 0121 313 0026. We can provide relevant documentation to ensure a record of your “Funeral Wishes” is kept at our Funeral Home. Additional copies can be made for your records. No payment towards the funeral is needed until the funeral is required. Once your “Funeral Wishes” are recorded with us, all you need to do is let your Next of Kin or Executor know. Your “Funeral Wishes” can be added to and changed by you at any time, without charge. There is no obligation with this arrangement, and it is a service provided by C.Crawford Funeral Service - Free of Charge, for your peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

When a death which has been expected occurs at home or at a nursing home, the Doctor who has been treating the deceased should be contacted. The Doctor or a colleague will attend to confirm that death has occurred and will give permission for the deceased to be transferred to our funeral home. Please contact us on 0121 313 0026 (24-Hours Service) and we will attend to transfer the deceased to our funeral home.

If a relative who has been a hospital in-patient dies, the doctors who have been treating the deceased will usually be able to issue the Medical Certificate. Ask the ward staff or Doctor what you need to do to collect this Certificate, or ring us on 0121 313 0026 for advice and contact numbers. Most hospitals will give family members the opportunity to sit with the deceased before transfer from the ward or private room. The deceased will then be taken to the hospital mortuary, prior to collection by us as soon as the paperwork is completed.

The Doctor can only issue the Certificate if he knows the cause of death, and has been treating the deceased for this illness in the last 14 days. If this is not the case, or if there are other circumstances involved (such as a recent operation, or a possible industrial disease), the Doctor will have to refer the death to the Coroner. If the death has occurred at home, the Coroner will arrange for the deceased to be taken into his custody, in order that the death can be investigated. Once the Coroner has completed his/her investigations and paperwork has been completed, we can then arrange to collect the deceased directly from the Coroner’s immediately.

It is the Coroner's responsibility to ascertain the cause of death. The vast majority of deaths that are reported to the Coroner are discovered to be from natural causes - only a small proportion require further investigation. The Coroner will conduct a post mortem examination of the deceased, which involves examination of the organs to ascertain the cause of the death. The Coroner does not require permission to investigate a death within his/her jurisdiction, and cannot be prevented from doing so. In certain circumstances, the Coroner may investigate a death even when the person has been ill for some time.

The Coroner has to investigate deaths from diseases which may have been caused by the deceased's occupation, or deaths after recent operations, to ensure that public interest has been served. As Your Local Independent Funeral Director we are familiar with all the Coroner's procedures, and we will be able to advise you how to proceed.

A deceased person cannot be cremated until the cause of death has been ascertained and properly recorded. The BMA website sets out the procedure:

"Before cremation can take place two certificates need to be signed, one by the GP/Doctor and one by another Doctor. Cremation Form 4 must be completed by the registered medical practitioner who attended the deceased during their last illness. Form 5 must be completed by a registered medical practitioner who is neither a partner nor a relative of the doctor who completed Form 4. A fee can be charged for the completion of both Forms 4 and 5 as this does not form part of a doctor's NHS duties. Doctors charge these fees to the funeral director, who, passes on the cost to the family. Doctors are also entitled to charge a mileage allowance, where appropriate".

Choosing a Funeral Director can be difficult, especially if you are confronted with having to make a quick decision. Many people ask friends or relatives to recommend a firm that they have dealt with, or have heard positive comments about.

Quite simply, because they are overcharging you in the first place at a time when you are emotional and vulnerable - the first question to those Funeral Directors should be, “why are you charging so much but now wish to “Price Match” because I am shopping around for the best prices and best service”.

However, at C.Crawford Funeral Service, we do not need to offer to “Price Match” because we know our prices are already highly competitive in the Funeral Business because C.Crawford Funeral Service is Independently Owned and therefore offers the best prices along with unrivalled personal, caring, first class, professional, open and honest, dignified funeral service that is unbeatable.

If you have already asked a funeral director to transfer the deceased to their premises, you can still use a different funeral director to deal with the funeral arrangements. The funeral director you contact to deal with the funeral will arrange for the transfer of the deceased to their premises. It will still be necessary for you to pay the other funeral director for the transfer of the deceased.

All deaths have to be registered, and the people closest to the deceased have a legal obligation to do this. Deaths in England and Wales or Northern Ireland should be registered within 5 days - if this is not going to be possible, you should inform the Registrar.

In England and Wales, the death has to be registered at the Registrar's office in the area where the death occurred. This is the case, even if the death occurred a distance from home. However there is a facility available to attend your local Registrar's office to register a death that occurred in another area. This is called 'Registration by Declaration', and involves the two Registrars transferring documents by fax and post in order to register the death. Depending on the circumstances, this can delay the date of the funeral - ask your Funeral Director for advice.

In order to register the death, you will need to obtain a Medical Certificate from the Doctor who was treating the deceased during the last illness. When the Coroner is involved, this Certificate is replaced by one from the Coroner. The Coroner's Office will be able to advise you or your Funeral Director when you will be able to attend the Registrar's Office. To register a death in England and Wales, the deceased's NHS Medical Card is the only other document required.

However, this is not compulsory, so do not delay registering the death if you cannot find it - the Registrar will explain to you what to do if the Medical Card is subsequently found. If you have the deceased's Birth or Marriage Certificates to hand you can take them along to the Registrar, but the documents will not be retained. All that is required is the information contained on them e.g. the deceased's place and date of birth, and maiden name if applicable.

No. Arranging the funeral involves your Funeral Director discussing with you the type of funeral required, and offering you advice and information as appropriate. This can be done as soon as you have made certain decisions about the funeral - e.g. whether it is to be a burial or cremation. Then, once you have registered the death, you need to provide us with the Green Form as soon as possible.

“Green funerals” is a term often used to describe funerals, which are designed to be simple and environmentally friendly. Some people consider the use of a cardboard or wicker type coffin to be more environmentally friendly than one composed of wood bi-products. Woodland burial sites are where trees or wild flowers are planted on graves instead of a headstone, eventually turning the site into woodland. There are many such sites available throughout the United Kingdom – we will be able to provide you with information should you require it.

Funeral Directors who are Members of the National Association of Funeral Directors abide by a Code of Practice, which ensures that they treat their clients and the public fairly. Members are required to have price lists available showing the cost of the services they provide. Do not assume that all funeral directors charge the same prices.

If you have chosen a Funeral Director who is a Member of the National Association of Funeral Directors, you will receive a written estimate and confirmation of arrangements before the funeral takes place. This ensures that you are aware of the costs of the funeral you have arranged, and forms the basis of the contract between yourself and the Funeral Director. C.Crawford Funeral Service is a Member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The DWP Social Fund Funeral Payment awards financial assistance to individuals who meet a number of criteria. To qualify, you, and other family Members who share your responsibility for the funeral, must be receiving at least one of several benefits, and have insufficient savings to pay for the funeral.

The DWP Social Fund Funeral Payment will provide a limited amount, which may cover a very basic funeral, or provide a contribution towards a more traditional funeral. We will be able to advise you about the qualifying criteria, you will need to pay the outstanding balance of the funeral once we are aware of the DWP contribution.

It is true that there are no qualifications required to become a Funeral Director. However, the industry has a qualification, the National Association of Funeral Directors' Diploma in Funeral Directing, which is awarded to candidates who achieve a high level of professional competence and experience.

Funeral Directors and staff who have the letters “Dip. F.D.” after their name have been awarded the Diploma in Funeral Directing. C.Crawford (Funeral Director) is a fully qualified and experienced Funeral Director and has the Diploma in Funeral Directing Certificate on display at our Walmley Funeral Home.

Today we live in an ethnically diverse society, and this diversity needs to be celebrated in our funeral ceremonies as well as our everyday lives. However, facilities for particular religious communities do vary from region to region - for example, in some areas cemeteries have dedicated sections for Muslim burials, and the local Muslim community is often closely involved with the operation of the Cemetery.

It is the role of the NAFD Members to discuss funeral requirements with their clients, and to have knowledge of the different alternatives available to a family, in order to offer sound advice. A professional Funeral Director will have the ability to do this regardless of the religion of the deceased or the immediate family.

However, the Funeral Director will not make assumptions about the family's wishes based solely upon its religious beliefs. Funerals are individual events, and there are many other variables to be taken into account. Even if you tell your Funeral Director you require a 'Traditional Hindu funeral', he or she will still wish to discuss your exact requirements with you, to ensure that no personal wishes have been overlooked.

At the time of making funeral arrangements it is not always easy to realise the emotional benefit that is gained after the funeral by having somewhere to go, a place that you and your family can return to, knowing that a loved one is there. Most cemeteries and crematoria that are administered by Local Councils offer the facilities of cremated remains graves that can be purchased solely for the interment of cremated remains. Other types of memorialisation are available as an alternative. These memorials can be visited by your family allowing you to pay their last respects.

Insurance cover on a vehicle owned by the deceased ceases immediately at the time of death. The next of kin or executor should inform the insurance company concerned who will offer immediate transfer of cover. The vehicle registration documents should be returned in due course to the DVLA for transfer of ownership to the beneficiary. The driving licence of the deceased should be returned to DVLA.

Funeral Services do not need to be religious these days. We can arrange for a ‘Humanist’ celebrant or a ‘Civil’ celebrant to take a funeral service. They will build a service around the life of your loved one, and can include poems and readings that are none religious. It is also possible for a member of the family or friend or our Funeral Director to take the service of a non-religious format.

We transfer your loved one as soon as we are able to, after the relevant paperwork is completed. Your loved one will remain at our Walmley Funeral Home until the time of the funeral. We will do everything we can so that you can come and see your loved one as quickly as possible after the death. So, once all the legalities are complete, we wash and dress them and place them in their coffin, and transfer them to the Chapel of Rest until the time of the funeral.

Every coffin is cremated individually. At the Funeral Home, we check the identification of the person against that of the name plate on the coffin. At the Crematorium, the Attendant checks the identification on the coffin before it is placed in the cremator.

The cremator is only big enough to accommodate one coffin at a time, plus the law states that “coffins must be cremated separately”. The cremator is identified on the outside, and once the cremation has taken place and the cremated remains are cooled they are placed in to the urn, which is also identified.

There are a number of options that can be considered. The most obvious might be choosing an ‘Eco Friendly’ coffin and we can advise you on a whole range of coffins such as wicker, bamboo, seagrass, wool or cardboard, which may be considered to be more environmentally friendly than the traditional solid timber or veneered timber coffins. The type of disposal of the deceased’s remains might also be considered. Nowadays there are so called green burial grounds or woodland burial grounds that can be used for full earth internments or for burial of cremated remains. We can advise what is available locally when you come to see us.

Nowadays we can use a whole range of alternative vehicles to transport the coffin to its final resting place. Most people will have seen a horse drawn hearse and these can be black, white or silver, pulled by 2, 4, or up to 6 horses that are either black or white (grey). Less common but still available are a whole range of motorised hearses based on more unusual vehicles such as VW camper van, Land Rovers, Morris Minor Traveller, customised Hot Rod or a motor cycle.

Other motorised vehicles that can be used are a vintage lorry, a double decker bus, a narrow boat, fire engine or anything else that can be modified to carry a coffin. The list is almost endless so it is best to talk to us to get a full picture of what might suit your needs best. A funeral can be made unique and individual in many ways and we are often being asked for a piper, bugler, jazz band or dove release.

The coffin itself can be very much a personal statement of the deceased and we can arrange for any type of illustration to be printed onto a coffin these days. As long as it is legal and dignified we will assist you in anything we can to make each funeral as individual and memorable as possible.