Protect your loved ones by planning your own funeral

Planning your funeral via a pre-paid funeral plan, before you die, can help to save your family the heartache of thinking about it after your death.

Any death, whether expected or unexpected, is a difficult emotional rollercoaster and no-one really wants to talk about a funeral but sorting a plan out before can make everything easier. Not only can you ensure your funeral finances are in order, you can also guarantee your funeral is a celebration in the way you want it to be.

Joseph C Roberts believes that every funeral should be a celebration and thus works hard to take care of every need, making the process as simple as possible. Pre-planned funerals have a range of different prices, but they do not have to be expensive. Joseph C Roberts can work to a range of budgets and help you with your ideas so that your needs are met.

It is always important to choose a plan that is right for you and is personalised in the ways you want it to be, rather than a funeral directors’ ideas.

If you are looking for a prepaid funeral plan, live in Harrogate or Wetherby, and would like to discuss options with Joseph C Roberts, feel free to get in touch or pop into our high street location at a time convenient to you. We believe in honesty and care for our clients so can talk you through every process from the care of your loved one through to the flowers or any personal requests.

Unregulated funeral directors leading to disregard to care

Campaigners across the UK have warned that unregulated funeral directors can treat families with disregard.

The campaigners are making people aware of this as there has been a rise in funeral costs. According to reports, the average funeral cost has increased by over £300 in a year. As a result of the ‘high’ funeral costs, it is reported that 4 million people have faced financial hardship as a result of fees incurred.

As a result of the increased costs, more mourners are looking for cheaper funeral directors in a bid to not financial burden the family. However, with many different standards in the industry, this has led to many people getting incredibly poor funeral care services for their dead family member.

There is a perception that all funeral care is the same however this is not the case and quite rightly the mourners deserve a high level of care for their family members. In the past 14 years, the number of funeral locations has increased by 1500 up to over 6000.

At Joseph C Roberts, we take pride in offering outstanding aftercare service for those in our care. We believe that the care of deceased should be as good, if not better, than the care of those alive in hospitals and practice this too.

If you are looking for a funeral director in Harrogate who cares about you and your loved ones with fair prices, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced team today.

The lowdown on green funerals

Almost every industry in the world is trying to go greener and the funeral industry is the same.

In the funeral industry, companies are evolving new, more environmentally conscious means of carrying out a funeral. Methods include burial methods that more purposefully benefit trees and plants, as well as casket technology that dissolves more rapidly into the ground. However, what actually counts as a green funeral is still up for some discussion with some things in a green funeral actually not being that green at all.

It has been reported that the standards set in the funeral industry for green funerals are not at the same levels of green standards in other sectors and industries. For example, a casket takes up a lot of space, cremation burns fossil fuels and if a body was embalmed, the chemicals would end up in the ground. Now burying a non-embalmed body in a decayable casket might from the outset look like a much greener burial option than traditional methods. But it is not by much and thus can something be classed as green if it is only slightly better?

There are however some things which are being done which might not be open to everyone but certainly constitute a green funeral. Burying the remains in cocoon-like sacks beneath newly-planted trees, wherein the deceased become sustenance for the tree is a green way of laying a body to rest. Another method is alkaline hydrolysis (also known as bio-cremation, resomation, flameless cremation, or water cremation), in which remains are cremated without flame using chemicals instead (this method is not legal in many countries).

At Joseph C Roberts, we can help you try and get the greenest funeral we can if being green is important to you, your family or was your loved ones wish. There are things which we can also do to try and make it as green as we can, but we will always discuss every option with you so that you understand the full impact of a funeral on the environment.

If you would like to discuss any funeral arrangements with us, please do not hesitate to call in to our high street location or give us a call today.

Huge disparity in funeral care

A new report conducted by doctors and other professionals has shown that there is a huge disparity between the care provided by funeral companies, with some failing to take care of bodies in adequate refrigeration or storage.

Most people are unaware that the funeral industry is unregulated and as thus, the standards vary massively from company to company. There are about 7,000 funeral companies in the UK, two-thirds of which are independent, mainly small firms. The rest are operated by two corporate providers, the Co-op and Dignity.

The report shows that whilst costs have come under scrutiny recently, lots of people are not sure about what they should expect as standard from a funeral director.

The report also showed that Only one in five individuals considered more than one company when arranging a funeral, and 92% did not know funeral directors were not regulated, according to a survey carried out for the report. The selection of a funeral company was often made under pressure of time.

As a result, many agreed that they wanted their loved ones to be cared for in a professional manner but that they would not ask those questions (they would expect it) at the time of picking a funeral director.

At Joseph C Roberts, we talk to people about the care the bodies will get in our mortuary. We discuss with the family how they would like their loved one presented for the day and continually upgrade our facilities to ensure the care of the bodies is at the forefront of our minds. We believe that care for a human carries on whilst they are no longer alive and do everything we can to make it the most comfortable environment for the bodies.

If you are looking for a funeral director who cares for your loved ones in clean and professional surroundings, offering a high-level service for a good price, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our team at your earliest convenience.

What is the role of a funeral director?

A funeral director can help with all aspects of the funeral planning process. As well as being able to provide advice about pre-payment plans, they can also help families who have lost a loved one make arrangements for the service. The support they provide also encompasses details after the service, ensuring that guidance is provided every step of the way.

Before the funeral takes place, a funeral director can help with paperwork as well as put death notices in a local newspaper if you wish. They can also take care of the body by transferring it to the funeral home, where it can be kept until the service takes place. They can help with arranging a suitable coffin and cask and the dressing of the body before the service takes place too.

A funeral director can also ensure all necessary arrangements are taken care of on the day of the funeral itself. These include making sure the requested music is in place, organising funeral transport, booking catering and a venue for after the service. In addition, they can produce order of service sheets if required as well as arranging flowers. They can also donations in place of flowers and ensure that these are passed onto a nominated charity for you. After the service they can assist with having ashes placed in a casket or being scattered too.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent, family run funeral director based in Harrogate. We serve families throughout North and West Yorkshire and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help make funeral arrangements at a time which suits you. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us at any time on 01423 887824.

What is a pre-paid funeral plan?

A pre-paid funeral plan, allows you to plan and pay for your funeral in advance. This means that after death your family will not need to arrange for payment of the process or make so many decisions about the funeral arrangements. The fee usually covers both the costs of a funeral director as well as the burial or cremation charges. There are many different kinds of plan available and when choosing one it is important to check exactly what it includes.

Pre-paid funeral plans are becoming increasingly popular for several reasons. As well as reducing financial and emotional pressures on close family members during the bereavement period, they also safeguard against rising price costs. The fee that is paid is protected against any increase which may occur between the payment and the time of death.

Another benefit of a pre-paid plan is that you can record in writing any personal wishes that you have for the funeral itself. This can help to ensure that you are remembered in the way that you desire, whether this be with a special piece of music to be played, a reading, a specific type of coffin, or any other unique tributes personal to you. Not only can this be comforting for you to know, it can also help family members feel confident that the funeral arrangements are what you would have wanted. It also means less decision making for them during this difficult time.

Joseph C Roberts is an independent, family run funeral director based in Harrogate. Our qualified staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist families through every stage of the funeral process. For more information please call us on 01423 887824.

What is a death café?

Death Café is a social franchise of groups who all meet with the objective of “increasing awareness of death with a view of helping people make the most of their (finite) lives”. At a Death Café event people meet to discuss death as well as drink tea and eat cake. The official Death Café website (www.deathcafe.com) describes the meetings as discussion groups rather than counselling sessions or grief support.

Death Cafés can be found throughout the world, with members of the network spread across North America, Australasia and Europe. According to the Death Café website, wherever cafés are held, they follow the same format in that they are provided: “on a not for profit basis; in an accessible, respectful and confidential space; with no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of actions; alongside refreshing drinks and nourishing food.” Currently they have taken place in 52 different countries.

Death Café does not employ anyone, rather it is provided on a voluntary basis by Jon Underwood, who founded the first Death Café in his house in London in 2011. Since then the concept has been developed by both Underwood and his mother, Sue Barsky Reid. Cafés have taken place in a variety of venues across the world including cafés, a yurt, the Royal Festival hall and people’s houses. A guide for those wishing to hold their own Death Cafés has also been developed by Reid for use around the world.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director. We assist families across North and West Yorkshire with every part of the funeral process and are available to talk to 24 hours a day. For more information about the service we provide please do not hesitate to contact us on 01423 887824.

Review of funeral plans welcomed

Pre-paid funeral plans can provide people with peace of mind that their funeral arrangements have already been taken care of when they die. Legitimate providers of such plans can help individuals to make informed choices about the arrangements they would like as well as ensure that the costs of a funeral are covered so that they are not passed onto family and friends.

This month it has been announced that there will be a review of the regulations covering funeral plans to try and protect customers from potential harm when taking out these prepaid packages from providers. The aim of the consultation is to provide greater protection to vulnerable people who may be mis-sold plans, as well as for their families who are often the ones left to deal with the situation when things go wrong.

Whilst many providers are members of The Funeral Planning Authority, which sets out a strict code of conduct regarding the way plans are sold, not all providers are. This means that some act outside the body’s jurisdiction and are not accountable to the same regulations as members are. Funeral directors are calling for this situation to be rectified. One solution under consideration is to put the pre-paid funeral market under the control of the Financial Conduct Authority. It is felt that the review, which will run until August, will help determine an appropriate proposal to affect change as well as improve the reputation of the sector and the services they provide to families.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. We offer fixed price funeral plans as well as bespoke arrangements. For more information about any of the services we provide, please get in touch at any time by calling 01423 887824.

Shocking truths about funeral plans

Funeral plans can offer peace of mind that when the time comes, your funeral will be arranged the way that you want it. They also allow the funeral to be paid for in advance, meaning that the cost is covered, rather than family having to find the money to pay for it. When a funeral plan is taken out properly these two things mean that the time immediately following the death of a loved one can be less stressful as things are already taken care of and less decisions about what they ‘might have wanted’ need to be made.

In order for a funeral plan to be effective, it is important to find out what exactly is included in it, so there are no hidden surprises later on. It is best to take out a plan from a provider who is regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA). This is because they will have signed up to the industry body’s strict code of conduct and are subject to their regulations. It is also a good idea to ensure you know who the funeral director will be.

Whilst it may not be pleasant to think about death, thinking about what elements you would like to include in the service, such as readings or music choices, can be of great help as well as comfort to family members. Making sure these wishes are clearly recorded in the plan will mean that you get the service you would like. Family members can also take comfort in the fact that arrangements have been made according to your own wishes.

Joseph C Roberts are an Independent Family Funeral Director based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. We offer funeral plans as well as bespoke arrangements and are available to talk to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about any of the services we provide, please get in touch when you are ready on 01423 887824.

Key questions to ask when planning a funeral

Planning the funeral of a loved one can be a difficult time, especially if they have not left any specific instructions about their wishes after death. Many people choose to use the services of a funeral director to help them with arrangements to help the process run smoothly and to give them time to concentrate on the other things which need to be taken care of during this period. If you decide to use a funeral director, here are some key questions to ask them before deciding which one to use:

  1. Are they a member of a professional body?

Always try and used a funeral director who is a member of a professional body such as the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) or the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). These organisations have codes of practice which members must adhere to, ensuring that they provide a high level of service and professionalism.

  1. What exactly does a fixed price funeral service include?

When comparing the prices of different directors, ask for an itemised breakdown of the fee, particularly with fixed price plans. This will allow you to understand exactly what is included, or not, and means there will be no hidden costs later on.

  1. What additional services can be provided?

It is also worth asking what additional services can be provided to make the funeral planning process as easy as possible for close family. For example some directors can arrange service stationary to be printed as well as announcements to be made in newspapers. It is also possible from them to take care of charitable donations given in lieu of flowers if you wish them to do so.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Our fully qualified team of staff help families plan every step of the funeral process and are available to speak to about arrangements 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you would like more information about the funeral services we offer, please contact us on 01423 887824.

Advice when dealing with grief and loss

Losing a loved one can be a very difficult time. As well as there being many things to sort out in terms of the funeral there can also be feelings of grief and loss to deal with too. These can affect people in different ways, however, there are some things that may help with the feeling of loss following the death of someone close to you:

  1. Allow feelings of sadness

Feeling sad is a normal part of grieving. It is okay to feel like this after losing someone.

  1. Talk to someone about how you feel

If possible, try talking to someone you trust about how you are feeling. This could be a close friend or relative or a professional. Opening up and expressing how you are feeling can help you to deal with the different emotions you may be experiencing.

  1. Try to eat well

Although eating healthily may not seem like a priority at this time, ensuring you eat well will help you feel better as well as ensure your body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay strong.

  1. Follow your routine if possible

Following the death of a loved one, try to include some elements of your daily routine where possible. Carrying out little, everyday tasks, such as watering the garden can help you feel better.

  1. Sleep

Grieving can be an emotional time which can leave you feeling very tired. Listen to your body and allow yourself to sleep if you need to in order to help cope with the emotional strain of the situation.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent, family run funeral director based in Harrogate. We serve families throughout the North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire area, helping with every stage of the funeral arrangement process. For more information about the funeral services we provide please get in touch by calling 01423 887824.

Should you cremate or bury?

Often a loved one will leave specific instructions about what they would like to happen after their death, but there are times when close family are faced with making a decision on their behalf. Or perhaps you are thinking about which you may prefer so you can tell relatives what are you wishes are. In either situation it’s important to remember that whether you should cremate or bury is a personal choice. Here are some of the most common reasons why people choose each one.

Cremations are generally considered to be better for the environment and compared to burials they take up very little space. People are also able to use the ashes to help remember their loved one. Sometimes family go to a special place together to scatter them or they can be kept in an urn. On average a cremation usually costs less than a burial too.

Burials provide a site where family and friends can visit their deceased person at any time, which can be a comforting thought after their death. As well as burials in cemeteries, it is also possible to have a natural burial, allowing a loved one to be laid to rest in a place meaningful to them. The process of the burial itself can also help with the grieving process, with the coffin being placed into the ground helping some people to achieve closure.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director. From our base in Harrogate, we serve families throughout North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. Our fully qualified team of staff are available to speak to on the telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help make funeral arrangements at a time which suits you best. For more information please contact us on 01423 887824.

The lowdown on funeral costs

Arranging a funeral can be a difficult time for close family members or friends of the deceased. It can often seem like there is a lot to think about and that there are many costs involved. Here are some of the main expenses included in the funeral process.

Service of a funeral director

A funeral director will help you to make all the necessary arrangements for a funeral service and can make it a much less stressful time by guiding you through the process. They will also arrange for the collection of the deceased and store the body until the day of the funeral. They can dress the body and transport it to the funeral itself too if required.

Coffin, transport and flowers

Another cost involved is the coffin, which can vary greatly depending on the type chosen. The hearse to the service and crematorium or cemetery as well as any flowers is also another charge, although these elements are often included in fixed fee funeral plans.

Funeral service

Whether you decide to use a funeral director or not, there will also be a fee for the venue of the service as well as the clergy or officiant. If you choose, funeral stationary such as orders of service can also be produced. There may also be catering costs involved if you decide to invite guests to stay after the service.

Burial fees and cremation fees

Another part of the funeral cost is the burial or the cremation fee which varies between locations. Other items which will incur a fee include the memorial headstone or urn.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent funeral director based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Our fully trained team of staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to support you through the funeral arrangement process. For more information about the services we provide please contact us when you are ready by calling 01423 887824.

Why a funeral doesn’t have to be a sad affair

Whilst the death of a loved one can be an extremely difficult and emotional time for those who are left behind, their funeral can be used a way to celebrate their life as well as mark their passing. Funeral services can provide a chance to play a favourite piece of music or remember a particular occasion and incorporating elements like this can be uplifting and provide a reminder of happy times shared together or the achievements they made during their life.

At Joseph C Roberts we work with families to ensure that funeral arrangements reflect what they as well as the deceased would have wanted. This includes making sure each part of the planning process incorporates specific their wishes. For example the type of coffin used, the way they are dressed, the music played and the readings that are made during the service.

If you are able to talk to close family or friends about any particular wishes you have, or can write them down, this can often be very helpful during the planning process. As well as taking pressure off family members to decide on what the person may have wanted, it also provides affirmation that the service will be carried out according to their wishes. This can provide comfort that the different parts were what the deceased desired and also allow families time to grieve and support each other rather than guess what may be most suitable choice or music or readings to include.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent funeral director based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Our team of fully qualified staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with every step of the funeral process at a time that suits you best. For further information about the services we provide, please contact us on 01423 887824.

Why do funerals cost the amounts they do?

Using a funeral director can seem an expensive outlay, especially at a time which is very difficult emotionally and when there are already many different things which need to be taken care of by close family or friends. However, employing a funeral director means that they will help you throughout the entire funeral arrangement process, with many different services included within this fee.

One of the reasons why a funeral can seem expensive is due to the number of elements involved. These can include the cost of removing a body and transporting it to the funeral director’s where it will be stored until the day of the funeral. In addition, there is the dressing of the deceased on the day of the funeral as well as the coffin costs and the transport to the place of the service. There are also the costs of the service to consider which will include for the space itself as well as an officiant or clergy fee, flowers and any service stationary which is prepared.

As well as these costs, depending on the type of funeral they will also be a burial or cremation fee which needs to be paid and charges for other optional items such as a funeral notice and death notice in a local newspaper. If you decide to use a funeral director they will also be able to help you with other necessary paperwork such as obtaining the death certificate and producing order of service sheets or copies of the readings. Many people choose to use a director due to the peace of mind it gives them that all of these different aspects are being taken care of by a professional and that everything will run smoothly on the day of the funeral.

Joseph C Roberts are a family funeral director serving West and North Yorkshire. We help families who have lost a loved one with every step of the funeral process. For more information about the services we provide, please get in touch when you feel ready by calling 01423 887824.

The role of a funeral director

The time after a loved one has passed can often be a stressful and emotional period for close family members and friends. Employing the services of a funeral director can help to make the process of organising a funeral run more smoothly, by letting someone else take responsibility for much of the organisation.

A funeral director role’s is to help with every stage of the funeral process. This begins with helping to move the body of the deceased to the funeral home, where it will be looked after until the funeral service. They can also offer a private viewing of the deceased before the funeral itself if this is required. They will also help you to take care of any paperwork needed, for example registering the death or placing a notice of death in a local newspaper.

A funeral director will also ensure that every aspect of the funeral service is taken care of and arranged according to the wishes of the deceased and those of the family members left behind. They will be able to organise any music or readings which may be desired, funeral transport and pallbearers, order of service stationary, flowers and a choice of coffin. If you wish they will also be able to take care of any donations which are made during the service, ensuring they reach the specified charity or organisation.

After the funeral, they will help to organise the scattering of ashes if needed or the keeping of them in a memorial casket. Many people choose to use the services of a funeral director to give them peace of mind that all the necessary arrangements are being taken care of, giving them time to grieve and be with other family members during this difficult time.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent funeral director who help families throughout West and North Yorkshire with evert step of the funeral process. Our team of qualified staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will help you make all the necessary arrangements. For further information about the services we offer, please call us when you are ready on 01423 887824.

How to pick the right funeral director

After the death of a loved one, a funeral director can help families through the funeral arrangement process. With years of experience in the profession, they will be able to help you with each stage, helping you to feel sure you are making informed decisions about all aspects of the funeral service.

A funeral director can help make what is often a very difficult time, easier to manage by providing the necessary support and information you need. It is therefore really important to choose a director that can offer all the necessary services in a reliable and compassionate way. When choosing a funeral director it is recommended that you choose someone who belongs to the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors or the National Association of Funeral Directors. This is because each of these societies have codes of conduct which they have to adhere to, meaning they have to comply with a set of industry standards and offer a high quality of service.

When picking a funeral director it’s also important to check that they offer all the key services needed to help you arrange the funeral. These services normally include: removing the body of the deceased for you and looking after it, dressing the body on the day of the funeral, planning the ceremony with you, supplying coffin bearers and transport and helping to deal with any legal paperwork. They should also be able to tell you what is included in any quote they provide and what the payment options are, so that it easy for you to understand all of the possible costs before you decide whether to use them or not.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. We help families with every step of the funeral process and are qualified staff are available to speak to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For further information or to talk to someone about the arrangements you would like to make for a loved one, please get in touch on 01423 887824.

Dealing with a death of a loved one

Dealing with a death of a loved one can be an incredibly difficult time. As well as the emotional side of things there are also the practicalities of arranging a funeral which need to be taken into account. At Joseph C Roberts we have been helping people who have loved a lost one for many years. During this time we have noticed that different people deal with the death of someone close to them in different ways. This means that whilst it may be tempting to compare how you are handling grief to other people, it is not helpful to do so. Everyone has their own way of reacting to death.

After the death of a loved one it can be really helpful to talk to someone about it. This can help the healing process by talking about your own feelings – perhaps with a close friend or family member. It is important to remember that you should decide when you are ready to talk. It should not be a forced conversation, rather one that is instigated when you feel comfortable to discuss things.

It can also be helpful to realise that there is no perfect way of dealing with death. Everyone experiences the feeling of loss differently and there is no time limit to feeling better again. It is important to give yourself time to grieve and heal and you should not put yourself under any sort of pressure to feel better within a certain time.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director based in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Our qualified team of staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help families with every step of the funeral arrangement process. For more information about the funeral services we provide, please get in touch when you are ready on 01423 887824.

What to do before the death of a loved one

Planning a funeral can often be a difficult time for close family members. As well as being an emotional period for all concerned, the need to search out information, make decisions and choose parts of the funeral service can be stressful too. This is why more and more people are starting to think about their funerals before death in order to help family members cope when the time comes to say goodbye.

There are several things that you can do before the death of a loved one. One of these is to make a will. This will mean that any assets or savings you have will be divided according to your wishes. This can provide reassurance to you as well as help family members as they will know exactly what you wanted and not have to make decisions on your behalf about who should have what.

You could also consider pre-planning a funeral. Family members can help you do this, and for many families all members take comfort in the fact that the funeral will be conducted in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. You can choose many of the arrangements in advance such as the type of coffin, whether there will be a viewing, what kind of service will be held, the readings, the music and whether there will be a burial or cremation. Being able to discuss these things before death means that when the time comes, relatives will have less decisions to make and can spend more time supporting each other through the difficult period that follows the loss of a loved one.

Joseph C Roberts is an independent funeral director based in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Our team of qualified staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help families with all stages of the funeral process. For more information about any of the services we provide or for help planning a funeral for a loved one please get in touch on 01423 887824.

Funeral funds for those on benefits explained

For those on benefits there are schemes available to help with funeral costs. One such fund is the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Funeral scheme which provides people who are on qualifying benefits with help towards the payment of cremation or burial fees. In addition it allows up to £700 for other items such as the coffin and the purchasing of flowers.

If people wish to make a claim to the scheme, they need to do so within six months of the date the funeral took place. Any supporting evidence for the application can be submitted electronically. This is a change in the length of time available to apply for help to cover the cost, as well as an additional method of providing documents.

The recent changes, which will come into effect in April this year have been met with a mixed response from industry figures. For example Louise Eaton-Terry, funeral cost expert at Royal London, states: “It’s good to see small changes being made to the funeral payment process, but the Government has ignored the biggest issue. Funeral costs continue to increase above inflation year-on-year, with our research showing that bereaved families who qualify for the fund face a shortfall of more than £2,000 to cover the cost of a funeral. While these reforms are a step in the right direction, they fail to address the value of the award and we want the Government to go further and commit to increasing the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director based in Harrogate. We serve the whole of West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire and help families with every step of the funeral planning process. Our qualified staff are available to discuss arrangements 24 hours a day. For more information please call 01423 887824.

What to do when someone dies

When somebody dies there are several things which need to be done in the days following their passing. First of all, it is important to obtain a medical certificate from either a hospital doctor or from a GP. This certificate is needed in order to be able to officially register the person’s death. It is important to register the death within five days (or within eight days if you live in Scotland).

Once you have registered the death, you will be provided with the documentation you need to arrange the person’s funeral. It is possible to either organise the funeral yourself or to employ the services of a funeral director to help you arrange it. Most people choose to use a funeral director as they can help guide the family through each step of the funeral process at what can be a very difficult and emotional time.

When deciding on a funeral director to use it’s a good idea to choose one who is a member of either The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors or The National Association of Funeral Directors. This is because these directors have signed up to a strict code of practice, including giving a price list when asked. When requesting a quote it is important to check what the overall cost includes to avoid any possible hidden costs later on.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent, family run funeral director, operating throughout West and North Yorkshire. Our qualified team of staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support families throughout the funeral service. For more information please get in touch when you are ready by calling 01423 887824.

Funeral director walks 285 miles to fight funeral poverty

In May, our funeral directors, Jonathan Robinson will walk 285 miles from Starbeck to London in order to raise awareness about funeral poverty. His journey will finish at the Houses of Parliament where Jonathon will meet with Kit Malthouse, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Work and Pensions.

The purpose of the journey, which will see the funeral director cover an average of 20 miles on foot each day, is to lobby the Government about the sum of money currently available for funerals. This is because whilst the £700 funeral payment to help families has remained the same for the last 15 years, the cost of a funeral has risen dramatically during this period. According to Fair Funerals campaign figures, the average cost of a burial is now £4,561 and a cremation £3,596 – a marked difference to the amount available to support relatives.

Speaking about the walk, which will take place in front of a hearse for most of the distance, Jonathan has cited several factors behind rising funeral costs. These include, the cost of unleaded petrol, vehicle insurance, vehicle excise duty and timber alongside an increase in the minimum wage. The payment available from the government has not risen in line with these factors, meaning families are often left in distressing situations at an already difficult and traumatic time. He hopes that his walk will raise awareness of the fight against funeral poverty and that the government will reconsider the amount of money available to help families with funeral costs.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent, family run funeral directors. We serve families throughout North and West Yorkshire, with our qualified team of staff being available to talk to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information or to discuss your individuals requirements in confidence, please get in touch when you are ready on 01423 887824.

Your legal rights and responsibilities

The funeral process can be a very distressing time for family and friends, with many arrangements needing to be taken care of. During this period things can sometimes seem overwhelming and it can be difficult to know what the best course of action to take is. To help you during this time, here is some information which we often get asked for relating to your legal rights and responsibilities.

Registering a death

A death must be registered and there are time limits set for when this should take place by. In the UK a registrar must be notified of the death by a qualified person within 5 days of it occurring, with the death itself needing to be registered within 14 days. After this has happened a certificate for burial and cremation as well as a certificate of registration of death can be issued.

Places where you can bury a body

There is sometimes confusion about where a body can be buried. A person can be buried in a local authority cemetery, a private cemetery or a religious burial ground. They can also be buried on your own land, a nature reserve or other private land – as long as permission has been granted by the landowner in advance.

Rights to bereavement leave

Currently there is right to statutory bereavement leave in England and as such a bereaved person has no legal entitlement to time off work other than to make the necessary funeral arrangements and attend it. Whilst some people may have details of bereavement leave outlined in their contracts, for others, any permitted leave is at the discretion of their employer and so varies between different organisations/companies.

Joseph C Roberts provide funeral services throughout West and North Yorkshire. Our team of qualified staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with each step of the funeral process. For more information, please get in touch when you are ready on 01423 887824.

What is a Pauper’s Funeral?

A pauper’s funeral can occur when either no next of kin for the deceased can be traced or if the family of the person who has died is unwilling or unable to cover the costs of the funeral. Thousands of these kinds of funeral are carried out across the country each year. Examples of when a pauper’s funeral may take place include if a person has been living alone or is homeless or is estranged from any known relatives. If the deceased has no estate (which is often used by families to recover funeral costs) then relatives may not be able to afford to pay for one. In this scenario, they are required to state in writing that they are not willing to organise it.

In these situations, the local authority has a statutory duty to organise a funeral for the deceased person. Whilst the exact processes for how these funerals are arranged differ between different authorities, all have a duty to provide one for someone who has died with their boundary. A pauper’s funeral is very simple and does not include viewings, an obituary or flowers. The person is usually cremated, although in some circumstances they may be buried if they have made a specific written wish for this to happen. If a burial takes place, then a service by the graveside will take place before a committal. The burial may be in a public grave or in a grave connected to their family if the authority in question has identified one.

Joseph C Roberts is an independent family funeral director based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. We support families through each step of the funeral process with qualified staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information about the services we can provide or to discuss your personal requirements please get in touch with us on 01423 887824.

The National Association of Funeral Directors responds to changes to Social Fund Funeral Payment

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has this month proposed changes to the Social Fund Funeral Payment. These suggested changes come after a period of consultation about the benefit during the summer, to which the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and other organisations responded.

Although some of the amendments have been met positively, there is criticism that their changes do not address some of the most serious failings. So whilst doubling the claim period from three to six months, allowing the electronic submission of evidence and reducing the length of the children’s application form have all been welcomed by the NAFD, there are still major concerns about the benefit.

In particular, the NAFD has stated that the DWP has not addressed the issue that the amount of £700 currently being offered is not sufficient to cover the main costs of a funeral. The Association has also highlighted that little has been done to deal with the uncertainty faced by families over whether they will receive an award or not. Issues to do with understanding and checking eligibility have also not been sufficiently tackled.

The NAFD President, Alison Crake, summed up the disappointment over the DWP’s response with: “This announcement by the Government is the equivalent of putting a sticking plaster on a broken bone. The DWP’s proposals, which merely address individual points of friction within the system, do nothing to answer the fundamental failings of a Funeral Expenses Payment scheme which causes heartache for tens of thousands of people every year.”

Joseph C Roberts is an independent family funeral director. We help families in West and North Yorkshire with all parts of the funeral process, providing a high standard of service every step of the way. For more information or to speak to one of our qualified staff, please get in touch on 01423 887824.

How do you cover the cost of a funeral?

Joseph C Roberts offers a fixed price complete cremation funeral service, to cover the costs of arranging an appropriate send-off for yourself or your loved ones, with no hidden surprises to cause concern at this difficult time.

According to a recent article in the Telegraph financial services, a survey of 23 million people in the UK by Opinium Research has revealed the worrying statistic that 1 in 3 have no idea how their own funeral costs would be met.

With funeral costs rising on average to around £4,000, the desire to arrange an appropriate funeral for a loved one is becoming a headache to many UK families. Opinium Research found that around 45 percent of the UK population have made no provision for their own funeral costs, leaving family members to pick up the bill.

Of those surveyed across the UK, 24 percent confessed that they would be obliged to take on debt to pay the funeral costs for family members. With average funeral debts amounting to £1,680, The Royal London National Funeral Cost Index calculates the cost of funeral poverty nationwide to be a record high of £160 million. Gordon Swan, Director of Communications for Golden Charter, put the cause of the problem down to lack of increase in government assistance for funerals.

The British Seniors Insurance Agency, who commissioned the study by Opinium Research, predicts that by 2027, 16 per cent of people will be faced with using their salary to pay for a loved one’s funeral costs, or failing that, some will take on credit card debt or use pay day loans.

These statistics highlight the benefits of fixed price pre-paid funeral plans, to avoid the worry of unexpected expense at an already difficult time for the bereaved family. Sales of prepaid funeral plans have grown by more than 350 per cent in the past decade, to a record high, of 210,000 plans sold in 2016. For confidential, sympathetic, and professional advice about how to cover funeral costs for yourself, or a loved one, consult Joseph C Roberts, where professionalism and transparent pricing are assured.

 

Your legal rights and responsibilities

The funeral process can be a very distressing time for family and friends, with many arrangements needing to be taken care of. During this period things can sometimes seem overwhelming and it can be difficult to know what the best course of action to take is. To help you during this time, here is some information which we often get asked for relating to your legal rights and responsibilities.

Registering a death

A death must be registered and there are time limits set for when this should take place by. In the UK a registrar must be notified of the death by a qualified person within 5 days of it occurring, with the death itself needing to be registered within 14 days. After this has happened a certificate for burial and cremation as well as a certificate of registration of death can be issued.

Places where you can bury a body

There is sometimes confusion about where a body can be buried. A person can be buried in a local authority cemetery, a private cemetery or a religious burial ground. They can also be buried on your own land, a nature reserve or other private land – as long as permission has been granted by the landowner in advance.

Rights to bereavement leave

Currently there is right to statutory bereavement leave in England and as such a bereaved person has no legal entitlement to time off work other than to make the necessary funeral arrangements and attend it. Whilst some people may have details of bereavement leave outlined in their contracts, for others, any permitted leave is at the discretion of their employer and so varies between different organisations/companies.

Joseph C Roberts provide funeral services throughout West and North Yorkshire. Our team of qualified staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with each step of the funeral process. For more information, please get in touch when you are ready on 01423 887824.

Funeral planning checklist

Planning a funeral can be a very difficult time for those involved, with many different decisions needing to be made at a distressful and emotional time. Whilst when you have lost a loved one this planning process is never easy, there are steps that can be taken to help with it. These can be split into two stages, pre-planning and final-planning.

In order to make the planning of a funeral easier, there are several things than can be thought about earlier on in the process. These include: whether a cremation or burial will take place, who the funeral director will be, the type of casket or cremation container to be used and the location of any service which will take place. Information for the obituary can also be gathered in advance. For the service itself things such as flower arrangements, photo displays, music, readings, transport (including funeral cars) and whether or not there will be any pallbearers can also be planned.

Final-planning stage arrangements can only be carried out after the death of a loved one. Things that need to be taken into consideration here include: obtaining a death certificate, getting a burial permit, organising an ambulance transfer, body preparation and embalming and the submission of the obituary. The time and date for the service will also need to be finalised at this stage, with someone responsible for letting friends and family know all the details.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director, serving families throughout West and North Yorkshire. Our qualified staff members are available 24 hours a day, enabling them to assist you when it suits you best. For more information about any of our services please get in touch at any time by calling 01423 887824.

The Stages of Grief

After losing a loved one we go through different stages of emotions. We believe that most people will experience denial, anger, depression and/or acceptance, although not everyone will go through all of them, and not necessarily in that order. We hope that the knowledge of these stages helps us be more equipped to cope with life and loss.

DENIAL

This is the first stage of grief. Often people are overwhelmed to begin with and slip into a state of denial as the world around them becomes very confusing, and as a result, people feel a sense of shock and denial. It’s hard to come to terms with death and often time’s people are left thinking “I can’t believe he/she has gone” and refuse to accept. Although it’s common to question how it’s possible to move on from someone’s death, denial helps to allow us to move through tragedy at our own pace, by letting in as much grief as we can handle. As we slowly come to accept what has happened and what life will be like from there on out, the healing process has already begun, and the denial begins to fade.

ANGER

Unfortunately, often times as one emotion subsides, another rises in its place, and in this case anger usually follows denial. The emotions that denial had previously kept at bay start to surface, and one of them is anger. Anger is a necessary stage in any healing process. The more we embrace it, the more it will dissipate. Anger has no limits and anyone can be made subject to it, be it your partner, family, friends, yourself, even the loved one who has just died. However underneath the anger is your pain, it is a shield to protect you from feeling that pain, but in time the anger will subside, as will your pain.

DEPRESSION & GUILT

After anger subsides, depression and guilt often set in, and with them comes the sense of loneliness. The grief that we felt in the first stage comes back on a level that we have not previously experienced before. It’s easy to think of all the missed opportunities for making time to see the person you have lost and begin to think of all the things that you could have done and didn’t. “What if I had called in to see them?” “Could I have done something that would have kept them alive?” “It’s my fault I didn’t telephone them.” Far too often people associate depression with mental illness, however after losing a loved one it is an appropriate response to feel depressed. What is important to remember is that although your loved one will never come back, you will get through the struggle that you are in.

ACCEPTANCE

Although we will never truly be ‘okay’ with the loss of a loved one, acceptance is more about coming to terms with the fact that the person who has passed will never come back, and the reality that is currently being lived out is a permanent one. Rather than trying to go back to a time where the loved one was alive, it is important to move forward and see that remaining in that time is not conducive to recovery. Although we feel like we cannot enjoy ourselves out of respect to our lost one, it is essential that we listen to our emotions and recognise that not enjoying life and making new connections with people is integral to living, with or without the person that has been lost.

At Joseph C Roberts we are here to help you when you need it most. When helping people through losing loved ones we operate with the upmost respect, dignity and care, and are here to help and support you through the entire funeral process.

If you have any queries about this post or would like to contact us for any other reason, you can call us on: 01423 887824

How to explain a funeral to young people

Explaining the funeral process to young people can be difficult, especially if this is their first experience with a death either within the family or within a close circle of friends. It is important that you are there to answer questions that your children may have at this time and that information is given in a simple way to help them understand what is going on.

What you will need to explain will depend to some extent on what they already know. It is okay to ask them what they know and then you can build on things from there. When talking about death itself it can be better to try to avoid using phrases such as ‘sleeping’ or ‘passed away’ as they can be confusing to younger people. Keep explanations honest and simple if you can.

If your child is attending the funeral it can also be useful to explain the process beforehand, so they know what to expect. Within this it may be helpful to talk to them about what the purpose of a funeral is too. For example you could explain how it is a time to think about and celebrate the life of the person or a special time to say goodbye to them. Talking about how it is okay to show emotions during the service can also be useful and make them feel more comfortable when the funeral takes place.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent, family funeral director who work throughout West and North Yorkshire. Our fully trained team of staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help families with each step of the funeral process at a time which suits them best. For more information about the services we offer please get in touch by calling 01423 887824.

Ways to personalise your funeral

Planning a funeral is never easy; it is not something you ever want to think about, and it will bring back memories of your loved one.

However, a funeral does not have to be a sad and sombre affair. At Joseph C Roberts, we believe a funeral should always be a celebration of life, reflecting the individual you are laying to rest.

As a result, personal touches are vitally important, so we have listed a few things below that you might have never considered which could help you give a member of your family the personal funeral.

What did they love?

Try and consider hobbies and past times they love and think about how you might be able to incorporate this in to the day. If they are a keen runner or sports enthusiast, can people run to the ceremony, or can running vests by put over the coffin?

Wear colourful clothes

Whist tradition indicates that black is a colour to be worn at a funeral, there is nothing stopping you breaking the norm and going for a lot of colour. Again, if your loved one had a hobby, break tradition with that, but just changing the suit colour to great and bright ties can be an easy way to make it a celebration.

Ask guests to share memories

You may know more about your loved one than anyone else, but you may not know how much they influence others. Ask friends and family to share their own memories and include these in either a picture frame, corkboard or just with post-it notes. Not only will this give you much more insight in to what people felt about your family member, it will also be nice for others to see how much of a wonderful person they are.

These are just a few of many ways you can personalise a funeral to make it more about the individual you love. If you are in the process of planning a funeral and would like some assistance, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team and we will arrange a visit to come and see you.

What is a death café?

Death Café is a social franchise of groups who all meet with the objective of “increasing awareness of death with a view of helping people make the most of their (finite) lives”. At a Death Café event people meet to discuss death as well as drink tea and eat cake. The official Death Café website (www.deathcafe.com) describes the meetings as discussion groups rather than counselling sessions or grief support.

Death Cafés can be found throughout the world, with members of the network spread across North America, Australasia and Europe. According to the Death Café website, wherever cafés are held, they follow the same format in that they are provided: “on a not for profit basis; in an accessible, respectful and confidential space; with no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of actions; alongside refreshing drinks and nourishing food.” Currently they have taken place in 52 different countries.

Death Café does not employ anyone, rather it is provided on a voluntary basis by Jon Underwood, who founded the first Death Café in his house in London in 2011. Since then the concept has been developed by both Underwood and his mother, Sue Barsky Reid. Cafés have taken place in a variety of venues across the world including cafés, a yurt, the Royal Festival hall and people’s houses. A guide for those wishing to hold their own Death Cafés has also been developed by Reid for use around the world.

Joseph C Roberts are an independent family funeral director. We assist families across North and West Yorkshire with every part of the funeral process and are available to talk to 24 hours a day. For more information about the service we provide please do not hesitate to contact us on 01423 887824.

Fixed price complete cremation funeral service for £1995.00

Excludes doctors’ fees of £164.00, where applicable.