FAQs

Each and every funeral is individual to the family concerned, it is up to that family to pay their last respects and say their last farewell in the manner that is most suitable for them. For your information we set out below the most often asked questions about the funeral and services associated with it. However, please do not hesitate to ask us any question which you may have and we will do our best to help you.

If the death is expected and occurs at home: 

  • Contact the deceased’s doctor and inform them of the death
  • Once the doctor has given permission to move the deceased, you may contact us and we will aim to be with you within 1 hour, to move the person who has died into our care
  • The doctor will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death to the family representative for registration purposes

If the death occurs at a Nursing Home:

  • If a resident dies in a nursing home the GP (or qualified nurse on duty) can verify death 
  • The GP will issue a medical certificate for the family to collect which will allow them to register
  • Most nursing homes will record the resident’s funeral wishes on their care plan. This will specify the chosen Funeral Director and whether the deceased wanted a cremation or a burial. 
  • Once called, we will remove the deceased into our care

If the death occurs in Hospital:

  • If death occurs at the hospital, then the Doctors and Nurses will liaise with the hospital Bereavement Office, who will arrange all the appropriate paperwork on your behalf. 

In cases of sudden and unexpected death:

  • If a death is unexpected then dial 999 and request an ambulance and police immediately, explaining the circumstances. In the event of an unexpected death occurring, then a coroner may become involved and may order a post-mortem to be carried out to establish an accurate cause of death. The coroner’s officer will keep you informed should this be the case and will liaise with us.

In cases where the Coroner is required to investigate the death, the deceased will be taken to a Hospital or mortuary until a post-mortem examination is completed.  If the death is expected the Funeral Director will collect the deceased from the place of death and transport them to the appropriate chapel of rest, pending the arrangement of the funeral. Many large companies have central mortuaries or “hubs” where they store the deceased.  At W. Uden & Sons each of our funeral homes is equipped with their own chapel and full hygienic facilities for the care of your loved one.  The only exception being at Lordship Lane, which shares these facilities with our branch at Camberwell.

Yes, once the deceased's death has been certified, call your local branch and our experienced staff will guide you through the process of arranging the funeral. The only exception is when the Coroner has indicated that he intends to hold a full inquest into the circumstances surrounded the death.

Please click here to find details of your local Registrar Office 

Who can register a death?

  • A relative 
  • A person present at the death 
  • The occupier (i.e. Matron, superintendent) 
  • The person arranging the funeral 

Call the registry office to make an appointment – you will need to take the following with you: 

  • Death Certificate of the deceased
  • Medical card (if available) of the deceased
  • Birth certificate & information regarding date of birth (if available) of the deceased
  • Some money to pay for copies of the death certificate required to administer the deceased’s estate. 

The Registrar will ask for the following information: 

  • Date and place of death 
  • Full name of deceased (maiden name if applicable) 
  • Date and place of birth 
  • Occupation and home address 
  • If married, full name and occupation of surviving spouse. 

The registrar will then issue you a green form which you should give to the Funeral Director to proceed with the funeral arrangements. You are also entitled to one copy of the Death Certificate. Additional copies can be purchased.

We always aim to accommodate your wishes with regards to the day and time of the funeral, but we are often restricted by the availability at your local Crematorium. On average, there is a 10-14 days wait for a suitable opportunity, but during busy periods the wait may be even longer.

Should you require service at short notice you may have to consider an early morning service, or perhaps going to another Crematorium.

CREMATION

Approximately 75% of funerals in the UK involve cremation and in the majority of cases, this tends to be less expensive than a burial. Generally, the cremated remains (often referred to as "ashes") are available within 24 hours of cremation and we would usually collect these for you, pending your decision on their final place of rest. 

BURIAL

There are three general options surrounding burial; in a churchyard, in a civil cemetery or in a natural burial ground. In each case the regulations are slightly different.

Churchyard

Many local churchyards are already full and can only accept new burials where the families already own an existing grave and there is still room for a further interment. The deceased will usually need to have resided/died in the parish to qualify to be buried in a churchyard. It is not generally possible to pre-purchase or reserve a burial plot in a churchyard and no grave deed is issued, as the plot remains the property of the church. 

You should be aware that the rules and regulations concerning certain types of memorials/headstones allowed in churchyards are different and are often restrictive. 

CEMETERY

Graves in cemeteries may be purchased before death or at the time of death and this usually confers an exclusive right of burial for a period of time 

Extra fees may be payable if the person who has died was residing outside the local area. Please be aware these can become very expensive at either double, treble, quadruple or even five times the normal fees for a local resident, depending on the cemetery concerned. 

Cemeteries are more flexible on the type of memorial/headstone you can have and this generally will allow a much wider choice on the type and size of stone, style and color of font for engraving and the color of the stone itself. 

WOODLAND/NATURAL BURIAL GROUND

All coffins must be made of natural bio-degradable material and Embalming is not permitted.

Yes, of course you can. Please bring in whatever clothing you wish the deceased to be dressed in; or just the normal items that they would usually wear (except shoes for a cremation).  We will dress your loved one or, if you prefer, we can supply a satin gown for them to wear.

Spectacles, watches and Items of jewellery can be worn for the purpose of viewing but these will normally be removed and returned to you before the actual funeral.


You are welcome to be involved in the washing, dressing and preparing of your loved one if you wish. You may also wish to apply makeup or prepare the hair of your loved one.

Yes, you may. However, certain items are not permitted in the coffin during the cremation process, so they may have to be removed prior to the funeral taking place. For further details please speak to our staff.

It is the process of removing the natural fluids from a body and replacing them with a preservative fluid which is injected through the veins. In some cases, embalming is necessary, such as if the body is to be kept for a long time before the funeral; or if the body is to be exported by air. Unlike other funeral directors who charge extra for this process, we will not undertake embalming unless the person instructing us requests this.

Certainly. Your loved one will be cared for in our Chapel of rest which is incorporated within our funeral home, so you know he or she is always in safe hands. All we ask is that you call us prior to your visit so that we can prepare everything before you arrive.

No, although most funeral services in the UK follow a traditional format which includes music, readings, a eulogy and tributes. You may wish to have a secular service to celebrate the life of the person who has died. We can arrange a suitable minister or our (In House) celebrant; Graham Horak will be pleased to assist you.

Yes they can, but we cannot mix and match with our own staff so please arrange for four or six people to carry the coffin. We will brief those who wished to do this so they know what to expect. We will also be on hand to assist on the day of the funeral.

Funeral costs are made up of two types of charges; the funeral director’s fees and the disbursements that we pay on your behalf. (These include the charges for burial or cremation, doctor’s fees, church charges, payment to the officiate, etc.) When arranging the funeral, we will always fully itemise these costs and provide you with a full written estimate, so you know exactly what everything will cost. The style of the funeral, choice of coffin, number of vehicles, etc. will all have an influence over the final costs of the funeral but our exceptional standards of service will be the same whatever style of funeral you chose.

We would encourage you to obtain at least one other quote regarding the cost of your funeral; then ask you to compare our price, together with the quality of our vehicles, our staff and our service.

We do not require a deposit at the time you make the funeral arrangements but in order for us to provide the funeral at such a competitive cost we require payment in full at least 4 working days before the actual Service. We accept payment by cash, debit or credit card. Our funeral staff will advise you when you make the initial arrangements.

We are unable to provide definitive advice on this subject although in certain conditions you may qualify for a Social Fund Funeral Payment which will help towards the funeral expenses. This payment is currently not large enough to cover the entire funeral expenses and you will be expected to make up any shortfall. More information can be obtained by clicking below.

(Link to social payments)

Our fleet of Jaguar limousines, based on the XJ model, is, without doubt, the best in the business.   They are regularly maintained and meticulously cleaned inside and out to ensure they meet our exacting standards and your expectations.

Each car seats six adults in complete comfort. When we provide two or more vehicles the second and additional vehicles can accommodate a seventh person in the front passenger seat.

No, If you require specialist transport please let us know and we can arrange this on your behalf.

Yes, We can provide booster seats if required. Babies must have a proper car seat and cannot be carried on your lap.

The type of hearse to carry the coffin is only restricted by your imagination. In addition to horse drawn carriages, motorcycles, VW vans and Lorries, we can source whatever vehicles you may require.

After the funeral we will take you back to your chosen destination. 

No. It is possible to keep the body at home, provided registration of the death takes place within 5 days. However, the length of time the body may be kept at home may vary and you may need the technical support of your local funeral director if you wish to consider this.

No, there are certain circumstances when embalming is required or may be recommended, but with modern hygienic methods to care for the deceased there should be no noticeable deterioration of the body before the funeral. Some funeral directors recommend embalming as this incurs an additional fee.

No, We are not connected with any florist and do not receive commission from any other company. You are welcome to make your own arrangements for floral tributes although we can assist and advise you if required.

Once again we are not tied in with any particular printers. We are happy to recommend a local company and your funeral celebrant may be able to assist you by advising you around content.

There is no fee for storing the ashes. We will collect the cremated remains and store them securely until you arrange their collection or give us further instructions regarding their final resting place.

Unlike some companies we do not have set "slots" for funerals. We will do all we can to arrange the funeral for the day and time you require. The greatest constraints is the availability of your local Crematorium, but if you require a specific date or time there may be a vacancy at another location. We can also arrange the funeral for a Saturday or Sunday but this will incur an additional cost.

Every funeral company is required to provide a "basic funeral" to include the collection and care of the deceased, a simple coffin, transfer to a local crematorium and bearers to carry the coffin. The funeral will take place at a date and time arranged by the funeral director and this will invariably be in the morning.

Regardless of the cost of a funeral, our vehicles, staff and procedure is exactly the same for a basic funeral as for any other.

All crematoria require that the deceased must be enclosed in a coffin. For religious reason some Cemeteries or Natural Burial Grounds may allow "earth burials" without the need for a coffin. We provide an extensive range of coffins but at the same time we always remind our clients that for a cremation, everything is consumed in the final process and it is therefore unnecessary to provide an expensive coffin.

Yes we can, but our core business is to provide the best possible funeral service and to leave a lasting impression on those who are left behind. We do not promote the sale of these items either during or after the initial arrangements, but are happy to supply them upon request.


Each cremation is carried out individually and the coffin is always cremated with the deceased. 

All coffin furniture remains exactly as it is and is either buried or cremated.

The cremation process is strictly regulated requiring the crematorium to always have full control of who is being cremated and therefore label cremated remains correctly.

Because each of our branches has their own "Chapel of Rest" we know the individual details of all our clients. At every stage of the funeral process the details on the wristband or other identifying mark are checked against the paperwork and the nameplate on the coffin. A final check is made by the staff at the Cemetery or Crematorium.

We always note every item including rings, earrings and watches and seek instructions from the person making the funeral arrangements if these are to remain or be returned. A Final check is made before the coffin is finally sealed. Whatever is in the coffin in then buried or cremated.