Frequently Asked Questions - Rowlands Funeral Services
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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Coroner do?

It is the Coroner’s responsibility to ascertain the cause of death. The vast majority of deaths reported to the coroner are from natural causes – only a small proportion require further investigation. The Coroner will conduct a post-mortem to find out 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.

Why do GPs charge for cremation forms?

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 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 normally charge these fees to the funeral director, who generally passes on the cost to the family. Doctors are also entitled to charge a mileage allowance, where appropriate”.

Why do I have to register the death?

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. Should this not be possible, you must inform the Registrar. In Scotland, deaths must be registered within 8 days.

Which Registrar's office should I go to?

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,it is possible to attend your local registrar’s office to register a death that occurred in another area. This is called ‘Registration by Declaration’. It involves 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, Rowland’s can advise about this.


In Scotland, you can register the death either at the place of death, or where the deceased had their normal residence, as long as both are in Scotland.

Do I have to register the death before arranging the funeral?

No. Funeral arrangements can begin as soon as you have made certain decisions, e.g. whether it is to be a burial or cremation. Then, after you have registered the death, you can arrange with Rowland’s for the Green Form to be handed over or collected.

Funerals can be expensive. How will I know if I can afford it?

As Members of the National Association of Funeral Directors, we abide by a Code of Practice which ensures that we treat our clients and the public fairly. Also, we are required to have price lists available and we are happy to show them to you. Not all funeral firms charge the same prices. By choosing 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 and forms the basis of the contract between yourself and us. In cases of real hardship a basic, low cost funeral can be arranged.

Can I get any assistance with funeral costs?

The DSS awards financial assistance to individuals who meet a number of criteria. To qualify, you, and all 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 DSS Funeral Payment will provide a limited amount, which may cover a very basic funeral, or provide a contribution towards a more traditional funeral. As ever we are here to help and advise you.

Can family and friends bear the coffin on the day of the funeral?

Yes you can and to help, we always give a briefing to ensure that you are prepared and we will be on hand to help at all times.

Are there any other ways to transport the coffin apart from the hearse?

There are many other vehicles available such as a horse drawn carriages, motorcycle hearses or tractor trailers. In fact, anything is possible as long as it’s legal and safe on the highway.

How soon can the ashes be collected after the funeral?

Normally they are available for collection on the next working day following the funeral. But it may be possible to have them back on the same day as long as the service takes place first thing in the morning.

Is the coffin cremated with the deceased?

Absolutely. Once the coffin has left the funeral director’s premises, the deceased cannot be removed.

How do I know that the ashes I receive are those of my loved ones?

The cremation process is governed by Cremation Regulations (England and Wales) 1st January 2009. The crematorium authorities take great care to ensure that every individual cremation is kept completely separate.

How can I be sure the funeral director is qualified?

Look for the National Association of Funeral Directors logo and examine certificates on display. Even though a company may display the NAFD logo, the staff themselves may not have the qualification because they are part of a group. At Rowland’s we are proud that our staff are qualified to undertake such an important role.

What is a Chapel of Rest?

The Chapel of Rest is a viewing room which allows families and friends to privately pay their respects to the deceased. We have three private chapels of rest, here you can be with your loved one for as long as you wish and they will remain in the chapel until the day of the funeral. Photographs and mementos can be displayed in the chapel or particular pieces of music played. Uniquely, we provide your own personal key to the Chapel which enables you to visit your loved one whenever you like, without the need to make an appointment, this includes weekend and bank holidays. We are here to help you commemorate the life of your loved one in whatever way you wish.

Can I bring in clothing to dress the deceased?

Yes you can, alternatively we can dress them in one of our gowns.

Can I assist with dressing the deceased?

Family and friends are welcome to assist with the dressing.

Can put personal items into the coffin?

Of course, however we cannot allow any metal or glass if the body is to be cremated.