Most families chose to employ a funeral director to organise the funeral of a loved one, but this can be carried out independently. The funeral director will collect and move the body, arrange embalming and viewing of the deceased, provide a coffin, hearse and other elements.
Some people do not wish to use a funeral director. This can be for a variety of reasons. They may feel that passing the body of a loved one over to strangers is wrong. Some feel that personally organising a funeral is their final tribute to the deceased person.
Others may simply wish to save money by doing everything themselves. This is a very personal decision, and each individual has the choice to carry out the funeral as they please, without giving a reason.
The entire funeral can be handled by the bereaved family and staff at Hendon Cemetery are willing to assist and advise wherever possible.
Independent funeral arrangers can use a vehicle of their choice to transport the deceased to the cemetery or crematorium. They may also make their own coffin or use a biodegradable type.
There is a lot of work involved in organising an independent funeral and it is not for everyone. Staff at Hendon will be available to talk through the options available.
The law places a duty on local authorities to deal with the funeral arrangements where a person dies within the borough and there is no one else willing or able to do so (where the person was living at the date of their death is not relevant).
The only exception is where the person died in hospital, in which case the health authority is responsible for making the appropriate arrangements. The law also requires that the local authority recovers their costs.
The council would only get involved if someone dies within the borough and there was no one else willing or able to make the funeral arrangements. A referral letter is received from a Coroners Officer, hospice, residential home or hospital (if pronounced dead before admission).
If a family makes a referral they are advised that the funeral is the first claim on the estate and therefore the London Borough of Barnet would endeavour to recover costs.
There is no financial help towards the costs of a funeral from the council. However, if the person responsible for arranging the funeral is on benefits they are advised to contact their benefits office to see if they are entitled to any contribution. It has to be the person responsible for the arrangements who is on benefits and not the person who has passed away.