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Independent funerals or funerals carried out without a funeral director

Funeral directors are not required

It is often assumed, quite wrongly, that funerals can only be completed with the use of a funeral director. Although a funeral director will be invited to organise the majority of funerals, some people prefer to organise funerals themselves.

A funeral director will typically organise the funeral by collecting and moving the body, arranging embalming and viewing of the deceased, providing a coffin, hearse and other elements. Carrying out these services relieves the bereaved from doing what they may feel are unpleasant and difficult tasks. However, funeral directors must operate commercially and in charging for his or her services, funerals can be expensive. 

Some people do not wish to use a funeral director

This can be for a wide 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 or may have used a funeral director on a previous occasion and found the experience unsatisfactory. Some may feel that funerals arranged with a funeral director are routine and processed, and some may desire an innovative and different approach. It is your right to make this decision.

Funerals can be handled by the bereaved family

The entire funeral can be handled by the bereaved family - this is referred to as an 'Independent' funeral. These funerals will be different because traditional funeral elements may be unobtainable. Currently, many funeral directors will not sell coffins separately; neither will they offer a hearse for use, unless the entire funeral package is purchased.

Independent funeral arrangers will need to use their own vehicles or hire vans in lieu of a hearse. They may also make their own coffin or use a biodegradable type.