How we've created a compassionate leave policy that changes the way we deal with death
We know that grief impacts people differently and we think it’s important that compassionate leave policies reflect this. We’ve put together a guide to help you to do the same for your place of work.
When a body is cremated, what happens to the coffin?
Under UK law, something must be in place to cover the body of a person who’s died. This is usually a coffin. Crematorium staff can’t move a body out of a coffin once it’s sealed, so the coffin enters the cremation chamber along with the body.
Who has the right to arrange your funeral?
Who has the right to arrange your funeral depends on whether you’ve left a will. In practice, it’s likely to be your closest family members who make the decisions.
9 things you need to know as a beneficiary of a will
Here’s a guide that explains some of the most important things you should know as a beneficiary of a will.
Can you change a will after someone’s died?
If you’re the person looking after a loved one’s will (the executor) or you’re due to inherit something, you might be wondering whether the will is set in stone. This guide talks you through how and why people make changes to a will.
How does a crematorium work?
Crematoriums are non-religious buildings with a service hall, cremation facilities, and grounds or gardens. Both the funeral service and the cremation itself will happen within the same building.
Keeping ashes in the house
Some people find it comforting to keep ashes close by. You might keep them in an urn or box, have them made into jewellery, or bury them along with trees or flowers in the garden.
A guide to British funeral etiquette
Funeral etiquette means things like what to wear, whether to send flowers and where to sit. Every funeral is different depending on the family’s wishes, but generally the more traditional it is, the more specific the etiquette.
What is an obituary, and how to write one
An obituary is a statement you post about someone’s life, usually in a newspaper, to let the wider community know that they’ve died.
How to organise a wake
A wake is a gathering of friends, family, and anyone wishing to pay their respects. It’s usually held at someone’s house or a hired venue after a funeral.
What are human ashes like
Human ashes aren’t always exactly the same. They can vary slightly in colour and weight, but they’re usually odourless and always safe to touch.
How to write a Funeral Order of Service
An Order of Service is a booklet outlining the structure and content of an end-of-life event. They originated at Christian funerals, and included what hymns and readings would be performed at the service.
How long does it take to get ashes after cremation?
Many people find it comforting to know when they will receive the ashes of a loved one. This guide explains what you need to do before you can collect them.
How to choose between burial and cremation
In a nutshell, choosing cremation gives families more flexibility to remember their loved one, their way – and it’s usually cheaper. But while burials are more expensive overall, they tend to have less impact on the environment.
Can you be cremated with a pacemaker?
It’s not safe for pacemakers to go into cremation chambers. The extreme heat can cause them to explode, posing a serious risk to the crematorium workers, and the remains of the person who’s died.
Is it possible for one executor to act without the other?
If you’re an executor of a will and other executors have also been appointed, you may have some questions about who should act and apply for probate and how. This article explains some of the things you may need or want to know as a co-executor.
Can you plan your own funeral?
You can plan your own funeral, but no one can guarantee it will happen exactly as you want it
What happens if I can't afford a funeral?
If you can’t afford to pay for a funeral, you may be able to claim a Funeral Expenses Payment from the government. Other options include using the bank account of the person who died and arranging a Public Health Funeral.
How to register a death in the UK
You can register a death by visiting your local register office. This usually needs to be done within five days of the death in England and Wales. It’s free to register a death, but there’s a fee of £11 for each copy of the death certificate.
How to get a death certificate in the UK
In order to get a death certificate, you need to register the death in a local register office. It’s free to register the death, but you’ll need to pay £11 for each copy of the death certificate.
A guide to water cremation
It’s an alternative to burial and cremation that people are slowly adopting around the world. Its biggest benefit is that it’s very environmentally friendly. It requires no land space, and creates very few carbon emissions.
How to write a eulogy
A eulogy usually includes a timeline of the person’s life and details about their personality. Family or friends might ask you to read one at their funeral or cremation if you were close to them. But there are no set rules about who reads it.
Can you have a funeral on a weekend
Most funeral directors and religious venues will offer a funeral on a Saturday or Sunday, but there are some special considerations to keep in mind.
How to buy a burial plot
If you’re thinking about buying a burial plot – we’ll go through all the details from what a burial plot is, to how much it costs, so you feel prepared.
Can you legally stop someone coming to a funeral?
Generally, funerals are public events and there isn’t a way to legally ban someone. But as the organiser, you do have the right to ask a difficult relative not to come.
What’s a celebration of life?
Everything you need to know about attending a wake
If you’ve been invited to a wake but are not sure what to expect this guide will take you through the details of a wake, how best to show up on the day, and where the word and tradition comes from.
How to be a pallbearer
A pallbearer is someone who escorts the coffin at a funeral and (if there is one) at a burial, too. They’ll either carry the coffin, move it along on a wheeled trolley called a bier, or walk with it as other people move it.
How long are funerals?
This guide will go through all the things that affect a funeral’s length so that you know what to plan for.
How to hire a funeral celebrant
A funeral celebrant is a person hired to plan and run a funeral service. Before the service they spend time finding out about the life, interests and beliefs of the person who has died and create a service that fits them.
Everything you need to know about sea burials
We’ll cover what a sea burial is, how you can organise one, where you can have one and why you might want one. As well as the risks and advantages of the process so you can decide what’s right for you.
Whether a funeral procession or cortège is right for you
We’ll cover what a funeral procession is, where they come from and why they happen. We’ll also go through how to take part in one and what to do if you come across one.
Everything you need to know about woodland burials
A woodland burial is the choice to bury someone at a site of natural beauty, such as a woodland, meadow or orchard, instead of a traditional cemetery plot.
What is embalming?
Embalming has become an increasingly common part of funeral plans over the years. But what exactly is it? And should you choose it for your loved one?
What can you put in a coffin for cremation?
A lot of people choose to put something special in their loved one’s coffin, but not everything’s allowed. So what can you include and what should you leave out?
What's a lasting power of attorney and why do you need one?
A lasting power of attorney is a great way to give yourself peace of mind for the future, just like making a will. Here, we'll look at the main benefits and how you can get yours from the comfort of home.
Your Lasting Power of Attorney appointment checklist
Here’s what you’ll need to think about before your appointment. You may find it helpful to write down your wishes before our call so everything’s in one place.
What are the rules of intestacy?
The rules of intestacy decide what happens to someone’s estate when they die without a will. The spouse or civil partner inherits the first £270,000 plus half of anything that’s left over. The children then get an equal share of the rest.
What happens to debt when someone dies?
When someone dies with outstanding debt, it needs to be repaid from the estate before beneficiaries can get their inheritance. If there isn't enough money in the estate to pay it off, the debt is simply written off.
How to scatter ashes
You can scatter ashes by casting them into the wind from a scattering tube. Other options include creating a colourful garden feature or scattering the ashes at the beach and letting the tide wash them away.
Where can you scatter ashes in the UK?
Ashes can be scattered almost anywhere in the UK, as long as you have permission from the landowner first. If you’re thinking about scattering ashes at sea or on a river, you don’t need a permit, but you should follow the Environment Agency’s guidance.
What is a codicil to a will?
A codicil is a legal document that allows you to amend an existing will. This can be helpful if you want to add new family members or leave gifts to charities, but it’s better to write a new will for larger changes.
Do unmarried couples need a will?
Unmarried partners don’t inherit anything when their partner dies in the UK, so it’s really important to have a will in place to set out your wishes. This can cover everything from money in the bank, to pensions, to the property you share.
Estate valuation: how to value a house and other assets for probate
To value a house for probate, it’s usually best to hire an RICS property surveyor – especially if the estate’s value is close to or above the inheritance tax threshold. For bank accounts and other assets, you can usually contact the organisations directly.
Compassionate leave: what is it and how much do I get?
We all have to deal with loss at some time in our lives. When this happens, we may need to take time away from work to grieve, organise a funeral and sort out the estate. Taking this time from work is known as compassionate leave.
The duties of an executor: executor of will checklist
An executor of a will is responsible for dealing with the estate of the person who died. This includes valuing the estate, selling property, closing accounts, paying off debts and distributing assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.
Deed of variation: how to change someone's will after their death
A deed of variation allows you to change someone’s will after their death. This can be a good way to minimise the amount of inheritance tax that needs to be paid, but it’s essential that all the beneficiaries agree before any changes can be made.
How to get probate without a will
To get probate without a will, you need to apply for a grant of letters of administration. This allows the next of kin to access the estate and distribute assets in line with the rules of intestacy – which we’ll explain in more detail here.
How to find a will
You can usually find someone’s will with other important financial documents, such as bank statements and pension information. If you can’t find it in their house, you could search online to see if the will is recorded on the National Will Register.
How to get a grant of representation
A grant of representation is a document that allows you to deal with someone's estate. To get one, you need to collect up information about their estate, fill out a form and submit an application to the probate registry.
DIY probate: how to deal with someone's estate without paying expensive solicitor fees
Dealing with probate can be an expensive process. But by closing accounts, selling property and distributing assets yourself, you could save thousands in probate solicitor fees.
How to find a probate solicitor in the UK
You can find a probate solicitor near you by searching online or in telephone directories. Or, if you would prefer to sort out probate over the phone, you could use our nationwide probate service.
What is the inheritance tax threshold for 2020?
The inheritance tax threshold for 2020/21 is £325,000. Anything over the threshold is liable to 40% tax – but it doesn’t apply to every case.
What is the best type of will for married couples?
For most married couples, a joint will is usually the best option. This allows each of you to write your own individual wishes without having to pay for two separate wills. For more complex relationships, a trust may be a better option.
Top questions about applying for probate during the coronavirus outbreak
With banks, building societies and law offices closing across the country, many people have been left wondering how to deal with their loved one’s estate. Here are some tips to help you apply for probate from the comfort of your own home.
Arranging a funeral during the coronavirus lockdown: here are your options
From live streaming funerals to delayed memorial services, there are plenty of options available when it comes to arranging a funeral during the coronavirus lockdown.
Top questions about arranging a funeral during the coronavirus outbreak
With social distancing being enforced across the country, many families are confused about their options when it comes to arranging a funeral. Here, we cover the most common questions customers have been asking over the last few weeks.
How to get your will witnessed when you're self-isolating
If you’re self-isolating due to the coronavirus lockdown, you may be wondering how to get your will witnessed and signed. Here are a few steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones protected.
Top questions about making a will during the coronavirus outbreak
From making a will at home to getting it witnessed when you’re self-isolating, here’s everything you need to know about making a will during the coronavirus outbreak.
How to create a will at home
You can write a will at home by using an online will writing service. Then you can print and sign it alongside two witnesses to make it legally binding.
What does the probate registry do?
The probate registry is responsible for handling probate applications in the UK. Once an application has been approved, the probate registry will issue a grant of representation to either the executor or administrator of the estate.
What is a humanist funeral?
A humanist funeral service is a type of non-religious ceremony celebrating the life of someone who has died. This may be led by a humanist celebrant, or you could simply arrange your own non-religious memorial with your loved one’s ashes present.
Do I need probate if my husband or wife dies?
You may need probate if your husband or wife dies and leaves behind assets that aren’t jointly owned with you. However, if you’re the joint owner of their property and bank accounts, probate may not be required.
How to arrange an unattended cremation
You can arrange an unattended cremation over the phone in just a few minutes. Your loved one will then be collected from their place of death and cremated without a ceremony at a crematorium.
How to delay a funeral in the UK
You can delay someone’s funeral by arranging an unattended cremation immediately after their death. Then, once their ashes have been returned to you, you’re free to have the memorial service at a time that’s right for you and your family.
What does a funeral director do?
A funeral director is responsible for arranging every part of a funeral, including the coffin, ceremony and the burial or cremation. But if you would prefer something less traditional, you could arrange the funeral yourself without a funeral director.
What are letters of administration?
Letters of administration (also known as a grant of letters of administration) is a document issued by the probate registry. This allows someone to act as the administrator of an estate after someone has died.
How to compare probate services and prices
Before choosing your probate provider, it’s worth shopping around to find the best service at the best possible price. Here, we’ll look at the main things you need to look out for when comparing probate services in England and Wales.
What is next of kin?
Next of kin is the term used to describe your closest living relative, such as your spouse or civil partner. The UK doesn’t have laws around who you can name as your next of kin, but there are specific rules for who takes responsibility when someone dies.
What information do you need before applying for probate?
Before applying for probate, you'll need to gather details about your loved one's estate. Here, we'll cover what you need, why, and how you can find it – and we’ve also got a free probate checklist to help you keep track of everything.
How long does probate take in the UK?
The process of probate usually takes 1-3 months depending on the complexity of the estate. It can then take up to 6 months to close accounts, sell property and pay taxes.
What happens at a cremation?
Cremation has been a funeral option in the UK for over 150 years, but it still remains a mystery to many people. Here, we look at exactly what happens at a cremation so you and your family know what to expect.
How to arrange a funeral
If you’re arranging a funeral for someone, you’ll probably want to start by working out what they wanted. This might be something they included in their will. You can then shop around for a service that feels right for everyone.
When is probate required?
Probate is usually required if the estate of the person who died is worth more than £10,000. However, if most of the assets in the estate were jointly owned, probate may not be needed at all.
How much does a funeral cost?
A funeral in the UK can cost anywhere from £1,200 to well over £10,000 depending on the type of service you want. At an average of £5,000, a traditional burial is the most expensive option, while a direct cremation is the cheapest.
What can you do with the ashes after a cremation?
After receiving the ashes from a cremation, many families arrange their own personal memorial service. You’re then free to display or scatter the ashes anywhere you wish – or you could even create a series of mementos for your family.
Who can apply for probate?
After losing a loved one, you may need to apply for probate before you can deal with their estate – but only specific people can handle the probate application. Here, we’ll look at who can apply and how you can get started today.
What is probate?
Probate (short for ‘a grant of probate’) is a legal document that shows banks, the Land Registry and other organisations that you have the authority to deal with someone’s estate. The process of getting probate usually takes 1-3 months.
What is a mirror will and do I need one?
When couples in the UK think about writing a will, the term ‘mirror will’ often springs to mind. But is it really the best option for you and your partner?
How to update or amend a will
Our update service makes it quick and easy to change your will in the future. Here, we look at how it works and why it's so important to keep your will up to date.
What happens after you’ve written a will?
Our online will writing service makes it quick and easy to write a will from the comfort of your own home. Here, we'll cover what happens next to make your will legally binding, plus some tips on storing it safely at home.
What is an executor of a will and how do you appoint them?
One of the most important parts of writing a will is choosing your executors. Here, we’ll cover who can be an executor, what they do and why they’re so important.
What happens to your business when you die?
When it comes to writing a will, it’s important to have a plan in place for your business. Here’s everything you need to know about leaving a business in your will.
What happens to my house if I die?
Your home is probably the most valuable asset you own, so it's important that you have a say over what happens to it when you die. Here's everything you need to know about including property in your will.
What to put in a will
Thinking about writing a will but unsure where to start? This simple guide explains the key steps involved so you know exactly what to expect when you start writing your will.
How to choose who inherits your estate
One of the most important things to consider when writing a will is who is going to inherit your estate. Here, we cover everything you need to know before choosing your beneficiaries.
What happens to pets when their owners die?
Writing a will lets you do more than appoint guardians for your children, you can also choose who looks after your pets if something happens to you. Here's everything you need to know to make sure your pets are provided for when you’re gone.
How to appoint a legal guardian in your will
If you have children under 18, you need to write a will and appoint legal guardians to protect their future. Here’s everything you need to know about guardians, their responsibilities and how to choose them.
How to avoid inheritance tax
You can avoid inheritance tax by leaving everything to your spouse or civil partner in your will. Alternatively, you could reduce your inheritance tax bill by giving gifts while you're alive or leaving part of your estate to charity.
Who can witness and sign a will?
A will can be witnessed and signed by anyone over the age of 18 – such as a neighbour, friend or colleague. The only rules are that they can't be a beneficiary of your will, married to a beneficiary, or blind.
How to manage your Farewill account
We created our online will writing service to make writing a will simple and stress free – and the same goes with managing your account. From resetting your password to cancelling your subscription, you can find out exactly how to do it here.
What are STEP provisions and why are they important?
When you write a will with Farewill, it includes some general provisions that grant additional powers to your executors and trustees. Here, we’ll cover what these are and why you need to know about them.
What happens if you don't write a will?
When someone dies without writing a will, their estate is shared out following the rules of intestacy. Here, we’ll cover what this means and who can inherit when there isn’t a valid will in place.