Generally funerals are held between one and three weeks after the death.
Deciding when a funeral should be held will probably take into consideration things like:
- You may want to have the funeral as soon as possible
- You may feel that you want to take your time over the arrangements and contacting people
- You may need to consider family/friends’ travel plans (especially if people are coming from abroad and need to book flights)
Some of the factors that will be out of your control are:
- If there is a post-mortem or an inquest – both of which can delay the funeral
- Booking a crematorium slot (if relevant) – crematoria can often be booked up a good few days in advance, and Fridays can be particularly busy
Letting people know
It is rare nowadays to send personal invitations to a funeral, but is still occasionally done.
Email, of course, can be a very useful way of letting people know practical information quickly and efficiently without having to have the same conversation with lots of people.
If there are a lot of people to inform, having the same conversation with each of them can be tiring and emotionally challenging. Consider identifying a few key people who are close to you and getting them to call people on your behalf (like a ‘telephone tree’). Of course, there may be a few people you really want to have that conversation with, but this can make the whole thing more manageable for you.
You could also consider setting up a web site page or we can do that for you. You can direct people to it for the latest information. It is easy to update as decisions about the funeral are made. It can include information about accommodation, travel, directions etc.
These can be useful if the person who died lived in a certain place for some time and also if you don’t have direct contact with all the people who may have known them.While a newspaper notice may not get seen by all the necessary people, it is sometimes the best that you can do to try and let people know.
Managing people’s questions
It can be useful to provide a phone number that is not your direct number for enquiries about the funeral. For example, a close friend or the funeral director.
And, of course, if you have set up a web page (as described above) you can direct people to this.