Often those who contact us about our Natural Burial Grounds or our environmentally friendly coffins have further questions regarding organising a funeral. This can be from people wanting information about:
- Organising a Funeral for someone who has just passed
- Organising a funeral in advance of death
- Useful Numbers
Organising a funeral for someone who has just passed
When someone dies, even if the death is expected, it can be a confusing and difficult time for everyone. Immediately following the death most people don't know what to do. The most important thing to remember is not to panic there is people who can help.
When death occurs it is important that you do not move the deceased until contact has been made with the deceased's GP. If the GP has attended to the deceased in the previous 28 days and is satisfied that their illness is the cause of death then they may instruct the family or friends to proceed with putting a funeral plan in place. This may involve contacting extended family, clergy and a funeral director whose main job is to assist you organise the funeral. (If it is a green funeral that you are considering then we recommend that you contact one of the funeral directors on our sister companies website http://www.greencoffinsireland.com/delivery-stockists.html as those listed will have eco friendly coffins in stock).
If the deceased has not seen the GP in the previous 28 days then the Garda and the coroner will need to be contacted and arrangements made for a post-mortem to be carried out. A post-mortem will help try to establish the cause of death, in some cases this may involve an inquest being held. A funeral director will be called to remove the deceased to the area hospital for post-mortem. You are not obliged to use this funeral director's services, you can contact a funeral director of your choosing to help you organise the funeral.
Every funeral is different - this link will give you pointers as to what you may wish to consider when putting the plan in place (Link to List)
Organising a funeral in advance of death (Pre Funeral Planning)
Funeral planning will be a consideration for all of us at some point in time. Pre planning a funeral for ourselves or a loved one can be uncomfortable however it also offers advantages and is something that thousands of us do every year in Ireland
Advantages of Pre Funeral Planning
- Puts you in control and ensures your wishes will be known.
- Eases demands and stresses on others. Often survivors are left wondering if the plan they put in place for a funeral is what the person would have wanted.By pre planning, your wishes will be known and it is easier for those left behind.
- Allows you to set aside funds and relieve those left behind of a financial burden. The most popular way of doing this in to organise a "Pre Paid Funeral Plan" which we will be discussed further below.
- Provides you peace of mind knowing that "your affairs are in order"
- A funeral plan can be as simple as you like or as elaborate as you wish. The important thing is to discuss the plan with the person who will be responsible for arranging the plan either a friend, family member of a professional from the funeral industry.
Putting a Plan in place
There are a number of different ways that you can put a funeral plan in place
1. Talk to a close friend or member of family and tell them your wishes.This is the simplest way to plan a funeral. The person you choose is tasked with putting your wishes in place. You may in certain circumstances wish to put this plan in writing as it will limit interference from others who may not agree with the route you have chosen. We would also recommend that you give the person you have chosen time to consider assisting you. Some people can feel very uncomfortable when put in this type of situation. If they agree to help we recommend that you arrange a time to discuss the plan where you will get no interruptions. It is also worth arranging to meet a second and third time (if required) as all the information you require may not be readily available. Things to consider (link to page)
2. Talk to a professional from the funeral industry.Funeral directors deal with death on a daily basis and therefore have all the information that you will need to plan your funeral. They are experienced in talking about funeral planning which often helps and all of them will work with you to put a plan in place which is practical. They will also give you a breakdown of costs if you require this. If you wish to prepay for your plan most will ask you to put money aside or complete a prepaid funeral plan with an external company. Prepaid funeral plans offered by companies such as Golden Leaves (who offer the only 100% Green Trust) allow you to put aside the money for a funeral now. This money will be invested into a trust which will grow and cover any increases in the cost of a funeral. Things to consider when speaking to a funeral director (link to page)
3. Discuss a plan with a company who provide prepaid funeral plans. To pre pay for a funeral you do not have to go to a funeral director. There are very few funeral directors who handle people's money directly, most put monies received from their customers into a pre paid funeral plans trust which secures the monies going forward. Companies who offer this prepaid service are heavily regulated to ensure that the money is there when it is required. You can go directly to these companies and they will assist you put your costed plan in place. They will speak to people in the funeral industry on your behalf and get the costings for the plan that you wish. Once the plan is arranged it is put in a contract which binds the company to fulfilling your wishes. There are no Irish companies currently offering this service.
The company we would recommend for this service is Golden Leaves who operate the only funeral plan trust which invests the monies received in "Green Investments". To contact Golden Leaves visit their website www.goldenleaves.com Their Irish contact is Kevin O Connor. Make sure you ask about their Green Funeral Plan
Padraic Cawley, Institute of Civil Funerals 0872676050 www.padraiccawley.ie
Frequently asked questions
Q. Can we purchase a plot directly from The Green Graveyard Company? A. Yes you can purchase directly from us - most people do it this way. You will need to fill out the information (complete the form on the "reserve a space" link on the website) and you can proceed with purchasing the space. Payment options are available upon request
Q. Is there a grant available to help with payment of a funeral bill? A. There used to be a grants available however this is no longer the case. This "Death Grant" was removed in the 2013 budget.
Q. The funeral director we wish to use is not listed on your Green Coffins Ireland website as someone who stocks green coffins - can we still get one of the eco coffins? A. Most funeral directors will get the coffin that you want when you ask for it - there may be a delay as transportation can take time (next day delivery via courier). If for some reason the funeral director refuses to get the coffin that you wish, contact us directly and we will speak to the funeral director.
Q. How do you register a death? A. Information available from the citizens information website http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/death/after_a_death/death_cert.html
Q. How much does an average funeral cost? A. Every funeral director has different charges, every funeral plan is different, and the place and time of death is not always known in advance etc therefore it is difficult to answer this question and this often frustrates people. There seems to be a fear or reluctance among the public to speak to funeral directors in this regard even though most funeral directors encourage people to discuss plans with them. All funeral directors will answer your query directly when given the information that they require to cost the funeral. If you don't like their proposed costings, ask another funeral director for their costs. This is why we recommend that people complete pre funeral plans - it takes the unknown out of the situation.
Q. What is the most environmentally friendly coffin? A. In our opinion it is the Irish made Willow coffin. There are a number of companies now supplying eco friendly coffins in Ireland, most are sourced outside of the country. Using an Irish made willow coffin is not only helping local industry and creating local employment it is also good for the environment. It takes one person 30 + hours to make a willow coffin. If we all chose Irish Willow coffins (there is approximately 40,000 deaths on the island of Ireland each year) we would create upwards on 1100 jobs mostly in rural areas (this would include land owners who would grown the willow).
Colin Mc Ateer from Green Coffins Ireland and The Green Graveyard Company 00353749152712