header photo

 

Private Family Business  ...

Services of John White Funeral Directors

188/190 Watling Street East, Towcester, Northants. NN12 6DB.  
Telephone : 01327 359266   Fax : 01327 359717     E-Mail :mail@johnwhitefunerals.co.uk

firefoxA fully independent firm operating 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Our personnel can provide a personal interview when instructions can be taken on any aspect of the service - such as providing for removal of the deceased; liaison with Clergy, Church, Cemetery or Crematorium; completing documentation, supplying coffin; insertion of press notices; assistance in ordering funeral tributes; assistance in arranging catering; advice on memorials; advice on administration of the estate and pre-payment plans can also be offered.

 

A Guide to help you after a death

You can call us by Telephone : 01327 359266 at any time, or you may call at our office, or alternatively we will call to see you. Together, we will go through all the necessary arrangements step by step, taking into consideration your wishes and requirements and, where appropriate, the expressed wishes of the deceased. This will ensure that everything receives the attention to detail that is so important at this time. Your Funeral Director will, if required, guide you through the formalities of registration, advising when and where the death should be registered and what information will be required.

The Funeral Director will act as a professional adviser and confidant and is responsible for the efficiency and dignity of the funeral arrangements. His role is not always readily apparent but some of his duties may include:

*     A personal interview to receive instructions.

*     Arranging for the removal of the deceased at any time of the day or night.

*     Liaison and confirmation with Clergy, Church; Cemetery or Crematorium.

*     Arranging for the completion of medical certificates for cremation.

*     Completing and forwarding legal documentation to the appropriate authority.

*     Supply and fitting of the coffin or casket.

*     Supply of necessary bearers.

*     Arranging for the removal of the memorial (if applicable).

*     Arranging for the purchase and preparation of the grave..

*      Provision of the hearse and limousines as required.

*      Liaison with the Police and Coroner where necessary.

*      Insertion of Press announcements.

*      Assistance in ordering and the receipt and care of floral tributes.

*      Arranging for the production of service sheets.

*      Advice on the selection of suitable hymns and music.

*      Receipt, listing and distribution of charitable donations.

*      Provision of attendance cards for mourners to complete.

*      Arranging for the dispersal or interment of the cremated remains.

*      Advice on the redemption of Insurance Policies.

*      Arranging for catering either at home or elsewhere.

*      Arranging for hotel accommodation.

•       Providing transport to the Registrar if required.

*      Assistance and advice on claiming from Social Fund.

*      Provision of designs and estimates for memorials.

*      Payment of all fees and disbursements relating to the funeral.

*      Payment of honoraria and gratuities as directed.

*      Professional attendance and supervision throughout the funeral.

*      Retaining detailed records of each funeral for future reference by the family if required.

*      Preparation and retention of confidential files regarding funeral arrangements for those who wish to make enquiries in advance.

*      Repatriation both to and from abroad.

On the day, your Funeral Director will be in attendance throughout the proceedings to ensure the smooth running of events.

Brief Notes of Advice

The formal ceremony is of little value or comfort if you are left with the feeling that something, no matter what, has been left out. Whilst this may seem unlikely at this time with all the different things that seemingly need to be done, remember there is no need to hurry anything, a hasty decision now may lead to regrets in the future.

When in a quiet moment you have time to reflect on the arrangements that you have made, keep a pencil and paper close at hand, because there are bound to be questions which will need an answer, points which may have been overlooked, such as the special meaning shared between you as to the use of a particular road or view, which could easily be worked into the journey to the Cemetery, Crematorium or Church. You may have a special memento or treasured item of special meaning that you would like placed in the coffin, perhaps even clothing of special significance which only you know about.

No matter what the question or the query, make sure you ask, don’t be afraid, you won’t be considered foolish, it is after all a very important occasion and all needs to be right.

The arrangements made cannot be altered after the service has taken place. They can, though, be changed in any way you like before that time. So no matter whether you want to add to the service to be provided or amend or reduce the commitment in any way, please just ask. The service available to you knows no bounds, it is available throughout the day or night and over weekends as well, so there can be no excuse for thinking in time to come ‘I wish’, or, ‘if only I had asked or arranged’. Anything and everything is possible and you shouldn’t be left with such thoughts.

Jewellery - Personal effects

It is important that any instructions left by the deceased with regard to personal effects (e.g. wedding ring) are strictly observed. The family too may have specific wishes in this respect.

It should be borne in mind that other members of the family may have different views with regard to these items, and in some cases it might be appropriate for the jewellery to remain on the deceased.

Administration of the Estate

Before the estate can be realised and distributed amongst the beneficiaries a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will probably be required, depending on the value of the estate. The simplest procedure to ensure that this is carried out correctly is to instruct a Solicitor to act for you. This will relieve you of the worries and visits required to complete these formalities. Alternatively, application may be made personally to the District Probate Registry Office. If a Bank is appointed as Executors their Trust Department may need to be contacted, this can be arranged through the local branch of the bank.

Probate is required where the deceased has left a Will. The Will has to be ‘proved’ at the Probate Registry of the High Court. Upon completion the executors named in the Will are able to administer the estate.

Letters of Administration are required where the deceased has not left a Will. The deceased is said to have died Intestate and the question then arises as to who should administer the estate. Here again application has to be made to the Court, usually by the Next of Kin. The Court, when satisfied as to the claim of the applicant, issues Letters of Administration appointing the applicant as Administrator of the estate.

Where the estate is small, it is sometimes possible for the assets to be released without making application for such a Grant. The Probate Registry Office or a Solicitor will advise you of the maximum asset value applicable in such circumstances.

Consulting a Solicitor or Bank

In most circumstances it is advisable to consult a Solicitor (or Bank if they are appointed as Executors). This need not necessarily involve you in great expense and it will ensure that all the formalities required under the law are duly completed.

Apart from the interpretation of the Will itself and the distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries nominated in the Will (or under the Intestacy rules if there is no Will), a Solicitor will administer the estate and obtain the appropriate grant. He will require a Death Certificate and any or all of the following: Share Certificates, Savings Book or Certificates, Premium Bonds, Deeds, Insurance Policies and anything of value.

He will also require details of any debts or expenses that may be outstanding and will deal with these on your behalf. Should you find yourself in temporary difficulties with regard to finance, it may be possible to make arrangements for you to draw sufficient funds to meet your immediate needs.

If the deceased was the owner of freehold or leasehold property it may be necessary for your Solicitor (or the Bank) to arrange for it to be valued for probate or, of course, for it to be sold in order to realise its value to pay beneficiaries. (No valuation is normally required where the house passes to the surviving spouse or if the property is in joint names). Arrangements would be made for the valuation to be carried out by a Chartered Surveyor who would be in a position to settle the probate value with the Capital Taxes Department of the Inland Revenue, if the estate is taxable. They will also arrange for a qualified Chattels Valuer to value the contents. This would particularly be necessary where there are items such as antique furniture or jewellery since such items may have appreciated considerably in value in recent years and it is important that they be correctly and accurately identified.

Insurance Policies & Other Documents

These are sometimes to be found amongst the deceased’s private papers or they may be lodged with the Bank or Solicitor. It is important to notify the Insurance Company, who will require a Death Certificate, as soon as possible. It will be necessary to request that they confirm the Policy is in force. This too can generally be ascertained by your Solicitor.

Motor Insurance

Insurance cover on a vehicle owned by the deceased ceases upon death. The Insurance Company should be informed immediately and arrangements made for transfer.

The Vehicle Registration document should be returned in due course to the licensing authority for transfer of ownership and the deceased’s Driving Licence should be returned to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 IAN.

Pension and Social Security Books

Pension and Social Security Books should be returned to a local Department of Social Services Office.

Passports

Any current Passport should be returned with the minimum of delay to The Passport Office requesting cancellation and stating the date of death.

These are just a few of the legal formalities and hence the reason why it is strongly recommended that professional advice be sought.

Can I discuss the Funeral in advance?

It is natural to feel diffident about discussing funeral arrangements in advance of a death. Nevertheless, it can simplify the immediate period following death if you have already made your choice of Funeral Director.

We are always willing to give advice and estimate costs, and to discuss the various arrangements that will need to be made. You will also be able to compare, if you wish, our facilities, service and reputation, to help in your selection and appointment of the company you wish to deal with. An added advantage is that a member of our company will be known to you, and will have prior knowledge of your precise requirements. These preliminary contacts will not place you under any obligation.

Can I discuss my own Funeral arrangements?

We are always willing to discuss, and put onto a confidential file, your own desires regarding your funeral. It can be of considerable benefit to bereaved relatives to know that preliminary discussion and outline arrangements have been dealt with. For instance, if one’s choice of burial or cremation has not been made known in advance it may result in much additional anxiety.

If you do have the foresight to make prior arrangements with us it is, of course, advisable to inform your Executors or next of kin.

We are nominated Funeral Directors for Golden Charter Pre Paid Funeral Plans, the leading company specialising in pre-arranged funeral plans, and will be pleased to discuss your individual requirements.

Monumental Masonry

We are able to advise you on memorials. There is also a  Stonemason locally, Les Finn, Brackley Road, Towcester. Tel 01327 350368.

Catering

We are able to provide a full catering service from a simple snack to a full banquet, either delivered to your home or at some suitably acceptable venue. We will be pleased to discuss your requirements with you.

Flowers

As part of our service we will arrange for any type or style of fresh flowers to coincide with your wishes.

A Commemorative Order of Service

One of the additional services we are able to arrange is the provision of personalised Order of Service Sheets for each of our clients.

A Commemorative Order of Service is often seen as a precious keepsake and may be used to share fond memories with friends and relatives from both near and far, especially precious to those who, for any reason, are not able to attend the ceremony.

There are no limits on what can be included in an Order of Service, indeed many take the opportunity to express personal sentiments and to mention things of a very special and personal nature, as well as saying a last goodbye.

We will be pleased to help you in any way that we can.

Seeing Loved Ones in Our Chapel of Rest

It is important for the family to decide whether they wish to view their loved one reposing in our Chapel of Rest.

For some the decision is not easy, will the experience be helpful or add to the hurt? There are no easy answers and no one can make up your mind. We offer these notes in the hope that it helps you to decide what is right for you.

You should already have discussed, as part of the funeral arrangements, the matter of dress. You might have fond memories of a person in a particular dress or suit, perhaps even pyjamas or nightdress if they had been confined to bed for a long period, although we would ask you to check with our staff as to the suitability with regard to crematoria regulations. If dentures were normally worn we can replace these to give a more natural look. Similarly for someone we always saw wearing glasses, putting these on can help the deceased look ‘themselves’.

If no special arrangements have been requested, we will dress the deceased in suitable attire. This fact is mentioned since some may be distressed at first view, to find their loved one dressed in such an unfamiliar way.

Also remember that the deceased will be lying in a coffin or casket, head supported on a pillow and surrounded by the material lining. We never expect to see any of our relatives or friends in this way and this together with them being absolutely still, can be a shock.

The Chapel of Rest is located at our premises where we are available not only during the day, but also in the evenings and weekends. We do ask, though, that you make an appointment with us to ensure that you have our complete attention and that an experienced and understanding member of staff is available for you.

The Chapel is private and you will be able to spend all the time that you feel you need with no pressure from us. While the Chapel is small and personal, there is no limit on the numbers who may attend, or indeed on the frequency of visits.

Many people do find great comfort in the quiet peace of the Chapel. Just being with their loved one, holding the hand, talking to them or giving a gentle farewell kiss can mean so much. You may find it comforting to bring a gift, a flower from the garden, or something of personal significance. You may wish to place letters or photographs in the coffin. We will willingly assist you in placing these and assure you they will remain, undisturbed.

We have a skilled and very caring team working with us. We do our very best to present the deceased looking as natural as possible, as if in sleep. So many have found the experience of visiting the Chapel of Rest to be very helpful and reassuring. However, if you are unsure, a member of our staff will willingly talk this over with you in a sympathetic way, but always the final decision will be yours. Our staff will also come into the Chapel and remain with you if you so wish.

Please remember that making an appointment will help us to give you our full attention and support. This is especially important for visits planned outside of normal working hours.