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Direct Cremation or Traditional Cremation – What is the Difference?

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When a loved one passes, there are many decisions to be made about the funeral arrangements. One of the main factors to consider is choosing between a direct or traditional cremation.  

funeral cremation urn with yellow roses

It’s helpful to understand the main differences between these options to make the best choice for your family. Below we cover the main features of each.  

What is a direct cremation?  

A direct cremation is also known as a simple cremation. There is no traditional funeral ceremony and no attendees at a service. In this type of cremation, the deceased is taken to the crematorium, and the cremation takes place. The ashes are returned to loved ones afterwards. In some cases, a small number of family members may attend a committal. 

This cremation option offers a lower-cost alternative compared to a traditional funeral. You will not have the expense of a hearse, transport to the service or coffin. However, the deceased is cremated in a simple coffin such as wood veneer or other material. 

While there is no traditional funeral for a direct cremation, loved ones can organise a celebration of their life at a later date. This gives you the freedom to choose how and when to say goodbye to the deceased.  

The benefits of a direct cremation  

What is a traditional cremation?  

A traditional cremation is a full funeral service, which the family arranges with a funeral director. This type of funeral involves everything from transporting the deceased to the crematorium, to limousines for family members and scheduling a wake or funeral reception for family and friends.  

A complete funeral package also allows you to visit the deceased in a chapel of rest a few days before the service.  

The benefits of a traditional cremation  

Direct or traditional cremation – what is the right option for you? 

Arranging a cremation is a very personal decision. Each option provides a way to say goodbye to your loved one. However, it also has to feel right for the whole family and take into consideration costs and finances.  

The deceased may also have expressed wishes for the cremation, which a funeral director can help with. They may also have a prepaid funeral plan that ensures everything is taken care of when they pass.  

Professional and compassionate funeral services in Bristol  

Whether you choose a direct cremation in Bristol or want a traditional funeral with family and friends present – both provide a way to celebrate the life of a loved one.  

Each cremation option has several benefits, and at Jamieson Funeral Directors, we can help to organise whichever is best for you. Prepaid funeral plans can also take the pressure off family members during an already challenging time – and you can rest assured that everything is taken care of when the time comes.  

If you’d like to find out more about our direct and complete cremation packages, please contact us on 0117 956 4796 or by email at

When arranging a funeral for a loved one, several documents are needed before planning can go ahead. Understanding what paperwork is required during this difficult time can help to make the process more straightforward. 

close-up of man filling in funeral legal documents

Read on for more information on the legal documents required for funeral arrangements.  

Death Certificate  

One of the most important legal documents for funeral arrangements is the death certificate. Before a funeral can take place, the death needs to be registered legally by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This is commonly known as a death certificate or certified copy of an entry of death.  

To receive a death certificate, the death needs to be formally recognised by a medical certificate. This is usually obtained from a doctor, GP or coroner. Once you have this certificate, you can apply for a death certificate to start planning a funeral and settling affairs.  

The current cost of a death certificate is £11 in England and Wales, £10 in Scotland and £8 in Northern Ireland. When dealing with the financial and legal affairs of a loved one, you will need to send an original copy of this certificate. Some people choose to purchase several copies. However, organisations will send back death certificates when requested so you can reuse them.  

Certificate for Burial or Cremation  

A certificate for burial or cremation is also known as a ‘green form’. Your funeral director needs this certificate to start the funeral arrangements. This certificate allows a person to be buried or cremated and gives permission to the funeral director.  

This certificate is issued free of charge.  

Documents needed for arranging a burial funeral 

For a burial funeral, a grave plot must be purchased. When applying for a plot, you will be issued deeds to this space. Your funeral director will need these documents to make the necessary arrangements.  

Documents needed for arranging a cremation 

Applying for a cremation usually involves filling out a form named Cremation Form 1. Your funeral director can assist in completing this form, after which it will be sent to the local authority.  

Sometimes other forms are required. However, they are typically requested by the funeral director and transferred to the crematorium.  

Certificate of Registration of Death 

If your loved one received benefits or state pension, the Registrar might issue a Certificate of Registration of Death or ‘white form’. This needs to be sent to the Jobcentre Plus office to inform them of the death.  

This certificate is also issued free of charge.  

Checking a loved one’s funeral arrangements  

Arranging a funeral and sorting the paperwork can be distressing for families, but our experienced Bristol funeral directors can help to simplify the process. In some cases, your loved one may have organised a prepaid funeral plan to relieve the stress of this challenging time. Once the relevant documentation is obtained, their wishes are carried out according to the funeral plan.  

We’re here to help 

We understand that organising a funeral is a challenging time for everyone. So, at Jamieson independent funeral directors in Bristol, we’re here to help make the arrangements as smooth as possible.  

Obtaining legal documents for funeral arrangements can be confusing and stressful. If you require assistance with the documentation you need and what’s involved – please contact us for advice on 0117 956 4796 or by email at

Arranging a funeral is an upsetting period for family and friends. However, choosing a prepaid funeral plan can relieve the financial worry at this already distressing time.  

Mourner with lilies placing their hand on a funeral casket

So, what is a prepaid funeral plan? In this post, our specialist team of Bristol funeral directors will explain what’s included, what the benefits are, and how to set up your plan. 

What is a prepaid funeral plan, and is it right for me? 

A prepaid funeral plan is a package that enables you to pay for and plan your funeral arrangements in advance. This option allows individuals to protect family members from rising funeral costs. It also shares your wishes and decisions regarding the arrangements with your loved ones.  

What’s included in a prepaid funeral plan? 

There are several options to choose from, depending on the selected prepaid funeral plan package. At Jamieson, our funeral plan providers, Golden Charter, provide a wide range of tailored plans to suit your needs.  

For example, our Complete Funeral package includes: 

How do I set up a prepaid funeral plan? 

Setting up and paying for a prepaid funeral plan is simple. Costs are fixed at the time of purchase. This helps to avoid unpredictable increases in funeral costs.  

Payment can be made in full or via flexible instalments.  

The choice of packages also gives you the freedom to select individual details about your funeral and service requirements. Packages start from £1550 and can be tailored to your needs.  

If you’d like to learn more about setting up a prepaid funeral plan, our supportive team are available on our 24-hour phone line to provide help and advice. 

What are the benefits of a prepaid funeral plan? 

Choosing a prepaid funeral plan for yourself or a loved one has several benefits. Firstly, many decisions about the arrangements and service are already considered, which takes the pressure off family and friends.  

This type of plan covers aspects such as transport, organising the service and, ultimately, choosing a funeral director.  

Secondly, the cost of a funeral can fluctuate over time. Choosing a prepaid plan fixes the price on the day of purchase – giving you peace of mind that your family won’t have unexpected costs during this upsetting time.  

Who can buy a prepaid funeral plan? 

Prepaid funeral plans are available for anyone over the age of 18. Packages allow you to plan the arrangements and pay for them in advance.  

Funeral packages can be purchased without health or medical checks. However, individuals paying by instalments must be between 50 and 78 years old when applying.  

What happens to the plan and arrangements when I die? 

When you take out a prepaid funeral plan, it’s advisable to speak with your friends and family.  

When the time comes to make arrangements, they can call the number in your documents pack to start the process. The funeral director will take care of all the details and keep your loved ones updated.  

Can I take a prepaid funeral plan out for someone else? 

Yes. Prepaid funeral plans can be purchased for someone else. When completing the documents, you will need to fill in a section to identify yourself as the plan holder’s representative. This ensures paperwork is sent to the right person.  

A prepaid funeral plan in your own name can also be transferred to another person as long as it is paid in full.  

To find out more about arranging funeral plans in Bristol, contact us on 0117 956 4796 or email us at  

The loss of a loved one is never easy. When they’re taken into the care of a funeral home, you can still visit them at the chapel of rest. To make things a little clearer, we’ll explain what the chapel of rest is and what to expect when you visit. 

Wooden casket with white flowers and candles at a funeral home

What is the chapel of rest? 

A chapel of rest is a room or building, usually attached or housed within a funeral home, where you may visit and pay respects to your loved one before their funeral. 

What to expect at a chapel of rest 

Each chapel of rest will vary between funeral homes, but there are several general features to expect. There will usually be a table or stand for the coffin or casket. This is known as a catafalque. There will be seating for you to spend time peacefully with your loved one. A chapel of rest either has no windows or windows covered with thick curtains for additional privacy. 

Should I visit the chapel of rest? 

There is no obligation to visit the chapel of rest if you don’t want to or feel unable to. The chapel of rest is there to allow mourners to visit and say goodbye to their loved ones, if they wish to. However, others prefer not to visit. If you’re unsure about whether you’d like to visit the chapel of rest, it may help to speak with your funeral director, who can advise you.  

If you do decide that you’d like to visit the chapel of rest, contacting your funeral director to arrange a suitable time and date to visit is the first step. They can also advise you about whether a visit would be distressing or harmful – for example, if the death was due to a potentially infectious disease. 

Who can visit a chapel of rest? 

You might be wondering if there are any restrictions on who can visit a chapel of rest. Though there are no legal restrictions on who can attend, this will ultimately be at the discretion of the deceased’s family or those arranging the funeral, so you should always speak with them first before visiting. You should also contact the funeral home beforehand to arrange a suitable visiting time. 

Etiquette for visiting a chapel of rest 

What to wear to a chapel of rest 

This will depend on whether the family of the deceased have specified a dress code or if there are any religious requirements specified. If these don’t apply, then there is no formal dress code to follow. 

Can I speak at a chapel of rest? 

Yes, you can speak at the chapel of rest. Some mourners use this as an opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones or tell them how they feel. There are no strict rules on what you can or cannot say, but you should always be respectful to the other people in the room by considering your volume, tone of voice, and wording. 

Can I take photographs? 

There is no restriction against taking photographs in a chapel of rest, but you should always check with the family of the deceased and the funeral organisers first to ensure you don’t cause offense. 

Compassionate and respectful funeral services in Bristol 

Arranging a funeral can be a daunting task, especially whilst you’re grieving for a loved one. Additional considerations such as deciding whether to visit the chapel of rest can seem overwhelming. If you have any questions about visiting a loved one before the funeral or about the funeral process itself, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our caring and helpful team.  

To learn more about our funeral packages or book an appointment at our funeral home in Bristol, call us on 0117 956 4796 or email at

Losing a loved one is never easy and arranging a funeral can be tough, especially when your world has just been turned upside down. Whether you’ve organised a funeral before or it’s your first time, feeling overwhelmed or underprepared is completely understandable.

Female funeral director asking a question

Funeral arrangements will depend on several factors, including your loved one’s religion and their final wishes. Knowing what you want for their service and what to expect when making funeral arrangements can make the process a little easier.

So, what questions will a funeral director ask you? Read on for our essential guide on what to expect at your first appointment below.

What to expect when visiting a funeral director

Firstly, it is important to understand that funeral directors are highly empathetic and understanding of your situation. If you don’t feel ready to go to the funeral home, it is perfectly acceptable to request that the funeral director come to you instead.

Nor do you have to visit the funeral director straight away. Once the death has been registered, you will be given a green form which you must take with you to the funeral home (or have with you at the home visit). The time frame in which you decide to do this is up to you.

Funeral directors understand that losing a loved one is a life-changing event, and they are there to guide and support you through the process in whichever way is best for you.

Questions to expect

Funeral directors are not cold or indifferent, there to bombard you with questions about your dearly departed. They are there to listen, give advice and offer guidance. However, they will need to ask you a few questions to make sure that the funeral goes ahead smoothly and that all your wishes are respected.

To help you prepare for the funeral, our dedicated Bristol funeral directors will ask you some of the following questions:

Depending on how you answer, there may be follow-on questions to ensure the funeral director fully understands what your wishes are and how best to arrange them.

Questions to ask a funeral director

You may have lots of questions to ask, but don’t worry if you don’t. Your appointment with one of our female funeral directors is a conversation – not a questionnaire. They will be happy to answer any questions you have about the process, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Common questions that we encounter from our customers are:

You may have questions not included on this list – and that is fine too. All in all, your appointment to discuss the arrangements will take around an hour, in which you will have the opportunity to make your final goodbye as special as possible.

If you’d like to book an appointment at our funeral home in Bristol or you want more information about our services, call our 24-hour phone line on 0117 956 4796 or email us at and we’ll be in touch soon.