Glossary of Terms

Applicant - this is the deceased’s next of kin, for eg spouse, civil partner or closest blood relative. This person will be the named applicant on all the paperwork.

CFF - Children’s Funeral Fund, fees for cremating or burying a child under the age of 18 in England and Wales is now covered by the government.

Coroner - when the doctor is unable to issue a medical certificate of cause of death, they will refer the case to the coroner. The coroner will then investigate the death. They may require a post-mortem or, if the cause still cannot be determined, a coroner’s inquest.

Death Certificate - once the family member has registered the death they can order a copy of the death certificate from the registrar.

Disbursements - are the costs of a funeral that the funeral director collects on behalf of third-parties for eg Crematorium fees, Doctors fees, Ministers fees etc.

DWP - Department of Work and Pensions, this government department may be able to assist with funeral costs if it meets the required qualifications.

Estimate - once you have had your initial meeting with the funeral director they will send you an estimate by post of the costs involved based on what was discussed in the meeting and on what prices they had available at that time.

Executor - this may be a solicitor or family member that had been chosen by the person before their death to act on their behalf and sign any official documents.

Funeral Plan - This is a plan that the person paid for before their death to help cover some or all of the funeral costs.

Funeral Director - conducts the funeral service on the day and also arranges and supervises all of the details leading up to and on the day of the funeral service.

Green Form - is printed by the registrar after registration of the death and is passed by the family to the funeral directors so that the cremation or burial can take place.

Guaranteed Funeral Plan - this means no matter when the plan was originally taken out the plan will cover all of the costs that were originally written into the plan.

Inquest - is a fact-finding inquiry to establish who has died, and how, when and where the death occurred. An inquest does not establish any matter of liability or blame.

Interim Death Certificate - if a coroner has been requested to examine a suspicious death you will not be able to register the death until the coroner has concluded their investigations. However, the coroner will usually issue an interim death certificate so that the funeral can go ahead and probate can be granted.

Invoice - is a summary of all the funeral expenses incurred by the funeral directors either directly or through a third party and will be sent by post or email approximately 7 to 10 days after the funeral service has taken place.

Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) - this will be issued by the deceased’s doctor once they are satisfied that the death was from natural causes or was expected. This certificate is required by the registrar before they can register the death or issue the ‘green form’.

Next of kin - often refers to the deceased living spouse or civil partner, or if this is not applicable their next closest blood line relative who is often also the main contact during the funeral arrangements.

Non-Guaranteed Funeral Plan - this means the plan will only cover the costs mentioned in the funeral plan up to a certain amount and the remainder will need to be paid for in the form of a supplementary invoice.

Order of service - this is a printed leaflet that can include many personalised details of the funeral service including hymns, readings, music, photos etc.

Pathologist - is a medical professional who specialises in the diagnosis of disease after death and identifying the causes of death. He or she carries out a post-mortem examination.

Post-mortem examination - is a detailed medical examination of the body that takes place after death and is conducted by a pathologist. It is also known as an autopsy. The purpose of the post-mortem examination is to establish the medical cause of death.

Pre-inquest hearing - is a public hearing that the coroner may choose to hold in order to decide matters such as scope and date of the inquest and witnesses and evidence that they plan to call and use.

Press Announcements - this is the notice you would like to appear in the newspaper/s of your choice, wording to be chosen by the family. It can include details such as name, date, place and time of funeral, reception, charity etc.

Probate - the process of proving before a judicial authority that a document that has been presented as the last will and testament of a deceased person is genuine.

Supplementary Invoice - this is an invoice for any additional costs that were not covered by the funeral plan such as press announcement, flowers etc.

Tell Us Once - is a government service which allows you to alert every relevant government department to the persons passing in one phone call.