Seven funeral myths debunked

May 30, 2022 

Organising a funeral can be difficult, especially as there are some myths and misconceptions surrounding some of the planning processes. At One Life, we believe it’s important that everyone has the knowledge about how to plan a funeral either for themselves or a loved one. So that, when the time comes you feel prepared and the process is as straightforward and stress free as possible. 

Below, we share more about seven of the most common funeral myths. 

Myth: You need to have a funeral service 

Fact: You can have a funeral without a service 

Lots of people do choose to have a funeral service before the cremation or burial, but it’s not compulsory and there’s no law that says you must have a service or ceremony.

A funeral without a service is called a direct cremation. It’s a low-cost, alternative to a traditional funeral that allows people to say their goodbye away from a crematorium or burial site, at a time and place that’s personal. 

At One Life we offer a direct cremation plan from £1,495 or £22.19 per month*. No matter how much the price of funerals may increase, we guarantee to cover the cost of the services chosen in your plan.

Myth: My loved one needs to be embalmed 

Fact: There’s no legal requirement to embalm someone when they die 

Although embalming is a funeral practice that’s been carried out for many years, there’s no legal requirement to embalm someone when they pass. There are a few exceptions to this – for example if someone dies abroad. The body will need to be embalmed before it travels overseas. 

Myth: You need to use a Funeral Director to arrange a funeral 

Fact: You can arrange a funeral without using a Funeral Director 

Funerals can be arranged with or without a funeral director. People sometimes choose to have a funeral director as it can make arranging a funeral a straightforward process, especially if the person who has passed hasn’t left any wishes. 

More people are starting to plan ahead and save their loved ones the worry of organising a funeral. They do this by putting a prepaid funeral plan in place. 

At One Life, our funerals are arranged over the phone with our knowledgeable consultants. That way, there’s no need for you to visit a funeral home or sit in a long meeting to go through your wishes. You’ll let us know what you want and what your budget is so that we can support you to choose a plan that meets your needs. Find out more about One Life funeral plans

Myth: Coffins are reused following a cremation 

Fact: Coffins are not recycled 

In the UK. the person isn’t removed from the coffin during a cremation. The body, together with the clothing and any other items are cremated with the coffin. That’s why all coffins that are used for cremation must be combustible and don’t emit smoke or toxic gas. 

There’s also another myth that more than one body is cremated at a time. This is untrue and each cremator is only large enough for one coffin at a time. 

Myth: You have to have a traditional coffin 

Fact: Untrue, there are lots of other options 

You can make what you are buried or cremated in as personal as you want. There are lots of options out there for a coffin – British wool, banana leaf, bamboo, willow, cardboard, some people even decorate the coffin themselves. 

Myth: The coffin must be transported in a hearse 

Fact: You don’t have to use a hearse – any vehicle large enough can be used 

Although a traditional funeral procession usually consists of a hearse carrying the coffin, this isn’t law. Funerals should be personal and unique to the individual who has passed. If you wanted to you could use a tractor, campervan or even a London Bus.

*£1,495 is the price for a paid in full direct cremation. It includes the £200 discount for paying in full. Offer ends 30 June 2022.

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