Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Citizens Advice

IF you have to organise a funeral for someone and there are no clear instructions in the will, bear in mind that you can organise the procedure without using the services of a funeral director.

The cemeteries and crematorium department of your local council can offer help and there are many sources of help online, such as the Natural Death Centre (

At present, when the prices charged by funeral companies are under government investigation, an alternative funeral can cost much less.

If you’re on certain benefits you might be able to get help paying for the funeral.

Citizens Advice has guidance for people planning a funeral for themselves or their loved ones:

• Shop around and get quotes from different local funeral directors. These quotes can vary, sometimes by as much as £2,000.

• Ask for a “basic funeral” and get the costs itemised so you can see what you are paying for.

• Choose “direct burial” — that way, there is no need to pay for embalming or visiting rights.

• Purchase a biodegradable cardboard or cloth-covered coffin or a wicker basket.

• A woodland or “natural” burial site is an option. There are 200 of them around Britain and several in Oxfordshire.

Citizens Advice has five advice centres in Oxfordshire, including the Henley one, and three outreach centres, including one at RAF Benson and another in Woodcote.

With 150 trained volunteer advisers and 10 paid staff, we advise 10,000 Oxfordshire people a year either face-to-face, by email or phone on issues such as benefits, debt, employment, housing, relationships and consumer issues.

This advice is free, impartial and completely confidential. For more information, call Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444, email henley@osavcab. or visit www.citizens

You can also call into your nearest Citizens Advice office, which is at 32 Market Place, Henley. The office is open from 10am to 3pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm to 6pm on Wednesdays and 10am to 1pm on Fridays.

The telephone advice line is available from 10am to 6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10am to 6.30pm on Thursdays and 10am to 4pm on Fridays.

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