Knowledge Bank


The person whom is legally appointed to settle the estate of the person who has passed away.

The poignant date for individuals to focus on the memory of their loved ones.

The material remains of a body that has been cremated.

A post-mortem examination to identify the cause of death.


An individual that carries or helps to transport the coffin through the stages of the funeral.

An individual receiving an inheritance from the deceased’s will.

Benevolent Fund
An organisation that can provide financial support and help with funeral cost to those who will be left or are currently in financial hardship.

The individuals that have experience the death of someone who they hold dear. This term is typically used to refer to the immediate family of the deceased.

The period of mourning following the death of a loved one.

Bereavement Support Organisation
An organisation that provide advice for bereaved people to help them cope with the grief of losing a loved one, this includes charities and support groups.

Bereavement Support Payment
Is a welfare benefit that some individuals may be entitled to if their husband, wife or civil partner has died. It is not a means-tested benefit, therefore everyone, regardless of their income is entitled to it.

The leaving of property to a beneficiary by a will.

The act of leaving a payment or property to an individual.

A moveable frame that a coffin or corpse is placed upon before burial or cremation.

Body Donation
The donation of an individual’s remains for research and education.

A ceremony in which an individual’s body is buried.

Burial at Sea
A ceremony in which an individual’s remains are buried at sea, normally from a ship or boat.

Burial Fees
The fee for digging the grave at the time of the funeral.

Burial Ground
The area of ground set aside for the burial of an individuals remains.

Burial Plot
The spot where the body is laid to rest in the ground.


Casket – A rectangular box where the body is laid to rest

Catafalque – The stand in which the coffin or casket is placed during the funeral service.

Celebrant – The person who officiates at a funeral service.

Cemetery – The area of land which is used for burial.

Cenotaph – A monument to an individual buried elsewhere.

Certificate for Burial or Cremation – is an important document that sets out clearly your wishes to your next of kin and family in respect to their burial or cremation.

Chattels – A legal term for the belongings in a will.

Chapel of Rest – A remembrance room found at funeral homes where you can privately visit your loved one and pay respects before the funeral service.

Chief Mourners – Family and close friends of the deceased wo will be part of the funeral procession.

Churchyard – The area of lang surrounding a church used for burial.

Civil Celebrant – An individual who leads a Civil Celebration Funeral, accredited by The Institute of Civil Funerals.

Civil Celebration Funeral – A funeral reflecting the values and beliefs of the deceased, rather than any religion

Codicil – Updates or changes to the will.

Coffin – A tapered designed box where the body is laid to rest.

Colourful Funeral – Where mourners are invited to wear colour at the funeral rather than black.

Columbarium – The room that stores urns.

Committal Service – the part of the funeral service that precedes the placement of the body in the burial plot.

Coroner – the person in charge of discovering the cause of death in usual circumstances.

Cortege – the procession of the deceased and their family and friends from the funeral home to the service.

Cremation – the process of converting the body of the deceased into ashes by incineration.

Crematorium – the building that the cremation takes place.


Death Certificate – The official document confirming the death of the person in question.

Death Notice – a public announcement of a death, often appearing in a newspaper.

Direct Burial – the burial of the deceased without any funeral service.

Direct Cremation – the cremation of the deceased without any funeral service.

Disbursement Fees – fees related to a funeral which are not covered by the funeral director.

Disposition – the method of disposing of the dead body (i.e. burial or cremation)


Eco-friendly Burial – A burial which has minimal impact on the environment.

Embalming – the process of preserving the body after death by removing internal organs and injecting it with a preservative fluid.

Epitaph – a phrase describing the life of the deceased, normally found on their gravestone.

Estate – everything that belonged to the deceased prior to their death.

Eulogy – a speech given at a funeral service remembering their life.

Exclusive Right of Burial (EROB) – The allocation of a grave to a named individual, who has been given the right to decide who is buried in that grave and what memorial can be erected.

Executor – the person named that will be responsible for managing the estate.

Exhumation – the removal of a body from a burial site for it to be relocate it somewhere else or to conduct a post-mortem in circumstances where foul play may be suspected.


Funeral – a service that commemorates the life of someone who has passed on.

Funeral Arranger – the employee of the funeral director whose role is to arrange funerals.

Funeral Directing – The role of advising and supporting the bereaved, caring for the deceased, organising and conducting all matters related to a funeral service.

Funeral Director – who takes care of the arrangements associated with a funeral, including storing and preparing the body, sourcing a location and overseeing the necessary arrangements on the day.

Funeral Expenses Payment – Financial support provided by the government to help with funeral costs.

Funeral Notice – A notice placed online, or in a newspaper, announcing a death and giving details of the forthcoming funeral.

Funeral Plan – planning a funeral in advance and paying for it at today’s prices.

Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) – Is an organisation set up to regulate funeral plan providers in the UK and protect customers.

Funeral Procession – The vehicle that carries the deceased, and any vehicle carrying family members and close friends.

Funeral Spray – Flower arrangements used to decorate coffins or caskets.


Grant of Probate – a document that grants someone the role of executor of the estate.

Grant of Representation – a term for grants of probate and letters of administration.

Grave – A plot is prepared in the ground to receive a coffin, casket and ashes

Gravestone – A stone market that is placed where the deceased is buried.

Graveyard – An area of land that is used for burials.

Grave marker – A temporary memorial such as a wooden plaque or cross that is placed on a grave before a permanent memorial is installed.

Green Funeral – an eco-friendly burial that aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Guardian – a person designated to care for offspring in the event that their natural parents die before the child.

Guardian’s Allowance – a sum of monies given to the guardian appointed to look after someone else’s child after their death.


Half-couch Casket or Coffin – a coffin or casket that allows the upper half of the body to be visible at the funeral service.

Headstone – see gravestone.

Hearse – a vehicle used to transport the body of the deceased.

Humanist Funeral – a non-religious ceremony

Hymn Sheet – a summary of songs to be sung at the service.


Inheritance Tax – a one-off tax collected and imposed by the government in the case that the deceased estate surpasses the threshold.

Inquest – A legal investigation that takes place after a post-mortem if the cause of death is still unknown.

Interment – the process of burying a. coffin, casket or urn.

Intestate – When a person passes away without a will and their estate goes to their closest family member by law.

Inurnment – the placing of an urn containing the ashes in its final location.



Keepsake – an item such as jewellery designated to commemorate the deceased. It can contain a small amount of their ashes.


Letter of Administration – when there is no will, it is a document that grants an individual the role of executor of the estate.

Living Will – the document outlining how an individual would like to be treated if they become incapacitated or paralysed but not deceased.


Mausoleum – A building used to house bodies.

Medical Certificate of Cause of Death – an official document signed by a Doctor confirming the cause, time and date of death.

Memorial – an object that is erected to commemorate the individual that has passed away.

Memorial Service – similar to a funeral but without the body being present.

Mirror Wills – a will created by two partners which closely resemble each other, normally leaving everything to the surviving partner.

Mortician – the individual who prepares the body for display at the funeral.

Mortuary – the room that bodies are stored prior to burial or cremation.


Next of Kin – the closest surviving relative of the deceased.


Obituary – a written summary of the life of the deceased.

Officiant – the person who leads the funeral or memorial service.

Order of Service – printed summary of the content of the funeral service.

Organ Donation – the donation of organs for medical use.


Pall Bearer – a person who helps transport the coffin throughout the stages of the funeral.

Plot – a reserved space for the burial of someone’s loved one.

Post-Mortem – the examination of a body after the individuals’ death, ordered by a coroner.

Pre-need Funeral / Prepaid Funeral – a funeral paid for in advance.

Private Funeral – A funeral attended by invitation only.

Probate – the legal process of dealing with the estate of the deceased.


Quotes – can be used as part of a eulogy to bring memories to life.


Register – a book to record the names and messages of those who attend a funeral.

Registry Office – a government office that handles the registration of death.

Religious Funerals – funerals that follow particular traditions based upon the religion of the deceased, from the preparations to the service itself.

Repatriation – the returning of the deceased’s body to a person’s home country.


Scattering – the scattering of ashes over land or water

Secular – a non-religious service.

Survivors – the living family members of the deceased.


Thanksgiving Service – A service held to give thanks for the life of the deceased individual.

Tombstone – see gravestone.

Trestles – the stands on which the coffin rests upon during the service.


Undertaker – see funeral director.

Urn – the container used to hold cremation ashes.


Viewing or Visitation – any visit to the body of the deceased by friends and family before cremation or burial.

Vigil – a catholic service that takes place the evening before the funeral.


Wake – the gathering of friends and family to celebrate the life of the deceased.

Will – the legal document made by the deceased prior to their death.