Frequently asked questions


How much does a funeral cost?

We are always open about the cost of funerals and details for both our services and disbursements (such as crematorium, burial or doctors’ fee) can be found under planning the funeral listed clearly for you to see what fee every option may entail or please see the our full price list here.


Are burials or cremations more expensive?

In general, unless a grave has been purchased previously, cremations are usually less than a burial.


What does a Coroner do and why are they involved?

It is the coroner’s responsibility to ascertain the cause of death and they will often be involved when the person who has died unexpectedly, but not only to this situation. The vast majority of deaths that are reported to the coroner are discovered to be from natural causes however in some cases, they may require further investigation, and will therefore issue an interim death certificate until the cause of death has been established, but this allows for the funeral to still take place.
In certain circumstances, the coroner may investigate a death even when the person has been ill for some time to check situations such as from diseases which may have been caused by the deceased’s occupation, or deaths after recent operations, to ensure that public interest has been served.
The coroner does not need permission to carry out a post-mortem or investigation, nor can this be stopped by anyone including family or the funeral directors.


What do I need to do to register the death?

Once we have been asked to take care of the deceased, we will inform the family when their loved ones are safely with us.
Currently, once the doctors’ papers are completed and availability at the selected crematorium has been confirmed, a service can take place within approximately seven working days, although most funerals will more commonly take place within two weeks. Registration of the death can only be done by appointment with the Registrar in the area the person died. If you are unable to attend due to your location, registration can be done by declaration. Should an inquest be opened you will not be able to register, however you will be issued with an interim certificate and the funeral may still take place. If you have the deceased’s Birth or Marriage Certificates to hand you can take them along to the Registrar (the documents will not be retained, they are for information only) but any information you hold on the person who has died such as their place and date of birth, maiden name, family and job are what will commonly be asked.
Bath Registry Office: 01225 477234
Frome Registry Office: 01373 462887
We can provide details of other registration districts.
Patient Affairs at the Royal United Hospital, Bath can be contacted on 01225 824015 for any deaths occuring there. If the death was unexpected or has been reported to a Coroner by a Doctor, a Post Mortem may have to be carried out.


Do you need to register the death before speaking to a funeral director or arranging the funeral?

The simple answer is no, even if the Coroner is involved your funeral director will guide you through timings and what can be arranged when you speak to them.


What if something isn’t right or didn’t go how I’d hoped?

There are occasions when a client may feel dissatisfied with aspects of the services provided as part of the funeral. At Clarkson’s we will always check with you throughout to make sure things are going as they should, and will always do a follow up call to make sure that the day itself went as well as it can considering the time. This provides you with the opportunity to talk through every aspect of the service you have received because we want to get this right for all of our clients.
As members of The National Association of Funeral Directors we follow their Code of Practice, with which all NAFD Funeral Directors are obliged to comply, and this provides a simple procedure to resolve problems between Funeral Directors and their clients. Copies of the Code of Practice are readily available and are there to make sure you are cared for by your funeral director.


Can I have something a bit ‘different’ or ‘unusual’ at the funeral?

Of course! Carol and Sophie have based Clarkson’s on their independence from any large chain to be able to cater to every client’s wish and as long as it is something we can do, we will.
The choices are so varied from location, to music choices, collages of hundreds of photos, or a large one by the coffin; whether there are horse and carriages with bright pink plumes, a motorbike hearse or vegetable arrangements instead of a floral one. Burials on private farmland to singing with the choir, a bugler or jazz musician, petals or bubbles. There are eco-coffins made of sheep’s wool, traditional choices or full glitter coffins with some diamantes thrown in; there’s personalised coffins which we have sprayed the flag or design onto or covered in ribbons and photos, the choices are there for you to decide from as much variety as you would like. Family and friends can carry the coffin or people can line the street whilst we drive past a home on our way to the funeral service. Whatever you’re thinking, speak to us and we’ll always try our hardest to make it happen for you.


I’ve chosen a minister/service taker, but I don’t think I want to use them. Can I change my mind?

Yes, absolutely. We always talk through with our clients what they would like and if you speak to the person who you thought you’d like to take the service, but decide that for whatever reason they just aren’t quite right, then simply let us know. Our job is to find the right person for you, so that’s what we will do and you only have to tell us -is isn’t down to you to feel uncomfortable by telling them yourself, we’re here to do what we can do get everything right on such a difficult day.
Nothing is set in stone. You can change your mind throughout and we will always tell you when final decisions have to be made by so you can work things out accordingly.


These are only a few of the questions we’re asked daily, but we are always here to answer anything that you are wondering about. That’s what we’re here for so never hesitate to give us a call or email and we’ll discuss things until you feel you understand or your question is answered. We would always rather you asked than sat there wondering about the answer.


Our standardised price list is available here.

Our full price list is available here.

“The pages on this website should help you consider some of these preliminary arrangements but we will talk these over with you when we meet. We will also take some of the pressure off you by making the arrangements on your behalf. We have direct links with the local Churches, Ministers, Crematoriums and Cemeteries.”

Carol Spalding and
Sophie May, Directors



Martha's House
BA11 3HA
01373 463888
Windsor Place
Upper Bristol Road
01225 426822
Saltford Branch
489b Bath Road
Saltford, Bristol
BS31 3BA
01225 873535

National Association of Funeral Directors

We are a registered member of the National Association of Funeral Directors, and the Federation of Small Businesses.

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Federation of Small Businesses


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