Where do we need to go to make the funeral arrangements? 
There is no need for you to go anywhere to make the arrangements; our experienced Funeral Directors will come to your home at a time convenient to you to discuss your wishes. If you prefer, you are welcome to come to our premises; we have a comfortable and relaxed environment where we can talk through the plans for the funeral.

Do I have to be associated with a church to have a church service?
If the deceased attended a church, you may wish to have the service there. Many churches are also happy to take funeral services for those who lived within their parish. There is a chapel at the crematorium where a church service can take place. The Funeral Directors at Hubert Swainson have long-standing relationships with all the churches and clergymen in the district and we can arrange a minister of any denomination to take the service at the Crematorium Chapel or at the graveside. If you would rather have a non-religious service, this can be arranged on your behalf, with options including a Humanist Officiant or conducting the service yourself.

How do we register the death?
In order to register the death you need to have the death certificate. This is issued by the doctor who last saw the deceased. We can take care of all the paperwork except for registering the death itself. We can collect the death certificate from the doctors and lodge it with the registrar, after which you have 13 days to register the death. If you have the death certificate in your possession, you have five days in which to register. You must have an appointment at the Registrar’s, which can be made by telephone or online and you will be advised what you are required to take when you make the appointment, as this depends on your preferred type of funeral.

Harrogate Registry Office can be contacted by telephone on: 01609 780780 or email

What should we wear to the funeral?
It is no longer expected that all mourners at a funeral will wear black or dark clothing. Sometimes those organising the funeral may request a dress code – such as wearing a bright colour – if they know the wishes of the deceased. If in doubt it may be best to dress formally in more subdued colours.

Who is responsible for paying for the funeral?
The person that orders the funeral pays for it but the costs are usually covered by the estate of the deceased. At Hubert Swainson we will wait until probate is granted for payment but most solicitors can arrange for the fees to be paid by the bank before this, though it is worth noting that this is the only bill that can be paid prior to probate.

If there is no money in the family or the estate, help may be given by central government, however the person arranging the funeral must also be in receipt of benefits.

What happens to the ashes after cremation? 
We will collect the ashes shortly after the cremation and place them in an urn of your choice. The ashes of the deceased can be delivered to your home, collected from Hubert Swainson or we can scatter them on your behalf in the garden of remembrance at Stonefall Cemetery.

Many people choose to scatter the ashes at a site of special significance to the deceased or the family. If the land is privately owned, you will need permission from the landowner. Organisations like the National Trust usually grant permission when asked. The ashes can also be buried in a grave and marked with a headstone.