An aspect of your funeral you may not have thought about is, Where do you want your body to be kept before the the funeral ceremony?

Although you may already have a preference, this guide looks at some of the practicalities involved to help you make an informed decision.

Who is this guide for? 

  • Those unsure about the options for where your body may be kept in the days before a funeral
  • Anyone who is curious about what measures are needed to keep their body at home 

Reading time:

 2 mins

Where will my body be kept before the funeral?

If you don’t state a preference, then you will be brought into the care of the funeral director until the funeral. However, your family can request otherwise.

Furthermore, some of the larger funeral companies often have central hubs where bodies will be stored on tiered racks.  If the idea of many bodies being stored in close proximity - and away from the funeral home - concerns you. Then your best option would be to choose a small, independent funeral director with their own on-site refrigeration facilities. (You are still likely to have company, but on a much smaller scale).

Can my body be looked after at home before the funeral?

Yes.  If you die at home, your body can stay there until the funeral.  If you die away from home, arrangements can be made for your body to be brought home.  

Additionally, if you are taken into the care of a funeral director there is often the option to be transported to your home leading up to the funeral.  And vice versa. Bear in mind should the practicalities of looking after you at home become too much.  This will, of course, add to the cost of your funeral.

In some cases your preference for where your body is kept after death and before your funeral may be based on your religious views or guided by practical considerations.

To conclude whatever you decide, the most important thing you can do is to let your loved ones know what you would like to happen.  Writing down your wishes in a document for your family to refer to when you've gone, can help minimise further stress arising from confusion about what to do.

Can I check a funeral home's mortuary facilities?

Yes.  If you have a particular funeral home in mind and are worried about where you will be kept, then there are a couple of things you can do.

  1. 1
    You can ask the funeral director to show you ‘back of house’ (the mortuary facilities) or an inspection report by an independent body. This can give you some assurance that their facilities are respectful and up to scratch.  (The problem with this option is that it could be some time after you've visited before you need the funeral director's services and their standard of care could change).
  2. 2
    Alternatively, you could ask a family member or friend if they could check the funeral director's back of house facilities. Which can happen at the time the funeral arrangements are being made.  If they aren't comfortable with that suggestion,  get them to ask the funeral director for a copy of their inspection report.  Finally, If they have any concerns they should make a request you are moved to another funeral home.

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About the author 

Sophie Williams

Sophie can usually be found reading a book. Writing a novel has always been on her bucket list. When not absorbed in the latest page-turner, Sophie likes to explore and gain a deeper understanding of peoples' attitudes towards end-of-life planning and how it impacts their lives. She hopes that in some small way her writing around these topics can make a positive difference to her readers.

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