Low Cost Funeral Director of the Year

Fran Hall

15-lucy-coulbert-low-cost-provider

Lucy Coulbert of Coulbert Family Funerals

Having geared her business specifically to help families of limited means arrange dignified and respectful funerals, Lucy was the only funeral director in England and Wales to give evidence to the 2016 DWP Bereavement Benefits Enquiry.

Lucy gives a 100% customer-focused service, unconstrained by the traditions of funeral service. In an industry which sets great store by conformity and mystique, Lucy is somewhat of a maverick. She does what she believes to be right and pays no heed to gainsayers.

She is at the forefront of a new, open way of doing things and her practice is a beacon to anyone contemplating establishing their own funeral business. She has been brave and outspoken and richly deserves this recognition.

Lucy has committed herself to supporting people of limited means, helping them create an affordable funeral. Funeral poverty has become a major issue in these times of austerity. Lucy created Coulbert Family Funerals to exclusively help people applying to the DWP for financial help paying for a funeral.

In the furtherance of the cause of combatting funeral poverty, Lucy gave evidence the Bereavement Benefits enquiry conducted by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) this year giving both oral and written evidence about the causes of, and solutions to, funeral poverty with Baroness Altmann and the DWP. She was the only person asked to attend all three meetings in the capacity of a funeral director.

Lucy is highly responsive to what her clients ask for. She publishes all her prices online, thereby achieving a transparency that all funeral directors would do well to emulate.

Lucy said: “I help people arrange the funeral they want in the way they want, and I do so in the most ethical way I can. I listen to what people want and don’t try to push them into having things they don’t want or need.”

 

Runner Up in this Category: Funerals on a Budget

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BradLucy CoulbertLorraine SutherlandplsMark ShawDavid Holmes Recent comment authors

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Brad
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Brad

I think part of the problem is the British psyche. If people talked about undertakers and what’s on offer at what price in the same way they do about supermarkets, what they sell and the relative cost then the bigger players would not be able to get away with putting up the costs along with the mystification. Look on Facebook networks – people are forever discussing which is the best service for this that and the other – but never for funerals. It’s the kind of thing where some shopping around in advance would be a good thing — but… Read more »

Lorraine Sutherlandpls
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Lorraine Sutherlandpls

Pls could you help me.my brother died 4mnths ago and still asnt been buried.the funeral directors wont burie him till social fund send a payment to them.and social fund are saying that they will send payment after burial.its dispicable that he is left in the mortuary for this lenghth off time.there must be some one that can help me.im really begging just to lay him at rest with my mum.i want to publish this in news papers but dont no how to go about it

Lucy Coulbert
Guest

Hi Lorraine, I’m really sorry to read your post but there are things that can be done to help. The majority of funeral directors will ask for at least the disbursements (which are costs they pay out for you) before the funeral takes place. However, some funeral directors should issue you with a full and final invoice before the funeral takes place so it can be submitted to the Department of Work and Pensions. We are no different. We wouldn’t undertake a funeral until the Department of Work and Pensions paid what was due. We do however help with the… Read more »

Lucy Coulbert
Guest

Our email is info@coulbertfamilyfunerals.co.uk

If your funeral director isn’t being anywhere near helpful, you aren’t obligated to stay.

Have a look on the Good Funeral Guide for a recommended funeral dirctor or do get in touch with us and we will happily recommend one for you.

Mark Shaw
Guest

I haven’t grasped the benefit of opening a new company? I can offer low cost, simple through the same company as a do all my other funerals.

Lucy Coulbert
Guest

I started Coulbert Family Funerals for two reasons, to run it as a not for profit company and to be crystal clear on what I was prepared and what I wasn’t prepared to do. We guarantee that should a family use us, if the DWP pay out the maximum award of £700 “towards other costs,” then they will never have an additional bill to pay. By the time I have hired a hearse, bearers, paid for a coffin, carried out the removal of the person who has died and kept them with us (cost price to me), I am left… Read more »

Lucy Coulbert
Guest

Thanks David. It’s a shame that I felt there was a need to start this company in the first place. Honestly, I am hoping that rather the need for it increase, that in a few years time I can close it down because it isn’t needed any more. By talking directly and honestly with MP’s and SMP’s, that they finally understand what funeral poverty means and therefore increasing the fees they pay out and changing the length of time it takes to pay along with funeral directors charging a reasonable amount for it to make it worth their while arranging,… Read more »

David Holmes
Guest

I agree a specification should be agreed by the grave trade. Years ago, in my view the then DHSS system was too open to abuse. All a family had to do was nominate the family member who lived on any kind of benefit to arrange the funeral and sign the paperwork. In my area, sometimes this meant not just a hearse and limousine, flowers etc, but a new grave for two at often (high) national chain high cost. The family could go anywhere for a funeral and effectively the state would pay and was paying for a future occupant –… Read more »

Lucy Coulbert
Guest

That is the thing David….choice. I actually attended a meeting in Scotland last week on funeral poverty and choice is the word that kept being used over and over again along with “it isn’t for the funeral industry to define what a simple funeral is.” Even the current system is open to abuse and this is why I am very clear about what I will and will not do through Coulbert Family Funerals. However, I also don’t think the system goes far enough in that there are couples working for minimum wage on a zero hours contract that just don’t… Read more »

David Holmes
Guest

Congratulations, I like your website Lucy! It’s very direct, honest and seems to perfectly represent what it is you do. I would be surprised if others don’t follow your lead.