No you don’t! You may be told, even by people in authority who ought to know better, that when someone dies you must engage a funeral director. WRONG. You are in charge. The person who has died is your responsibility. It is entirely up to you to decide whether or not you want to pay someone else to undertake matters on your behalf.

No law requires you to use an undertaker. An undertaker is your agent, your deputy, your colleague. You are the funeral director.

You employ an undertaker to do those things for you, and only those things, which you decide to delegate to him/her. An undertaker is an agent.

Undertakers are not subject to any statutory regulatory framework. Anyone can call themselves an undertaker. The Scottish Government is currently looking into the possibility of regulating funeral directors.

If you engage the services of an undertaker you are protected by consumer protection laws. Find out what your rights are here and here.

You will sign a contract with the funeral director for the supply of goods and services. You can require the funeral director to sign a contract with you concerning the privacy, security, dignity and care of the person who has died. Download a sample contract here: Contract.