Undertaking is not regulated by law, so there are no legal requirements for undertakers to be trained to a recognised standard and lcensed. The law takes a relaxed view of undertakers; its focus is on getting the dead buried or cremated before they become a health hazard.

When you think that you need a licence to open a cattery, it may seem wrong that anyone can set themselves up as an undertaker just like that. But scandals are few, and the beauty of the way things stand is that bereaved people have all sorts of rights that would be taken away if undertaking became regulated.

Professionalising and regulating undertakers can only reinforce the perception that they are the default disposers of the dead and, worse, move them a step closer to being the only people allowed to do so.

At the moment, you are allowed to care for your dead person at home. It would be a shame to give that up.