Draft guidance on funeral costs consultation: analysis of responses

Independent analysis of responses to our public consultation about draft guidance on funeral costs.

Appendix A - Glossary Suggestions

Respondents were asked to list any particular terms that they thought a glossary for the guidance on funeral costs should include, and to provide a rough definition of what they understood the term to mean. A full list of the terms that were suggested by consultation respondents, including the definitions that they offered, is presented below. In some cases, multiple definitions are listed, because different respondents provided different suggested definitions for the same term.

Terms Suggested Definitions
Applicant Nearest relative who has the right to apply for cremation.
Bathing of deceased before cremation Tradition used by Sikhs and Hindus.
Burial A ceremony where the deceased is buried in the ground.
Burial and Cremation Act (Scotland) 2016 No definition suggested.
Burial Authority A person who has responsibility for the management of a burial ground (in line with the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 definition).
Clarity on who that is or normally is.
Burial fees Grave digging charges plus administration fees chargeable at the time of burial.
Burial Ground/Cemetery/ Churchyard Area of ground used for the purposes of interring human remains.
Burial Lair The final resting place of a deceased person. A lair for either a coffin or ashes burial. A lair suitable for a combination of coffin and ashes burial. The number of coffin and ashes burials will vary dependent on ground conditions and will be advised by the relevant burial authority.
CAB Citizens Advice Bureau.
Including who they are and what services they can provide.
Casket A container of cremation ashes which may be buried, either within a lair or in an area of ground set aside for the purpose within a burial ground.
Certificate of Indemnity Confirms, in lieu of the lair certificate being produced, that the person requesting the opening of a lair is the legal lair holder and has given permission for this lair to be opened.
Civil Celebrant Will offer a ceremony which may or may not include reference to faith or spirituality.
Container for Ashes Including guidance on what is and is not suitable, i.e. plastic urn, cardboard box, etc.
Crematorium A building that is fitted with equipment for the carrying out of cremations, and includes land (other than a burial ground) pertaining to such a building (in line with Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 definition).
Cremation The burning of human remains, including the grinding of burnt remains (in line with Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 definition).
Cremation Authority Including clarity on who that is or normally is.
Cremation Certificate Including clarity on what this entails/includes.
Cremation Fee Including what this covers and what it does not.
Cremation Lair A lair for the burial of ashes.
A lair suitable for the burial of ashes only.
Cremated Remains/Ashes The material to which human remains are reduced by cremation.
Direct Burial When the deceased is buried without a ceremony such as a funeral, and no one is present at the burial. An unattended burial at a time and date to suit the burial authority.
Direct Committal An alternate term around Direct Cremation. The act of committing a body at the crematorium via the lowering of the catafalque, with no mourners present except the crematorium and funeral director staff who may say some words during the committal.
Direct Cremation This is when the deceased is cremated without a ceremony such as a funeral, and no one is present at the crematorium.
When a person who has died is cremated and the ashes later returned to the family without any ceremony at the time.
It is important to include in a definition that the deceased person is typically carried into crematorium chapel and committed on the same catafalque as any other cremation ceremony. In a Direct Cremation there is no service or ceremony at the crematorium. However, it is important that the definition does not suggest that there is no memorial ceremony/service/wake (which would take place away from the crematorium), this would tend to be arranged separately or additionally to the Direct Cremation itself. It is also important that there is reference to there being crematorium and funeral director staff present who perform the committal and who may say a few words.
Disbursements Costs paid by the funeral director on your behalf to third parties, such as burial or crematorium fees, flowers and venue hire.
Dropped Lair Ground that has sunk due to soil settlement within a lair.
Embalming The preservation of a body by treating them with chemicals.
A non-essential technique using chemicals to preserve the body. Also called 'hygienic treatment'. An optional technique for preservation of the body used before a cremation or burial which may be requested as part of the funeral director's services. The most common call for embalming is when the body is to be viewed. In some instances, regardless of the bereaved's request, embalming may be a public health requirement for which the funeral director must take responsibility (for example unavoidable delays such as crematorium closures). The definition of embalming could also include a description of the process e.g. the blood is drained from the body through the veins and replaced with formaldehyde-based chemicals. An incision is made in the lower part of the abdomen and a sharp surgical instrument is inserted into the body cavity to puncture the organs in the chest cavity and the abdomen. They are also drained of gas and fluid contents and formaldehyde-based chemicals are injected.
Excavation Preparation of grave opening.
Exclusive Rights of Burial The right to open the grave for burial, not purchase of the land itself.
The right to be interred in the grave, may also allow others to be interred in the grave (space permitting), has the right to apply for permission to erect a memorial, does not own the land itself, the ownership of the cemetery land remains within the council.
First Offices Cleaning of the body, packing of orifices, dressing of the deceased in preparation for committal, removal of any pacemaker, closing of eyes, placing of eye-caps under eye-lids, and stitching closed of the mouth.
Form 14 The document people receive from the Registrar after registering a death. This document is required to accompany any application to cremate or bury someone. It is not the same as the death certificate.
Foundation Solid concrete base or strip to allow safe erection of a headstone.
Foundation Fee Charge for the installation of a new headstone foundation.
Funeral Director A service which provides practical support and guidance to help organise a funeral, often liaising with third parties.
Funeral Industry A listing of those bodies or the types of bodies within the industry.
Funeral Plan/Bond/ DWP Funeral Payment Specifying what is included and what is not.
Funeral Poverty No definition suggested.
Gone to Review An audit carried out on the circumstances surrounding the death or the documentation process surrounding the death.
Green Burial No definition suggested.
Hearse A vehicle designed to transport the deceased. Note: One respondent suggested that the phrase "uplift of the deceased" was anachronistic and that "transport of the body or deceased" was more appropriate.
Humanist Celebrant Will offer a secular ceremony only.
Hygienic Treatment Another word for embalming.
Interment Burial of a person. Burial. Burial of a person in a container approved for the purpose, coffin or casket. Refers to burial in the ground. Burial of deceased or ashes/cremated remains.
Interment Fees Fees in relation to opening the lair and the burial. Fees relating to the actual opening of the lair and the burial. The cost to prepare a grave for burial, such as opening the space, laying any foundations required and relaying the grave once the burial has taken place.
Lair Area of ground for the interment. Allocated space for coffin/casket burial. Grave. A lair or burial plot is the piece of land in which a person is buried. Area of ground provided for an interment within an approved burial ground. Said lair remains in the ownership of the burial authority, usually the Local Authority. Individual lairs are allocated to a person who receive a certificate of sale of right to interment (normally a family member of the deceased) and are then the Lair Holder. A burial plot.
Lair Certificate The certificate that grants rights of burial. The certificate that grants rights of burial over a lair. Certificate issued with lair details and lair holder's details.
Lair Holder or Lair Owner The person who has the right of burial in the grave and can pass on this right to their family. Person who has the certificate of sale of right to interment, giving the right to be interred within the allocated lair. The original purchaser of the Exclusive Right of Burial or heirs thereof. The person who has the exclusive right of burial in lair.
Lair Purchase A reservation of a particular plot.
Lair Transfer Right of ownership being passed to appropriate person for use of the lair for burial.
Levelling Lair Add soil to level the lair and re-turf or re-seed.
MCCD The medical certificate for the cause of death. This needs to be completed by a doctor and is submitted when registering the death.
Memorial Headstone. Marker of varying shades and sizes placed onto a grave in order to memorialise those interred at that location. Generally, a headstone.
Memorial permit Application for permission granted by the council to place a memorial onto a grave.
Memorial registration fee Monumental mason registration fee.
Memorial Service or Memorial Ceremony A service or ceremony to honour the life of the deceased at which the body is not present, although cremated remains may be present in an urn.
Mercury Abatement Controlling the dispersal of mercury from crematoria. Controlling the dispersal of mercury from crematoria into the environment, especially from dental amalgam.
Mercury Abatement Fee Fee associated with crematoriums efforts to eliminate mercury emissions in order to have a zero emissions rate.
Minimal Intervention Cleaning, packing if necessary (to prevent further purging from the body) and dressing if requested. It would not include invasive suturing of the mouth (via the nose).
Next of Kin Including what is succession, who can claim, etc.
Non-Resident Charge The additional charge that is sometimes made to cover the cost of a funeral of a person who does not reside in the local authority area.
Open Casket No definition suggested.
Ownership of Burial Plots No definition suggested.
Perpetuity For an indefinite period, i.e. forever.
Procurator Fiscal Scottish equivalent of coroner.
Re-Opener Additional interment within an existing lair.
Residency versus place of death No suggestions for definition.
Right of Burial The purchase of a right to be buried.
Scattering/Strewn Disposal of remains.
Shared Cremation The practice of cremating a number of foetal remains together when cremation is arranged by the hospital rather than by the family.
Single Use Lair Lairs suitable for a single coffin only.
Simple Funeral[12] A funeral that relates to the basics that require to be covered.
Social Burial National assistance funeral organised and paid for by the burial authority.
Social Innovation Fund Including details of who is entitled to claim.
Taking a cord No definition suggested.
Third Party Costs Costs of third party fees paid by the funeral director on the client's behalf. For example, officiant's and crematorium fees.
Title Deeds Documents defining ownership of the lair. Right of burial only and not ownership of lair.
Transfer of Lair Ownership Transferring exclusive right of burial to another.
Verification Form Booking information form for the deceased generally provided via the Funeral Director to request the opening of a new or existing lair.
Wood Effect Coffin No definition suggested.


Email: funeralpoverty@gov.scot

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