Definition of A Simple Funeral
37. The Scottish Government wants to make it easier for consumers to make comparisons between the services offered by funeral directors. Many currently offer a simple funeral as a lower-cost option but what this includes can vary between different funeral directors.
38. The consultation paper therefore proposed a standard definition for a simple funeral. The draft guidance also set out that funeral directors should ensure that if a client chooses to modify or upgrade any particular aspect of a simple funeral, the increase in price should be proportionate.
39. Only 24 (49%) respondents said that they felt that the definition set out in the draft guidance captured all necessary elements. Almost an equal number said that it did not, and a small number were unsure.
40. Some responses suggested that the ability to add items at a proportionate additional cost would undermine the business model for a simple funeral. Others expressed concerns about the potential for service descriptions to be interpreted differently or to have an effect on existing products. Issues raised about the simple funeral are discussed further in the BRIA.
41. While it has not been possible to amend the definition of the simple funeral to accommodate all the points raised, we have made changes to respond to a number of them. For example, we have clarified that viewing of the deceased person should be by appointment, that the transport included should cover 15 miles rather than 10 miles, and that it should be possible to amend the simple funeral to allow a service at a church or other faith venue. Where amendments are permitted to the simple funeral, we have made clear that any additional charges associated with this should be clearly set out.