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First Steps

When you suffer a bereavement of someone close to you, making any type of arrangement will seem difficult. When someone dies it comes as a great shock, even if their death may have been expected. Nothing can prepare you for the emotional shock of losing someone. As your funeral directors, we are here to help and advise you in whatever way we can. We are dedicated professionals who provide a personal service 24 hours a day. The wishes of the deceased and the family are of the utmost importance.

Arranging The Funeral

The thought of arranging a funeral is not something any of us would want to do. This together with the distress and emotional upset leaves the bereaved completely disorientated and unsure of what to do next. It is our aim to lift some of the pressure that you may encounter at this stressful time.

When Should You Contact Us?

Our services start from the moment you contact us, whether over the phone, calling in to see us at our office or perhaps initial instructions from a doctor, care home etc. to a point beyond when the deceased is laid to final rest. Arrangements can start to proceed even if the deceased has been referred to the Coroner. On the initial contact we will ask for any preliminary details, where upon we may advise the removal of the deceased back to our private chapel of rest. The service arrangements can be made either in your own home or at our office at 21 Tip Hill, Ottery St Mary.


If the death has been expected the doctor that has been looking after your loved one will be able to issue the death certificate without consulting the coroner, which you will need to collect from the local surgery once you are advised it is ready. You need to ring the call centre to make an appointment for the registration on the following number 0345 155 1002

On the day of your appointment REMEMBER to take the death certificate with you and hand unopened to the registrar.

(However, where the Coroner has been involved he will inform you when and where you can register. They will also have forwarded all documentation direct to the Registrar)

You should register the death within 5 days.

You can register in any of the registration offices in the area where the person died and you will be able to purchase the certificates on the day.

You can register by declaration in a different registration area, but the documents will be sent to the registration office in the area where the person died. This means you'll usually wait a few days for your certificates.

Registering the death will take about 40 minutes.

The Local Registrar Offices are:

Honiton Registrar - East Devon Business Centre, Heathpark Way, Heathpark, Honiton. EX14 1SF
Exeter Registrar Office - Larkbeare House, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4NG
Exmouth Registrar Office, Town Hall, St Andrew's Road, Exmouth, EX8 1AW

Who should register the death

A blood relative should register the death.

If a blood relative can not register the death, you can do it if you:

  • were there at the time of death
  • are in charge of making the funeral arrangements
  • an executor


The information requested by the Registrar will be:-

  • The date and place of death.
  • The full name and surname (and the maiden surname if the deceased was a woman who had been married).
  • The date and place of birth and or marriage/civil partner certifcates (these items are useful but not essential)
  • Last known occupation (and if the deceased was married, their occupation also).
  • Address.
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds.
  • If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower.
  • Medical card and/or number
  • Person registering to take form of ID - (PTO for Persons qualified and liable to act as informants)
  • To complete the Tell Us Once service, please bring the following documents: details of state pension & allowances, bus pass, driving licence, blue badge, passport and national insurance number.

For your information:-

A Passport will give the date of birth and also the town or city where the deceased was born.

The Registrar's Green Death Certificate is issued free of charge, but a cash payment of £4.00 is required for each further hand written certificate that is requested.

Please hand the Green Death Certificate over to F. J. Luxton & Son as soon as possible after you have visited the registrar. PLEASE DO NOT POST


During the funeral arrangements we will guide you every step of the way on all the procedures and legal requirements. We will also advise you on costs and charges to be incurred and provide a full written estimate. You need to feel at peace with the funeral arrangement you have made. If you have any questions at all contact us straight away and we will be pleased to discuss further. The estimate is broken down into two separate parts, the first being our costs that include:-

  • Transport of the deceased to our Chapel of Rest and professional care prior to the funeral
  • An oak veneered coffin
  • Hire of a hearse
  • Arranging and conducting the Funeral service with a Funeral Director and four Bearers
  • Collection and conveyance of all documentation and necessary personal attendance's
  • Private chapel of rest where families can visit the deceased if wished.

These our normal costs but these may alter, for example, should an alternative coffin be requested.


The second part of our estimate is disbursements. These are essentially fees that we pay out on behalf of the family before the funeral service, such as crematorium or burial fees, obituary notices in local or national newspapers, flowers, service sheets, limousine, taking the names of the mourners attending the service, organising caterers etc.

The disbursements are discussed at our first meeting and will be listed and presented to you as the second part of the estimate. However, you will appreciate that we have no direct control over these charges and could therefore be subject to slight variations.

Doctors Fees For Cremation Forms

Cremation cannot take place until the cause of death has been determined. There are two cremation certificates (forms 4 & 5) each must be signed by a different doctor. These certificates are paid by us and will be listed in our estimate along with the other disbursements. If the deceased has been referred to the coroner then these certificates may not be required.


Cremated Remains

At the time of making arrangements for a cremation, you may or may not have thought about what is going to happen to the cremated remains afterwards. There are many different options and we can go through these with you when you feel ready, therefore we may suggest that you sign a form allowing us to remove them on your behalf from the crematorium and keep them for you for a period of up to six months until you decide. Alternatively they can be scattered or interred at the crematorium.

Burial Memorials

At the time of making arrangements for a burial, unless it is a new grave, the memorial will have to be removed from an existing grave before the funeral can take place. We normally ask a monumental mason to carefully remove the gravestone on your behalf. Should an additional inscription be required the monumental mason usually gives a detailed estimate and confirmation of work each time he has an enquiry. It can take some months, depending on the type of ground, before the grave has settled enough to replace the headstone. If you are ordering a new headstone he will often visit you at an appropriate time or alternatively you can call and visit his premises.


You may get help if there is not enough money to pay for the funeral, if you are responsible for making the funeral arrangements. The Social Fund may help towards the costs if you are receiving any of the following benefits:-

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

If you think that you may be entitled to claim please follow this link


There are many options to simplify and reduce the costs, including direct cremation, which we would be happy to discuss with you if you wish.


We no longer encourage the purchase of funeral plans as we have found there is always a shortfall, so for the last 25 years we have successfully offered F J Luxton & Son's advance instruction service, which is offered at no cost to you.

You can discuss your wishes with us either in our office or in the comfort of your own home, so that your family/executors are aware of your requests when needed.

This enables you to make your own financial arrangements by means of a tax free ISA or a savings plan or via other financial advice. This can avoid any excess charges to you and your family. Note: A funeral account can be presented to a deceased person's bank or building society account for payment, where there are funds available, with a full death certificate and before any probate is sought.

As we have already stated above we offer this service free of charge.

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