Terms and Conditions
1. Need for detailing terms and conditions – Throughout these terms and conditions, the “Company” is SJP Lichfield LTD, T/A Jukes Funeral Services and Jukes & Dobson Funeral Services, or any subsidiary or trading name used by it. The Company’s primary concern is to provide a high-quality services, and as such, it would not seek to enter a long and unnecessarily detailed contract for service. It does, however, acknowledge that its areas of responsibility and obligations should be clearly defined in writing to its clients, who should also be aware of the level of protection offered to them and of their obligations to the Company.
2. The right to arrange the funeral – The Company has no means of independently establishing who has the legal right to arrange a particular funeral, and it will therefore contract with any person who purports to have the authority to arrange the funeral by virtue of being the next of kin, being an executor of the estate, acting on the instructions of at least one of those individuals or, in the absence of any such individual, acting in their own capacity to facilitate the funeral. Hereinafter, this person is called the “Client”.
Upon signing the Company’s arrangement form, this will mean that the Client has then entered a contract with Jukes Funeral Services/Jukes & Dobson Funeral Services/SJP Lichfield LTD. The person who has signed this contract and our estimate form is responsible for the funeral arrangements and payment; by signing the documents, the Client has agreed for the Company to commence work, and the signatory will be responsible for payment of the funeral account. They are the Client whom we will take instruction from.
If the contracted Client and the person responsible for paying the funeral account are different, then the Client who signed the Company’s contract will then be responsible only for funeral instructions (in the absence of the next of kin). The funeral estimate and confirmation form signatory will be the Client responsible for the funeral account; this must only be signed by the person taking responsibility got the full funeral account and the payment.
If the signatory is working on behalf of the next of kin because they are abroad, working away, don’t live locally, etc., then written notification from the next of kin will need to be made to a representative of the Company to notify them of the instructions, and a form will be signed by the Client to confirm they are working on behalf of the next of kin.
This is the person who signed the Company’s arrangement form and is responsible for the funeral arrangement. This person is whom the representative of the Company will take instruction from for all amenities of the funeral arrangement. This includes instructions for music, donations, payment structure, cremated remains, the disposal of cremated remains (witnessed scattering, non-witnessed scattering, interment, etc.), choice of coffin, any limitations on chapel of rest viewings, any special instructions for the funeral, etc.
The funeral arranger and the Company will not contact any other family member, client or person unless the Client who signed our arrangement form, which acts as our contract, states the Company can discuss the arrangements with specific person(s).
Please be advised that the executor of the will overrules all.
Our association, the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), states that the estimate/confirmation form should achieve the following:
(a) It provides the Client with details of the funeral, including the date and time, place of assembly, service, place of committal and any additional services in respect of such things as arrangements for the cremated remains.
(b) It provides the Client with an estimate of the costs of the funeral.
(c) When signed by the Client, it indicates their approval of the arrangements and costs.
Should a query arise later, it provides a basic record of the services requested.
(d) When completed and given to the Client, it conforms with Section 7 of the Code of Practice Principles, a copy of which can be requested from the funeral arranger.
It should be noted that the funeral arrangements made between the Client and the funeral arranger/director establish a contract.
The client has the right to cancel this contract if they so wish, and this right can be exercised by sending or taking a cancellation notice to the funeral director at any time within the period of seven days starting with the day the Client is in receipt of a notice in writing of the right to cancel.
Consequently, the common law principles relating to contract take effect. In case law, it is the person making the funeral arrangements who is liable for payment of the account, regardless of their relationship to the deceased, executor or next of kin. Some firms ask the Client to sign the estimate, retaining a duplicate copy in the office. If small-print clauses are included, usually relating to the settlement of the account, they should be made clear to the client before the estimate is signed.
3. General observations – The Company employs highly qualified and experienced staff, who will use their best professional skills to ensure that the requests of its client are honoured. During the initial planning, the Company representative may not be aware of all the individual family’s circumstances, and as these are disclosed, it may transpire that certain requests cannot be met. In these circumstances, the Company will assist in making alternative arrangements, but it will not accept any liability for additional costs or losses that may arise as a result.
4. Changes to funeral timings – The date and time for the funeral cannot be guaranteed until final bookings are made and confirmation received from all third parties involved. On occasion, even after confirming details to its Client, the Company is forced to make other minor changes to funeral arrangements and timings due to reasons beyond its control.
Timing is not, therefore, the essence of this contract. Where possible, any changes are notified to the client in advance, but this is not always possible and the Company does not accept liability for delays caused by third-party suppliers or factors outside its control, such as roadworks, adverse weather, traffic congestion or mechanical failure, and in these circumstances, the Company’s charges remain payable in full. The Company always attempts to contact its Client to agree any changes, but this is not always possible. If the Company cannot contact the Client, it assesses the situation and acts in the manner that it believes is in the best interest of the Client. It reserves the right to make additional charges for extra services provided. For example, if more flowers arrive at the funeral home than the hearse can accommodate, an attempt is made to contact the Client by telephone to ask for instructions regarding the provision of additional transport. If the call is not answered, the Company may supply an additional vehicle for the flowers. In these circumstances, the extra charges for any additional services are added to the final invoice.
If, for any reason, the Company is unable to supply the coffin/casket ordered by the required time, the Company will notify the Client and offer alternatives; in such circumstances, the price of the alternative selected by the Client and not the price of the original selection is invoiced and payable.
Some of the facilities offered are dependent upon the behaviour of animals, such as horse-drawn vehicles and dove releases, and it must be understood that, in certain circumstances, these animals may be unable to perform the required duties due to ill health and weather conditions. Furthermore, some of the vehicles used are Victorian, vintage or classic, and as such are prone to mechanical failure. The Company does not accept any liability should any of these events occur.
5. Clothing and personal effects – The Company transfers the deceased person to its premises in the clothing worn unless given instruction to the contrary. All underwear, socks and nightwear, together with any soiled clothing, are treated as waste and disposed of as appropriate. All other clothing, excluding shoes (which are removed for cremation and sent for recycling unless specific instructions are received to the contrary), is removed and held for seven days, after which time (if they have not been collected) and without further notice, they are disposed of by any means the Company sees fit.
All valuables left with the deceased person at the time of collection are recorded and dealt with in accordance with the client’s wishes. When jewellery and/or other valuables are placed in the coffin and left in situ on/with the deceased person during visitations, the Company is not responsible for their safekeeping and does not accept any liability in the event of loss or damage.
6.Chapel of rest viewings – Our signatory Client is whom the Company takes instructions from; if they state limitations, restrictions or no chapel of rest visits, the Company must honour and abide by these instructions. If any other member of the family or friend would like to view with restrictions, the Company will politely refer them to the Client, who is the person who signed the Company’s paperwork. They will not be permitted to visit one of the Company’s chapels of rest unless the Company has permission from the signatory Client.
There may be extreme instances, for which – in the Company’s professional opinion – the Company must not allow chapel of rest viewings; for example, in cases of notifiable diseases, where a loved one was not found for a long time after their passing, road-traffic accidents and the like. The Company will always try its best for this not to happen; however, the Company does not want to cause any further distress.
7. Size of the deceased person – The Company is usually unaware of the size of the deceased person at the time the funeral is being arranged. The prices quoted and the availability of products and services assume that the size of the deceased person falls below certain reasonable limits. Once known, the Company takes account of the size of the deceased person (in terms of both weight and dimensions) as there are maximum sizes for each coffin and casket, for each funeral home, for each hearse, for each grave, and for each crematorium.
The Company’s preferred method of movement during a funeral is to shoulder carry the coffin, but as a responsible employer conforming to the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, a risk assessment is carried out before each movement. Where this indicates there is or could be an unacceptable avoidable risk, the Company will either move the coffin on a wheeled bier, arranges for additional staff, or both. Where the size exceeds any of the limits, the Company may, at its absolute discretion, provide additional staff, transport and equipment, and changes may be made to the type of coffin/casket (or method of construction), crematorium, cemetery or to any other part of the service, and any additional costs involved in these changes will be shown on the Company’s final invoice.
7. Right to cancel the contract – The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 gives a client signing a contract with a company in their home the right to cancel within a period of 14 days, with day one being the date the client signs and acknowledges receipt of this agreement. The Company has extended this legal right to cancel the contract to all Clients, irrespective of where the contract is signed. If the Client wishes to cancel this contract, a cancellation notice needs to be sent within the 14-day cancellation period to Sophie Jukes at Jukes Funeral Services, House of Minster Funeral Home, 26 Tamworth Street, Lichfield WS13 6JJ.
8. Final dispersal of cremated remains – The Company will usually follow the specific instructions of the Client regarding the cremated remains. An exception to this must be made when the applicant for cremation instructs the cremation authority to do something contrary to the instructions of the Client.
In these situations, the crematorium must, by statute, follow the instructions of the applicant. Once the cremated remains are brought into the custody of the Company, the instructions of the Client will always be followed. The Client will be contacted from time to time while the cremated remains are stored in the Company’s columbarium. If the cremated remains are still in the custody of the Company 10 years after the cremation and no instructions have been given for their final dispersal, the Company will write to the last known address of the Client, stating that the cremated remains will be dispersed by scattering in a private woodland without a religious ceremony if further instructions are not received within three months of the date of the letter.
The cremated remains will only be released to the contracted Client who signed the statutory paperwork for the cremation.
The instructions agreed on the Company’s arrangement form (contract) and on the statutory paperwork for the crematorium will be honoured unless the signatory Client specifies otherwise (they also have the right to revoke these instructions if circumstances change).
In the case of a family dispute, the Company will not release the cremated remains unless the dispute is resolved with written agreements from both parties; both parties must then come into the funeral home together to collect the cremated remains or have proof of legal advice and a conclusion with acceptance from both parties.
The Company uses Adcocks Solicitors or Anson’s Solicitors for any legal advice.
Further steps the Company is to follow if there is a family dispute over cremated remains, as advised by our solicitor:
No one “owns” the body/ashes following death, as there is no property in a body and so it is determined who is entitled to possession of the cremated remains/body.
This depends on whether the person made a will or died intestate, as the right to possess the body/cremated remains flows either from the will (if made) or from a grant of representation, in an intestate situation.
If there is a will, then the ashes should be handed over to the named executor(s), who is/are entitled to possession in such circumstances; or
if there is no will and the deceased therefore died intestate, then the right to possession will lie with whoever became the administrator of the deceased’s estate (i.e. who has the grant of representation).
If the client is unable to collect the cremated remains, the Company must have written and signed consent from the Client, either by email or letter to state that the Company can release the cremated remains to the person named in the email or letter; this must be signed by the signatory Client or the executor. The secondary person will be asked to show identification.
The SAIF states this:
Regulation 16 of the Cremation Regulations 1930 says that, after cremation, the cremated remains must be given into the charge of the person who applied for the cremation, if he/she so desires.
If not, they must be retained by the cremation authority and, in the absence of any special arrangement for their burial or retention, they must either be decently interred in a burial ground, in land adjoining the crematorium reserved for the burial of cremated remains, or be scattered thereon. Most cremation authorities have strict rules about the length of time they will retain cremated remains for before disposing of them in this way; however, 14 days’ notice must be given to the person who applied for the cremation before the remains are interred or scattered.
Some clients have difficulty in deciding about the ultimate disposal of cremated remains, and it is important that the funeral director raise the subject at the time of making the funeral arrangements, explaining all the options available to them. Often, funeral directors are asked to keep the remains until a decision is made, and many find they hold large numbers of cremated remains, giving testimony to their failure in the past to take clear instructions from their clients or to follow up instructions from previously indecisive clients.
Some of the more usual forms of disposal are shown below, but whatever the request, no matter how unusual it seems, the funeral director must be prepared to recommend, advise and assist the client by responding to the request in a legal and appropriate manner.
Cremated remains should be stored and handled reverently in the same way as the deceased was handled before cremation.
9. Third-party suppliers – The Company is only responsible for those parts of the funeral arrangements that it performs itself. The Company, as a matter of course, makes all other necessary arrangements with third parties on behalf of its clients (such as with ministers, cemeteries, crematoria, organists, gravediggers, etc.) and it does so as a declared agent.
Accordingly, the third parties involved (and not the Company) are responsible to the Client for the provision of those services. In most cases, the third parties charge the Company for their services, and the Company charges its Client for those services and shows these as disbursements on the final invoice. The charge by the Company to its Client will be the third party’s normal gross price, which will not necessarily be the same as the supplier’s net rate payable by the Company. Some third-party suppliers offer to invoice the Client directly for their services rather than invoicing the Company. When this option is available, the Company usually selects it on the Client’s behalf.
In practice, most crematoria ensure that every cremation takes place on the day the deceased person is received by them, but there is no guarantee of this. The Code of Practice for Cremation states that the cremation must take place within 72 hours of receipt of the deceased person, and Clients are advised that certain crematoria follow this guidance rather than always cremating on the day received.
Some places of worship, including cemetery and crematorium chapels, are now restricted by fire regulations regarding the number of people who may enter the building. The Company does not accept any liability if some mourners are declined entry to the building for the funeral service.
10. Unfair trading practices – The Company is aware of the Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Practices 2008 and the 2014 Amendment, and it believes that neither the Company nor its representatives do anything that can be construed as an “aggressive selling practice” or can be seen as “exploiting a specific misfortune”. If a Client feels that any document published by the Company or any representative of the Company is in contravention of these regulations, the incident should be reported to one of the Company directors immediately.
11. Data protection and personal data – In this clause 11, the phrases “data protection legislation” and “personal data” have the following meanings, up to and excluding 25 May 2018, the Data Protection Act 1998 and thereafter:
“Data protection legislation” means the following:
a) unless and until the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) is no longer directly applicable in the UK, the GDPR and any national implementing laws, regulations and secondary legislation, as amended or updated from time to time, in the UK; and then
b) any successor legislation to the GDPR or the Data Protection Act 1998. “Personal data”, as set out in the data protection legislation, is any data that identifies a natural person (by way of example, their name, address, phone number and so on). Please note, personal data does not relate to the deceased person.
The Company is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, therefore:
i) It is committed to complying with data protection legislation and ensuring its Clients’ personal data is protected by adopting appropriate security, organisational and technical measures. If a Client has a concern at any stage, the Company’s data protection officer should be contacted by email: email@example.com
iii) The Company will process and store a Client’s personal data to perform its contract in accordance with data protection legislation and Company policy.
iv) By signing this agreement, the Client gives consent to the Company to post details of the funeral on its website and on other social media platforms. (If, however, the Client does not wish to give this consent, then clause 4 overleaf should be deleted and the Company informed before signing.)
v) The Company will keep details of the funerals it carries out indefinitely. It does this because it regularly receives queries several years after the funeral (for example, seeking advice about where a person was buried or other similar information to assist in arranging another funeral). If a Client does not want details of the funeral to be retained, then clause 5 overleaf should be deleted and the Company informed. (The right of deletion is subject to any statutory or other legal obligations the Company may have).
12. The final charges – The Company’s final account for its services may vary from the estimate, as it will include the charges for any additional goods and services subsequently ordered, and any third-party’s values will be their normal gross price if different to that estimated. Manual calculations are used to compile the estimate, and where addition errors are found later, the corrected total will be shown on the final invoice.
13. Advance payment of charges – The Company may require payment for some services in advance of the service date. If a Client fails to make payment by the required date, the contract for the provision of those services will be deemed to be breached, and the Company may not provide those goods and services. The Company will only make a new arrangement to provide those goods and services when full payment for those services (together with any penalties or cancellation fees) has been received.
All third-party costs, also known as disbursements, must be paid in full no later than three days after making the formal funeral arrangements. This is taken as a form of deposit.
The final account will be sent to the Client seven days after the service has taken place and full payment will be required seven days after the date stated on the invoice.
14. Payment of charges – The Company will forward its final invoice to another person when so instructed by the Client. The Client is, however, personally liable for making payment in full for all Company charges and disbursements, and simply forwarding the final invoice to another person will not discharge that liability. The Client remains liable to the Company until full payment is received by it. The Client also remains liable for any outstanding balance due to the Company that (in applicable cases) is not discharged by the nominated other person, the DWP or whoever is administrating the deceased’s estate, and in any case the Client is responsible for ensuring that payment is made within the payment terms detailed below.
Where the Company has made an estimate of the “anticipated DWP Social Fund payment”, this is based on the information provided to it at that time, which may be inaccurate or incomplete. The Company is not responsible for any difference between the actual and anticipated payment, and when less is received than anticipated, the Client remains responsible for the shortfall.
15. Payment terms – Please pay special attention to these:
a) The Company will require payment for the total estimated cost of the direct cremation (unattended) service, assistance when working without a funeral director, exhumation and all children’s funerals (including the disbursements for third-party suppliers) at the time of entering the contract.
b) The Company requires payment for the provision of American caskets, alternative hearses and/or horse-drawn hearses in advance of the Company placing an order with the supplier for the manufacture or services and delivery for these caskets or goods.
c) The Company will (in appropriate circumstances) make commitments to third parties to a maximum disbursement total of £1000.00. Any commitment beyond this figure will normally only be made upon receipt of the excess by the Company.
d) The Company retains the title for all goods, services and third-party supplies in relation to the specific contract until such time as it receives full payment for the final total amount invoiced.
e) The Company produces its final invoice as soon as reasonably practical after the provision of the service (usually seven days after the funeral). This details all applicable charges and disbursements (except those payable by a pre-payment fund), and records any payments already received and any loyalty or affinity discounts. The balance shown is due seven days after the date stated on the invoice.
f) The Company acknowledges that a Client may have made an application for a loan.
g) There is no surcharge for payment by either credit or debit card; however, reward credit cards are not accepted. This matter will not normally be concluded before the date of invoice.
h) When an application has been made to the DWP or other government funded grants, the Company still requires the disbursements/third-party costs as a form of a deposit to be paid prior to the funeral taking place.
i) If an account is being sent to the bank to be released from the deceased’s estate, the Company requires the funds to be released prior to the funeral taking place.
16. Overdue accounts – Payment is due in accordance with the Company’s payment terms. In the event that these terms are not met, and an amount is still outstanding on the first day of the calendar month following the calendar month after the calendar month in which the invoice is dated (for example, on 1st March for an invoice dated 12th January), the Company will do the following:
a) Add 1.5% to the outstanding balance and add a further 1.5% to any outstanding balance on the first day of each calendar month thereafter.
b) Hand the account to a collection agency or solicitor if, at its absolute discretion, if it feels this is necessary, and it will add all charges and fees to the outstanding balance.
c) Prepare the matter for court when, at its absolute discretion, it feels this is necessary, and it will add all legal fees, court fees and associated charges to the outstanding balance.
17. Severability – The clauses and paragraphs of these terms and conditions are intended to be read and construed independent of each other. If any term, covenant, condition or provision is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, void or unenforceable, it is intended that such provision be reduced in scope by the court only to the extent deemed necessary by that court to render the provision reasonable and enforceable, and the remainder of the provisions of terms and conditions will in no way be affected, impaired or invalidated as a result.
18. The Funerals Market Investigation Order 2021 – Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Order – The Company has complied with all the order has asked for it to have in place for the Client to gain transparency within the company and its costs. For example:
The Company’s prices are displayed clearly online and within its funeral premises. The Company offers the CMA recommended funeral.
The standardised price list can clearly be found on the Company’s website and displayed in its funeral premises.
The Company’s payment terms are stated clearly on its terms and conditions.
Disclosure of interests are displayed in the Company’s funeral premises.
19. Complaints’ procedure – The Company is a member of The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) and supports the complaints and conciliation procedures of the SAIF Code of Practice and its Resolve service (copy supplied). However, nothing in this contract impinges on the statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and other legislation. Those rights remain unaffected.
Complaints – SAIF Consumer Protection Scheme:
We only have one chance to get a funeral right. But on the rare occasion when things do go wrong, it is important that families have access to a system of redress they can trust.
Any complaint made against a SAIF member is taken extremely seriously, both by the member and by the Society.
Thankfully, bereaved people who use the services of SAIF members can benefit from added consumer protection under the Society’s comprehensive complaints resolution scheme.
Working in conjunction with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), we are delighted to offer the SAIF Consumer Protection Scheme – a robust set of procedures aimed at bringing complaints against funeral directors to a satisfactory outcome for both the client and the funeral director.
The SAIF Consumer Protection Scheme has been designed to complement SAIF members’ own complaints processes, as outlined in the SAIF Code of Practice, and the SAIF Standards Committee complaints review system. It means clients who find themselves dissatisfied with a funeral director’s in-house procedures and Standards Committee findings can elevate the issue to an independent conciliation process, and if that fails, go to arbitration in which a legally binding award can be made against a funeral director.
All SAIF members are automatically registered with this scheme and can display a window sticker on their premises, providing reassurance to their clients that they care about standards.
We have also balanced the need to protect consumers with the small but real risk of people using arbitration for financial benefit, so often seen with the insurance claims culture.
How does conciliation work?
Conciliation is a private and structured form of negotiation assisted by a trained mediator who has been accredited by CEDR. If a settlement is reached, the mediator can draw up an agreement that can then become a legally binding contract if signed by both parties. This process is conducted by several means of communication including by telephone, Skype or email.
How does arbitration work?
Arbitration is a formal and legally binding process where the dispute is resolved by the decision of a nominated third party, called an arbitrator. Once the arbitrator issues their award, it is legally binding and can only be appealed in the courts in exceedingly rare occasions. This process is conducted entirely in writing.
SAIF’s Complaints Procedure
In the first instance, please contact your funeral director to discuss the complaint.
If the funeral director cannot resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, please follow SAIF’s Complaints Procedure. The first step is to complete a Complaints Form to give us the relevant background information to investigate the situation, which is to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.