Funeral Directors in Plymouth

Westcountry Funeral Service in Plymouth offer experience and expertise and is owner-run by Richard Walter Parson who has generations of experience in the funeral profession.  We operate in South Devon and East Cornwall, in the heart of the beautiful Westcountry.

  • Father to son Funeral Directors for five generations
  • Scales Award winner (National Association of Funeral Directors)
  • Qualified with National Association of Funeral Directors
  • Qualified at caring for the deceased (British Institute of Embalmers)
  • Members of the National Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
  • Complete personal service and attention
  • Vast experience in all areas
  • International Repatriation
  • and much, much more.

When it’s time to say goodbye, we can help you to do it. The way that you would like to.

Office Opening Hours

Mon – Fri 10:00am – 3:00pm

The offices are closed on weekends and Bank Holidays, but we are here 24 hours a day, every day and just a telephone call away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Funeral Directors in Plymouth

The Old Smithy, Haye Road South, Elburton, Plymstock, Plymouth PL9 8HH

Tel: 01752 423024

Make an Enquiry


  • How to get help with funeral costs (Funeral Expenses Payment)

    You could get a Funeral Expenses Payment (also called a Funeral Payment) if you get certain benefits and need help to pay for a funeral you’re arranging.

    If you receive money from the deceased’s estate

    Your Funeral Expenses Payment will be deducted from any money you get from the deceased’s estate.

    The estate includes any money or property they had but not a house or personal things left to a widow, widower or surviving civil partner.

    What you’ll get

    Funeral Expenses Payment can help pay for some of the costs of the following:

    • burial fees for a particular plot
    • cremation fees, including the cost of the doctor’s certificate
    • travel to arrange or go to the funeral
    • the cost of moving the body within the UK, if it’s being moved more than 50 miles
    • death certificates or other documents

    You can also get money for any other funeral expenses, such as funeral director’s fees, flowers or the coffin. You can get up to:

    • £700 if the person died before 8 April 2020
    • £1,000 if the person died on or after 8 April 2020

    The payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral.

    How much you get depends on your circumstances. This includes any other money available to cover the costs, such as an insurance policy or the deceased person’s estate.

    If the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan, you could only get up to £120 to help pay for items not covered by their plan.

    How the money is paid

    Funeral Expenses Payment is paid into your bank, building society or credit union account if you’ve already paid for the funeral.

    The money will be paid directly to the funeral organiser (for example, the funeral director) if you have not paid yet.

  • What paperwork do I need and when?

    You may not need any paperwork at all, to begin with. You will probably be asked to wait to speak to the person’s Doctor Surgery during opening hours or the Administration Office at a hospital to get paperwork, so initially, there may not be any. In the meantime, we could bring the person into our care if you would like us to.

    Paperwork for accessing the deceased’s personal affairs, often called the Death Certificate, comes later.

  • What do I do in the case of an unexpected death?

    If the person that has died has died unexpectedly (this can also be interpreted as not having been treated by a medical doctor for the last 14 days), the matter may be referred to Her Majesty’s Coroner. The Coroner would then take overall responsibility for the deceased until they have looked into the circumstances.

  • How is a service planned?

    Usually, this is planned together with the Officiant “in charge” of the service, perhaps a Minister of Religion, Community Leader or Elder or a Non-Religious Celebrant. It may be that you are planning it all yourselves. Either way, there may be time restrictions to work with, so we all have to work together to get this right.

    You may be thinking of family and friends carrying the coffin on the day of the service, someone to deliver a Eulogy or a Reading of some kind, which music is to be played, readings or poetry, photographs or particular locations or a whole manner of things. All sorts of things come together to plan and ensure smooth running and support in the days ahead.

  • Cremation or burial?

    This is a question that will be asked of you perhaps surprisingly early on. The reason is that the paperwork is not the same for a burial as it is for a cremation. Don’t worry if you haven’t had time to think about every detail or are undecided. You have choices, and you can take your time and talk it through with people before making a decision. Visit our Cemeteries and Crematoria page for more information.

  • Are you available at any time?

    Whilst our office opening hours are 10am - 3pm, our phone lines are open 24 hours a day to ensure that we are always available should you need us.

  • When will the funeral be?

    If you have all the information you need, you can start the funeral planning stages as soon as you feel able, and we can help you long before the details need to be finalised.

    The time between someone passing away and their funeral taking place is usually about fourteen days. If the person’s death was not expected or there are any complications, this could be extended.

    There may be cultural or religious reasons why this period needs to be longer or shorter.

  • Can I visit the chapel of rest in Plymouth?

    This is a personal matter. Where appropriate, we recommend embalming so that the decision about visiting can be deferred and made at leisure and that the person looks at their best should anyone wish to pay their respects. We would also recommend embalming due to likely time scales.

What our
customers say...

Richard and his team are consummate professionals who supported us at the most challenging of times.

Gary G.

After losing our mum very unexpectedly, we walked into your office like 3 scared little children, not knowing what to do or what to say. It felt like you and your team wrapped your arms around us while helping us through the most traumatic time. Your guidance through the whole process was done with such kindness, care and consideration, we are, and will forever be truly grateful.


Richard and his team were respectful, considerate and calm. I always felt Richard was there to quietly and efficiently help me through the arrangements for my dad's funeral.


Richard was recommended by a friend. I immediately felt comfortable and relaxed. He was a good listener, easy to talk to and his manner was reassuring and helpful. I can't thank him enough for seeing us smoothly through this traumatic time.

Anne P.

I lost my husband in his early 50's and Richard took over with great empathy, kindness and discretion. The professionalism of both him and his team was exemplary, even down to organising the traffic so that my husband's biker friends could follow us to the funeral. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

S. Boorer

Nothing was too much trouble. Everything from start to finish was absolutely perfect, the attention to details also superb including the timing of the drivers closing on both car doors, in my eyes, with that attention to detail I knew my Dad was in safe hands

Lee A.

I cannot recommend Richard enough for his compassion, professionalism and kind and thoughtful approach when dealing with myself and my family at such a difficult time. Nothing was too much bother for Richard.

J Kelly

We can't rate Westcountry Funeral Service high enough for their level of compassion .... nothing was ever too much trouble. Excellent communication throughout the whole process and everything was done to a high professional standard. I would highly recommend Westcountry Funeral Service.

Tristan S.

From start to finish the professional service that we received was excellent. We would recommend this company to anyone who sadly is in need of this service.

Peter C.

Throughout the undertakers were superb, calm, stewarding agents of remarkable humanity... It was an incredible experience - a good disturbance of the heart.

Paul C

Richard took over and gave our father's funeral dignity. An excellent all round service that I have no hesitation in recommending.

David H.

Leah talked me through all the options and procedures, including giving an itemized quote, whereas other funeral directors just gave me a total cost.


...unbelievable from start to finish. It is rare to find such a truly personal service

Ben S.

From the moment we contacted Richard we knew our loved one, and the family, were in the safest hands. Outstanding care, service and value for money

Chris D.

We chose Westcountry Funerals at Elburton based on a feeling. We viewed the online photos of the beautiful Old Smithy building, and knew that our loved one would have approved of such an historical place :) We were absolutely right to go with our instinct, as we then met, and were dealt with, by the wonderful funeral director, Leah


Leah, Richard and the team really did my grandfather proud, so nice to see a walker in front of the car on the approach to his house and when leaving, I would highly recommend the team for the traditional and professional service.

Mike O