Planning your funeral.
Planning a funeral can be hard when a loved one has died. Often you have nothing to show what they would have liked, just the conflicting views of family and friends. At a highly emotional time, that can be a recipe for disaster in even the happiest of families.
It has to be better to plan your own funeral. Prepaying is a big part of that, but setting out more detailed wishes can pour oil on troubled waters. At the very least, it makes it easier for those arranging the funeral – if anyone disagrees, they have the perfect answer – you made it clear that was what you wanted. End of argument!
Some of the decisions in planning your own funeral.
- Which funeral plan?
Many plans have hidden charges if you make changes, or there may be problems if the undertaker is taken over or goes out of business. Many firms make a substantial charge if you decide to move out of the immediate area of the original undertaker, perhaps to be near your children, or to find a decent care home.
- Burial or cremation?
Burial plots are rapidly running out in many areas, and often only reused ones are available. It may not be possible to buy a burial plot where you wish to be at all. If it is possible, you will probably need to book and pay for it now, with just the other costs surrounding the actual burial process to be paid at the time.
In some areas, Natural Burial Grounds are becoming more widely available, and that is another alternative, as is burying your ashes rather than all of you.
Most people these days are cremated and have service at the crematorium rather than in a church or whatever your religious preference is. As long as your feelings are clear, of course. Some people want a memorial service in the church, before going on to the crematorium. This costs more as two undertakers or more will be working for longer, and the hearse will cover more miles too.
Is there to be a headstone or some other semi-permanent memorial? These are not included in normal funeral plans.
Do you want to leave the choice of music to others, or to arrange for your favourite pieces of music or hymns to be played as part of your Funeral Plan? Which music means a lot to you?
- Newspaper notices.
Notices in local or sometimes national or trade newspaper are an important way to let people know about the funeral arrangements. Again, these are not including in standard funeral plans.
Do you may want to decide, for example on:
– An alternative form of transport such as a horse drawn hearse or motorcycle hearse.
– Limousines for the funeral (most can carry six people). None? One, two or even more?
– Where the funeral procession will leave from and whether it will take a special route. That takes us back to where the service will be help. Some people want to be taken past their favourite spots one last time.
are not generally included in funeral plans, but you can include your choice of flowers, and just include an allowance for the cost. Some people don’t want flowers but:
you can request that donations are made to a charity or other organisation.
- Funeral Stationery,
You may want to choose a design, reading or wording for an order of service booklet for your funeral.
- The Wake:
there is no reason why you can’t include an amount to cover the cost of the catering, venue and (if so inclined) drinks.
Planning your own funeral is a really thoughtful thing to do for those left behind,