Planning Your Own Funeral Doesn’t Have To Be Depressing
There’s an old saying that many people hold true which goes something like, “There are only two things in life that are certain, death and taxes.”
Many people keep a close eye on the latter while many ignore the former and yet, of the two, death is the most certain of all.
If providing funerals for over twenty-five years has taught us anything, it’s taught us the earlier and more thoroughly you plan for your funeral the smoother the funeral will run, the less it will cost and the more positive the experience will be for those left behind.
Here’s some ideas for making sure your funeral is no more distressing for your loved ones left behind than it need be.
Start planning your own funeral NOW
It is always better to organise as much of your funeral today while you are fit and well and in a calm frame of mind rather than when it is a necessity and time is of the essence.
It can be hugely stressful for you or those left behind when funeral arrangements are required immediately and nothing is already in place.
Dealing with arrangements, working out exactly what is required, working out any possible special wishes of the deceased, informing everyone who may need to know, as well as dealing with grief and finding the finances is overwhelming for even the strongest of people.
It’s important to give them a helping hand.
Arrange your funeral with yourself first
Set aside some time to write down and formulate what your funeral will look like. This means setting aside some undisturbed quality time to think about nothing else but your funeral plans. If you do it right first time you might never have to think about it again.
It’s not morbid, it doesn’t have to be upsetting and it’s not going to ‘jinx’ you simply organising in your mind and on paper what you want. It’s sound financial and logistical planning that will possibly save you money and definitely save those left behind added economic and emotional hardship when the time comes.
We know of a married couple who organised their funerals in one evening with the TV turned off, over a bottle of wine and a take-away pizza. It was not a depressing occasion, they had an open, even light-hearted discussion and found out things they never knew about one another, even after years of marriage.
It was upbeat, enlightening and even enjoyable because they knew their wishes would be known by the family they would leave behind. Making your wishes clearly known could also prevent squabbles which might occur over what your wishes may have been.
Things you may like to think about adding to your wishes include:
Would you like burial or cremation?
Would you like any floral tributes? If so any preferences for flowers or design?
Are there any specific pieces of music you would like during the funeral? If so, clearly indicate the title and, if applicable, the artist.
Are there any specific readings you would like during the funeral?
Would you like a religious service? If so which church and/or minister would you like?
Would you like a notice in the local press? If so, is there any wording to be included or avoided?
Your preferred funeral director if you have one.
If you want a burial, do you have a preferred location? Have you purchased the plot already?
Any other special requests you might have such as;
brightly coloured clothing only at funeral
horse drawn hearse
favourite sports team colours on coffin.
request for donations to charity etc.
A final word about stipulating what you would like at your funeral:
There is often enormous pressure for a family to give a departed loved one their last wishes, so be aware if your requests will require extra financial costs for the people left to arrange your funeral when the time comes.
Ensure specific requests which may cost money are kept to an absolute minimum and confirm sufficient funds are left behind in your estate to cover the costs of your wishes – don’t unintentionally leave others in financial as well as emotional distress after the funeral.
It is always nice to leave a little note on any arrangements you write down stating that if those arranging your funeral are unsure of your wishes they should do what they think right, you would be happy with any decision they make. This simple statement will take away a lot of pressure they may have if your wishes are not fully understood.
Find out the rough cost of the funeral you would like NOW
Funerals can be expensive, probably more expensive than you will realise if you’ve never considered it until now. Funeral directors are regularly faced with grieving people left devastated by the loss of a loved one and having the added blow of not being able to afford the funeral they believe the deceased would have wanted or deserved.
It is vitally important not to avoid the issue, get the facts about what is involved with the funeral you would like and the costs involved, do it today.
Once you have this information remember to act on it quickly, the price you have today will quite possibly increase six months or a year from now.
Purchase a pre-paid funeral plan as soon as possible
This is the single most important thing you can do for those you leave behind. You can plan your funeral fully and cover the vast majority of, if not all, costs involved and take away the financial pressures otherwise left for those dealing with your estate.
Pre-paid funeral plans allow you to pay for your funeral, or most aspects of it, at today’s prices no matter how far into the future you require it.
Considering how much the cost of a funeral increases each year this can mean a huge saving in the long-run, both for you and those left behind.
It is important to find a reputable funeral plan company who offer a good deal, a range of flexible options and security for the future.
We work closely with Golden Charter for our funeral plans and you can find out more about our plans by going here: https://www.scollenandwright.co.uk/funeral-plans/
We find their products to be value for money, flexible and secure. This means you can be safe in the knowledge once you have a plan in place you have done all you can to make your passing easier for those you leave behind.
Write it all down and keep it safe
Once you have all your funeral requirements decided, write them all down clearly and put them away somewhere safe and make sure that those who will need them when the time comes knows of their existence and where to find them.
Include any legal documentation they may need such as wills, contact details of solicitors, bank/building society account details, insurance policies, deeds to any purchased cemetery plots and details of any pre-paid funeral plans.
Make it easy for your loved ones and then relax and live your life
While the details of our own funeral may not be something we want to obsess over, it is vitally important to make it as easy as possible for those we love and leave behind to know they have given us the funeral we would like.
Providing them with a clear plan for your funeral and ensuring costs have already been covered will go a long way to making their own grieving process move on as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
If you’ve done all you can to make arranging (and paying for) your funeral easier for others then put it to the back of your mind, relax and live your life knowing that’s an important job done, a job for which they will thank you when the time comes.