How to plan your funeral
Planning your funeral isn’t something that needs to be left until the end of your life, and in fact many people find it reassuring to know that their wishes are known in case the worst were to happen. By planning ahead, you’ll also get an indication of how much your funeral is likely to cost and be able to make sure money is available through a prepaid funeral plan.
It can obviously be a little stressful thinking about your own funeral, which is why we’ve outlined everything you need to consider to make sure nothing is left out. There are three key steps to go through in order to get your funeral planned efficiently: deciding the type of funeral you want, thinking carefully through the details, and finding a funeral director to make sure everything is taken care of.
Step one: choose the type of funeral
The most fundamental choice to make is whether you want to be buried or cremated, as this will determine what other steps need to be planned. Maybe you want your ashes scattered in the wind of a favourite place, or want to be buried alongside your family; this is a very personal decision so take the time to think which option is best for you.
If you wish to be buried you will need to purchase a burial plot, and if you opt for cremation then you’ll need to decide what you want to be done with your ashes and whether you wish to arrange a specific urn. These things are easy to sort out, but you have to make the decision about which path you wish to take first.
Step two: consider the key details
Once you have decided between burial and cremation, you’ll want to turn your mind to some of the more important details about the funeral itself. Here’s a list of some questions it’s useful to ask yourself:
- Where do you want your funeral to take place?
- Do you want a religious service?
- Where would you like to be buried or have your ashes scattered?
- What music would you like to be played?
- Are there any readings or poems you want to be included?
- Are there any pictures or displays you would like to be shown?
- Do you want there to be specific decorations and flowers?
- How many people do you want to attend?
- Do you want to name the people you wish to carry your coffin?
- Would you like to name a charity that people can donate to?
When you have considered these details it’s important to talk to your family about what you want, or leave some detailed letters so that you can be confident they’ll carry out your wishes. You can also include details of what you would like done at your funeral in your will, although instructions such as this are not legally binding like the other parts of a will.
Step three: find a funeral director
Once you have decided the kind of funeral you want and the things you would like to be included, finding a funeral director is the next step of getting peace of mind that everything will be well organised. Whether you would prefer to be buried or cremated, funeral directors have a wealth of experience and can help guide you through all the details.
A funeral director will help you find and purchase a suitable burial site (if you have chosen to be buried), select a casket, plan the transport and reception, and all the other details that need to be sorted out with a funeral. They can also answer any questions you have and offer helpful suggestions if there’s an aspect of the day you’ve possibly neglected to consider.
By shopping around you can make sure you find a funeral director that suits your needs, and you can request price lists to make sure you keep the costs affordable. Asking friends or relatives for recommendations or having a look through online reviews is a good place to start when trying to find a good funeral home.
How will I pay for my funeral?
The biggest worry for most people about their funeral is how much it will cost. While it is true that funeral costs are rising, with the average cost for a funeral in 2017 standing at £3,784, there are many ways to help lessen the financial burden when planning ahead.
One such option is to start saving money until you can afford to pay for your funeral, but the easiest solution is to take out a prepaid funeral plan. This acts in many ways like a savings account: you pay a monthly amount into the plan which is then used to pay for your funeral. You can find more information about these plans elsewhere on Pure Cover to help you find an easy way to manage the payments for your funeral.
If you are over 50 and planning your funeral, then you might also want to consider an over 50s life insurance policy. These policies are designed to cover you for life and pay out a lump sum to help pay for funeral costs or leave a bit extra behind for your family.
Discuss the cost of your funeral with your funeral director, as they’ll be able to give you an accurate figure once you’ve outlined what it is you’re looking for.