Planning Your Funeral – Why Not Start Sooner, Rather Than Later?

Like finances and Bruno (if you know, you know!), we don’t tend to talk about funerals – or rather, planning them. While we’re aware it isn’t the cheeriest of subjects, putting preparations in place for your funeral is worth discussing nonetheless – and there’s no harm at all in getting some ideas down on paper sooner, rather than later.

Some might see it as morbid, we deem it sensible. A great big tick off that all-important ‘Life Admin’ to-do list, planning your funeral now is a great idea if you’d like to be remembered for the kind of person you are. After all, you’d probably prefer to plan your own wedding or huge birthday bash, so why would you happily leave the preparations for the biggest event of your…er…life to someone else? You wouldn’t, if you could help it, so here’s how to get started planning your funeral in advance…


Consider Cost


‘The price of a funeral can vary enormously,’ say the team at Which?.


It all depends on the options you choose, though, and your location. A basic funeral costs £4,383 (for a burial) and £3,290 for a cremation, on average, according to the Money Helper site. You might also want to factor in ‘extras’, such as a headstone, flowers, and catering options for the wake.


If you would like to ‘go out with a bang’, as the old saying goes, you will want to put some more funds aside, but there are options for a much, let’s say, simpler affair, whereby you forgo things like the post-service drinks and nibbles and instead put aside spare money for the funeral itself.


Considering taking out a funeral plan or funeral cover? If so, the cost of your funeral might be covered by your policy. Some people consider using their Over 50s Life Insurance Plan to pay for some elements or all of their funeral.  It’s important to remember, that the costs of funerals may rise, but the amount you get from your cover won’t.  You can take a look at Unity Mutual’s Over 50s Life Insurance Plan, and the terms and conditions here. Lasting the rest of your life – providing you keep paying your premiums – the insurance product is affordable, with fixed premiums from just £5 per month.


Acceptance is guaranteed, too, with no medical examination or health questions – and you can benefit from a protected pay-out if you need to stop paying into your plan. It could well be worth getting organised now.


Discuss Your Unique Wishes


Once you’ve worked out how much money you might need to put aside for the funeral you’d like, you’ll want to let some people in on the details. These include the music you’d like, the type of coffin, flowers and all the other elements that make up a service that complements you, your tastes, and your life.


Have you laid out funeral instructions in your Will, including details of any savings, life insurance or even funeral cover? If not, it could be worth putting such plans in place to ensure those closest to you can best honour your wishes when the time inevitably comes.


You may want to task certain members of the family with certain roles. Or you might want to seek the opinion of a friend or two about, say, speaking at your funeral or incorporating the highlights of your life into a service that best celebrates you and your achievements.

Seek the help of a funeral director (the National Association of Funeral Directors can help you find one), too, if you would like one. Then, you can add this vital detail to your Will, and your chosen funeral director will later be on hand to help loved ones plan your funeral when you pass away.


Begin Putting Some Loose Plans in Place


Once you’ve budgeted for your funeral, consider putting some loose plans in place. This will ultimately help out your family or close friends at a later date. Ask yourself the following questions:


  • Do you want a religious service?
  • Would you like a friend or family member to lead the service, or someone official – such as a funeral director?
  • Are you happy for people to dress in bright colours, or would you prefer that everyone wears black?
  • Would you like to organise transport to your chosen venue?
  • What about food?


You could cover all these details in your Will or have a discussion with a friend or family member anytime; it’s never too soon to put some plans in place, including an order of service, if you’re highly organised.


Perhaps you want friends and family to arrive at the funeral venue in a quirky mode of transport, for example, such as a vintage bus, or even a tractor. Maybe you’d like some more personal touches dotted throughout the day, like photos or even a highlight reel of your life which can be displayed on a projector screen.


Would you like people to attend with flowers, or to make donations to the church – if you’re opting for a religious service?


While it may seem morbid to consider your funeral plans now, it is actually very wise, meaning your family and friends will know exactly what to do in the event of your death. A necessary fact of life, death shouldn’t be feared – and planning your funeral may even bring you a certain level of peace.


Until next time…

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