Planning your funeral – things to think about

Posted in: Finance Last updated: 20 Sep 2013

The dreaded thought: planning your own funeral. It’s a thought we shift to the back of our minds – that’s if it even crosses our minds at all. Whilst it’s not the nicest thing to have to think about, planning your own funeral can help take some of the pressure off family and friends by making them less likely to be faced with a nasty bill, or some difficult decisions when the time comes.

If you do decide you want to plan ahead, here are some of the things you might want to make sure are covered off in your planning.

1. How will it be paid for?

Between 2004 and 2013, the average funeral cost in the UK rose from £1,920 to £3,456, an increase of 80%[1]. Funeral costs are increasing year on a year, putting extra pressure on family members who have to foot the bill. If you want to make sure your funeral is taken care of, you could start putting some money away to pay for it. A funeral plan is one way of paying for your funeral in advance.

2. Burial or cremation?

Your family will already have a big to-do list at the time of your death. By deciding ahead whether you want to be buried or cremated, you can relieve your family of such a difficult situation.

3. Which funeral director?

It’s a tricky decision – think about the funeral director’s experience, reputation and price, and ask around to find out about other people’s experiences at funerals. You could even consider visiting a few funeral firms and taking a look at their facilities to find one you’re comfortable with.

4. What extras do you want?

From the flowers to the music, there are all sorts of ways in which you can personalise your funeral. If you want to make your funeral ceremony extra special, you could provide your guests with something to remember you by. Think about your hobbies and how you can turn them into memoirs. If you’re renowned for being a good cook, provide guests with a stack of your favourite recipes, if you love to sing, you could leave a pre-recorded song.

5. Who do you want to attend the funeral?

You might have lost touch with old friends that your family don’t know about. Make sure everyone you want to be there to send you off will be notified. Write down a list of the people you would like to be invited and pass this on to someone close to you.

6. Commemorate your life

Do you have fond memories of your favourite park? Maybe there’s a peaceful lake you regularly visit? If there’s a park or area that’s extra special to you, you could stamp your mark on it and celebrate your time there by sponsoring a bench or having a plaque in your name. If you have these sorts of wishes, make sure you let your family know in advance.

Planning a funeral can be hard, but knowing what you want from the day means that you can take comfort in the fact that everything’s been sorted – reducing the headache for family and friends.

1 Sunlife Direct  (June,2013), “Average funeral costs” [online]. Available from: www.sunlifedirect.co.uk

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.