Your Guide To Advance Funeral Planning
March 30th, 2023
Advance funeral planning can help make the funeral process easier for everyone involved, and give you more control over your own funeral. With the average funeral costing between £4,000 and £5,000, according to Which.co.uk, money can also be a big reason why you might want to plan your own funeral. This guide will look at some of the other benefits of advance funeral planning and the things to consider when planning a funeral.
Why Plan Your Own Funeral In Advance?
We plan many of life’s big events ahead of time. Birthday parties, weddings, and christenings are all organised to make sure they go exactly as we want. Funeral planning needn’t be any different, and there are many reasons why you might have decided to plan your own funeral:
- Easing the burden – when someone passes away, the responsibility falls on family and friends to organise the funeral. Although loved ones may be happy to take on funeral planning, making funeral plans in advance of your death eases this burden.
- Spreading the cost – by planning a funeral in advance, you can make sure the cost is covered. Many funeral directors offer pre paid funeral plans or funeral insurance, and may even fix the cost of your funeral when you take out the plan.
- Following your wishes – it’s natural to want to have the things at your funeral that you feel reflect your life. Funeral planning allows you to set out your wishes so they’re followed.
- Helping with grief – death can be a difficult subject to talk about or to face. When you plan your own funeral, you can talk through your death with family and friends and open up conversations about grief to help loved ones cope when you’re gone. It may help ease any anxiety you have around death too.
- Terminal illness – if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness, then planning a funeral may help you to feel more in control of the future. It could also go hand in hand with a palliative care plan to help you come to terms with the next stages.
- Mental decline – if your illness is one that affects cognitive function, you may want to start funeral planning before things progress. Equally, you may want to use the time to consider setting up a power of attorney so a loved one can execute your wishes as instructed.
Pre Paid Funeral Plans
Setting up a pre paid funeral plan can be one of the easiest ways to go about advance funeral planning. Many funeral providers now have pre paid funeral plans in place, which help you to plan your finances and spread the cost. You can usually choose to pay for your funeral in full or in instalments over a period of several years.
Reliable pre paid funeral plans will fix the cost of your funeral so that your family do not pay more, even if costs have increased since you set up the plan. You can have pre paid funeral plans that solely take care of the cost of your funeral, or you can use a funeral home that will also plan your funeral with you. The latter is usually the best option, as it means not only are finances in place, but you get the funeral you want.
Things To Consider When Advance Funeral Planning
There are many factors to think about when you start to plan your own funeral. Your funeral can be as understated or as celebratory as you wish, and there are several elements to consider:
1. The Type Of Service
The traditional idea of a funeral is a religious ceremony that takes place in a church. If you’re opting for this when funeral planning, you can have a say in which church you’d like the service to be at.
If you’re not religious, you may prefer a humanist ceremony, which is a celebration of a person’s life, conducted by a celebrant. Alternatively, some people choose a direct cremation with a memorial service at a time and place of their choice.
Having a say in the type of service can be a big advantage of advance funeral planning for people who would prefer not to have a traditional church service.
2. Burial Or Cremation
As with the type of service, when you plan your own funeral, you can make it very clear whether you’d like a burial service or a cremation. You can also state where you would like this to happen and, if applicable, where you would like your ashes to be scattered and by whom.
There are many types of coffin available nowadays, from traditional wooden coffins to eco-friendly bamboo coffins. You can set out the kind of coffin you would like in your funeral plans so that it aligns with your values or simply to manage costs. You can also decide what you would like to wear in your coffin if this is something you want to put in your funeral plans.
A funeral usually involves a hearse to carry the coffin and additional cars for family members. You may wish to forgo cars for family members when making your funeral plans, or you might like to consult loved ones and find out who would actually like to use a car. This can save any arguments further down the line. When you plan your own funeral, you could even choose transport that’s a little different and represents your life, like a lorry or a tractor.
Flowers are considered a mainstay of funerals, yet more and more people are going for subtle arrangements that cost much less. Some even request that anyone attending their funeral does not buy flowers, but makes a charitable donation instead. How many or how few flowers and wreaths you would like is another consideration when funeral planning.
6. Readings And Music
Whether you prefer traditional hymns and psalms or modern music and poetry, this can be laid out in any advance funeral plans. You could even go through it with family and friends first and see who would like to do a reading.
7. The Wake
While a wake is an event for loved ones to come together in mourning and in celebration of your life, there may be things you would like included, or a particularly special place you would like your wake to be at. When advance funeral planning, you could even specify which pictures you would like to be used at the venue or who you’d like to be invited.
Talking To Loved Ones About Your Funeral Plans
Although you may have made up your mind to plan your own funeral, you will need to talk to family and friends about your choices. You may even wish to appoint a trusted person who can make sure your funeral plan is followed. Advanced funeral planning may also give loved ones peace of mind if they are worried about you. Sharing your funeral plans can make it easier when the time comes too, so that loved ones are prepared for what will happen.
There is no set age for funeral planning either. You may be making funeral plans in your 50s so that it’s out of the way early. That way, you can enjoy all the many years you have ticking off the bucket list, rather than worrying about what will happen. Advanced funeral planning can be a very positive experience that puts you in control of your life, and your death.
Preparing For The Future With New Care Homes
There are many things to consider as we get older, from when to retire, what to do with our spare time, and where we’d like to live. These decisions, along with funeral planning, are all part and parcel of planning for later life so that we can make the most of our senior years.
At each stage, there’ll be new considerations, from choosing a retirement home or perhaps looking at a care home. Your senior years may be the time when you wind down and enjoy relaxing, or they may awaken a new sense of adventure. However you choose to spend your days, being prepared for the next stage helps you to feel in control and ready for a new chapter.
New Care Homes are stylish and luxurious care homes that help you or your family plan for the future. We offer respite, residential, nursing, and dementia care, plus advice and support for seniors and their families.
Please contact us for more information or to arrange a visit to one of our state-of-the-art care homes.