Planning your own funeral: 7 practical steps

The desire to put your affairs in order can be triggered by many things. One of the most common prompts is the stress of arranging a funeral for someone else, perhaps a parent. 

 

Positive life changes, such as children leaving home and looking ahead to a comfortable retirement could also act as triggers for making funeral arrangements. Here are some of the practical and emotional benefits of preparing for the future.

 

Why should I plan ahead?

 

It makes sense to think about and provide for whatever the next phase of your life might bring. Planning your own funeral and making the necessary arrangements ensures that you’ve prepared for the one event that none of us can avoid!

 

Provide peace of mind to you and your family

With funeral costs rising faster than inflation, funeral pre-planning is a sound decision. It fixes the cost of your cremation at today’s prices, so your family won’t have to pay a penny more in the future.

 

Making such pre-need arrangements also takes away the stress and worry regarding your funeral wishes – the people you leave behind will know exactly what to do, and that the costs are all covered.

 

Celebrate your life the way you want

 

Sometimes, the way you look at something makes all the difference. It’s much more enjoyable to think about the highlights of your life and the parts you want to celebrate than to think about your death and funeral arrangements

 

Yet celebrating life can be at the very heart of planning your own funeral. Making your  funeral wishes ahead of time, you can liberate your family and friends from some of the emotional burden of mourning and help them say farewell the way you’d prefer.

 

Communicating your wishes to your family

Making funeral plans ahead of time means you can discuss your last wishes with the ones you love. The idea of having ‘the chat’ may feel daunting but helping everyone focus on how to celebrate those key moments and memories will make this much easier. 

 

And remember, the benefits are worth it – funeral plan holders and their families tell us that this forward-thinking will let them concentrate on supporting each other when it matters most.

Document your funeral wishes 

 

Planning a funeral and putting your funeral wishes in writing will avoid any doubt or disagreement about your instructions. 

 

Make sure these can be found easily, along with your other important papers. This is particularly important if you haven’t been able to discuss your plans with family.

How to plan your own funeral in 7 simple steps

 

  1. Decide whether you would prefer a burial funeral or cremation. Here are the main options: 

  • a funeral service at a church followed by burial or cremation

  • a funeral service held entirely at the crematorium

  • a graveside service only (e.g at a cemetery or woodland burial ground)

  • a memorial service for family and friends immediately after a private burial or cremation

  • an unattended direct cremation, plus a separate celebration of life event at a time and place you decide

 

  1. Choose whether you want your family to have the chance to visit the chapel of rest before the funeral, or not.

  2. Decide which readings, music, and images you would like to include to express your life and personality.

  3. What to do with the remains if you choose cremation.

  4. Consider the ideal venue for the ceremony and/or hospitality. 

  5. Research funeral service providers and costs.

  6. Determine your budget and how the arrangements will be paid for.

 

How can I pay for my funeral in advance?

 

Do you have life insurance, a funeral plan, or do you expect your family to cover the costs? The most common options for covering funeral expenses are:

  • Savings accounts

  • Life insurance / Over 50s insurance plans

  • Pre-paid funeral plan

 

A pre-paid funeral plan gives you the most control over the arrangements as it sets out your wishes and contains a detailed description of the funeral service that will be provided. 

 

Some funeral plans will tie you to a particular provider or network of funeral homes, others leave your family to decide which firm carries out the plan.

 

A Pure Cremation is a distinctive alternative to a traditional funeral – it’s a simple, cremation-only service, so you won’t pay for anything you don’t want or need. You can rest assured that your cremation is fully paid for, and it doesn’t matter how fast funeral prices rise.

Personalise your funeral or memorial service: Checklist

The most satisfying farewell events reflect the life, relationships, and beliefs of the person who has died. 

 

Here is a funeral arranging checklist featuring the points you might want to think about:

 

  • Memorial service location

  • Will the coffin or urn be present and where to place it?

  • Type of casket or urn

  • Attendees

  • Name(s) of those who you wish to oversee your arrangements

  • Is there a specific faith leader or other celebrants you would like to conduct the service?

  • Which location would you choose for a final resting place?

  • Who should be involved in your farewell and how? (Pallbearers, eulogy, visual tribute, music selection, floral tributes, catering, photography…)

  • The type of flowers or decorations you’d like to have

  • Music, hymns, or songs

  • Photographs, portraits and other items to display at the memorial service

  • Readings, prayers, or poems to be read or displayed

  • Life story – key points and people

  • How to represent your hobbies / interests / career

  • The design of any order of service or memorial card

  • Whether you might like an online memorial page

  • Your ideal style of event 

 

Making a personal contribution to the farewell can make a real difference to the grief journey. When you look at the list of things to consider, you’ll see that there are many different ways to involve family members that want to play a part in the proceedings.

 

Funeral pre-planning can be easy and affordable

 

Most people don’t know how to arrange a funeral, and that’s why your family might end up spending more on a fancier affair than you’d choose for yourself. When you plan your own funeral, you’re in control of the style and the budget.

 

It only takes a few minutes to set up a pre-paid funeral plan and it can cost less than you might think, which means you can relax and get on with enjoying life!

 

There are two main types of pre-paid funeral plans – a trust-based plan that you can pay in a single lump sum or over a fixed time period, and an insurance-based plan featuring continuous payment of a low monthly premium based on your age at the time of purchase.

 

Pure Cremation offers both pre-paid funeral plan types and every client receives a My Funeral Wishes card to carry. Find out more about our funeral plans or request a free information pack to learn if these plans work for you.

Call us today:

0800 182 2160

Need advice or have any questions about direct cremation? Our dedicated team offers expert guidance and support and can help you get started.