Everyone’s funeral plans will be different and you may want yours to be unique - allowing your loved ones to have a personal goodbye. There is plenty to think about when planning your own funeral before you pass away. Not only can planning your own funeral take away some pressure from your loved ones, but it can also make sure that everything’s how you want it to be!
If you’re thinking of planning your own funeral, here’s some things that you need to think about 😊
How to plan my own funeral
Paying for the funeral
The first thing you need to think about is, unfortunately, money. It may not be a huge concern for you, as you already have funeral or life insurance, which is helpful as it can give your family access to money very quickly and allow them to carry out your wishes without thinking about the cost.
However, it's worth noting that your loved ones won't be able to pay for the funeral directly from your estate, your will. This is because your funeral will be carried out before the probate process has been completed. So insurance can be a much quicker way to access the funds required.
Depending on your style and preferences, you can figure out a rough cost for your own funeral. This could limit the type of funeral you actually plan for, but hopefully you have the level of financial cover required for everything you want. If you’re looking for some life insurance cover, we got you covered ☂️
Before the funeral
There are a few aspects to think about before the funeral takes place.
Body preparation – A lot of people don’t think about this but you may want your body to be prepared in a specific way, such as environmentally friendly and without embalming fluid.
Clothing – What do you want to be dressed in? A suit? Sports top? Something casual? Everyone will have their own ideas but many people simply leave this up to their family to decide.
Funeral directors – You may have a preferred funeral director, such as the same company that took care of the funeral of a parent, for example.
The big funeral decisions
Burial or cremation – Perhaps the biggest decision you need to make is whether you want to be buried or cremated. You’ll probably already know the answer to this and it’s vital to let family members know! Putting it in your will is a great idea.
Type of service – You should also consider what type of service you want. Would you prefer for it to be a religious or humanist service? This is where you need to think about the format of the funeral, such as a church service or a church burial.
Location of service – Where do you want the service to be held? This could be at a specific church or crematorium. This is usually held at the closest venue to your home but your wishes may be different.
Type of wake – In the US and Ireland, a wake usually means viewing the body before the funeral. In the UK, it often means a social gathering after death. You should think about what type of social gathering your loved ones will have around the funeral.
Pallbearers – You can decide who is going to carry your coffin. This is usually carried by six people but if you have less than six, the funeral director can often make up numbers or instead, a special trolley can be used. If you can find six who are able to help, maybe you can also get them to do something like this for you 👇
Eulogy – A eulogy is a semi-biographical tribute to a person’s life. If you want someone in particular to write this eulogy then you should state it in your wishes. Eulogies can also be delivered by a vicar/celebrant etc. after consultation with your family.
Readings – A number of readings are also allowed at your funeral. Often this will be poems and you can ask for specific bits of writing to be read out. This may even be something you write yourself.
Songs/Hymns – Most venues will allow you to have 3 or 4 songs/hymns to be played at your funeral. You may wish for upbeat music to lift the mood or perhaps a wedding song. Music is very personal and this can be a great way to share some of your favourites.
Other funeral considerations
There are plenty of other aspects that you may wish to think about as well. Here is a list of some things you may want to include in your plan.
- A request for donations to charity
- Where your ashes are scattered
- The writing on your gravestone
- Transportation of the coffin
- Type of coffin
- Dress code for the funeral
- Photographs to be used, or taken
- The order of service
Procession route to the funeral
This is almost everything that you'll need to think about for your funeral plan but not everyone will include every single thing. Having decisions already made is a great way to help your family and loved ones out.