Taking Control: Why You Should Plan Your Own Funeral

Written by Fraser Stewart
Reading time 4 minutes
Taking Control: Why You Should Plan Your Own Funeral image

Death is a taboo topic in the UK, with 1 in 3 Brits finding it difficult to talk about death. Additionally, 81% of UK adults have not saved any money towards their funeral. 

While death is not the nicest thing to consider, planning for your own funeral can be really beneficial for several reasons. A funeral will be your chance to give your loved ones some comfort and ensure your life is honoured in the way you wish. Here are the top reasons you should consider planning your own funeral.

Benefits of planning your own funeral

There are a number of benefits that lead people to plan their own funeral, but generally, it boils down to two main things: relieving stress for family and having control over the arrangements. We have listed some of the benefits below.

Make your wishes known

By planning your funeral, you can ensure that your loved ones know what you would have wanted. You have the control to choose every detail, from the guestlist through to the choice of music. You can create a memorable event styled to how you would like it, allowing your family and loved ones to reminisce about how you touched their lives.

Prevent conflict

Research from Independent Age shows that 1 in 3 UK adults have fallen out with a family member after the death of a relative. By planning your funeral and having an end-of-life plan, you can ensure your wishes are known and minimise the chance of family in-fighting.

Provide peace of mind

Planning your funeral can provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. Knowing that your funeral arrangements are in order can help ease your mind and comfort your loved ones knowing that they are fulfilling your wishes.

Reduce stress and burden on loved ones

Making your funeral plans can reduce the stress and anxiety of your loved ones during a difficult time. It can take away the need for them to make difficult decisions on your behalf, and it can also help reduce any financial burden your funeral might otherwise place on them.

Create a meaningful and personal funeral

Planning your funeral allows you to create a funeral that is truly meaningful and personal to you. You can choose the details of your funeral, such as the location, music, readings, and other personal touches, which can help to make it a truly fitting celebration of your life.

How to get started

Planning your funeral can be daunting, but it is also an important and responsible decision that can provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. If you are ready to begin planning your funeral, here are some steps to get you started.

Discuss with your loved ones

Discussing your funeral plans with your loved ones, especially your spouse or partner, children, and close friends is a good idea; it will help ensure they are mindful of your wishes and can help carry out your plans. 

Do your research 

Research the different funeral options available to you, such as funeral homes, cremation and burial options, and other available services. By doing this, you can make informed decisions and choose those that best meet your preferences. 

Make any necessary legal arrangements

Depending on your situation, you may need to make some legal arrangements to ensure that your funeral plans can be carried out. This might include creating a will, appointing a power of attorney, or making other legal arrangements. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure that your legal affairs are in order.

Put your plans in writing

After making the necessary decisions, it is a good idea to document your plans. Putting your plans in writing ensures your wishes are clearly communicated and can be easily accessed by your loved ones. You can create a written plan or use a digital service like Lyfeguard. 

Review regularly

Your funeral plans should be a living document, not a one-time affair. Regularly reviewing and updating your plans ensures that your plans remain current and reflect your current wishes.

Things to consider

As you begin to make your funeral plans, there are several important decisions that you will need to make. These decisions will help shape your funeral and ensure it is a fitting celebration of your life.

Funeral home

Choose a funeral home that you feel comfortable with, and that can provide the services and support you need. Research different funeral homes, visit them, and compare prices and services. 

Burial or cremation

You will need to decide whether you want to be buried or cremated. It is an important decision that will impact the rest of your funeral plans, so carefully consider your options and preferences.

Burial or graveside service

Should you choose a burial, the next decision is whether you want a traditional service at a funeral home or a graveside service at a cemetery. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to consider which is suitable for you.

Guestlist

You should include specific individuals, such as close friends and family members, or you may want to leave the decision to your loved ones. If you would like particular groups to be in attendance, such as a sports team, it is advisable to make that clear in your wishes.

Pallbearers

There are typically six pallbearers, and these are individuals who are responsible for carrying the casket. They tend to be close family and friends and it is a good idea to discuss your wishes with those close to you. 

Music and readings 

Music, readings, and other personal touches ensure your funeral is a fitting tribute to your life. You can curate a special day centered around your life by choosing hymns, songs, poems, and other readings. You may also consider who will deliver the eulogies and who the officiant will be. 

Other arrangements

Other arrangements, such as transportation and flower arrangements, are important too. Your funeral is personal to you, so ensure you think through every detail. 

In summary

Planning your funeral can be a responsible and loving decision that provides peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. You can ensure that your wishes are known and that your funeral is a fitting tribute to your life. While it may be challenging, planning can make a difficult time easier for your loved ones and ensure that your funeral is a meaningful and personal tribute. If you are ready to begin planning your funeral, use the steps and tips outlined in this article to get started and create a funeral that truly honours your life and legacy.

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