Questions to ask when planning your own funeral

September 22, 2016

Planning your funeral well in advance is always a smart move to make and is becoming more and more common in the UK. It means that you can have control over the type of service you have. It also ensures that those close to you have less to worry about when the day comes. But what are some of the decisions that you need to make?

Where would I like my final resting place to be?

old man hands

In the UK the most popular method for dealing with our remains is to choose burial or cremation. If you choose one of these methods then you will need to think about location. Would you like to be buried in a family burial ground? Or if you choose cremation then where would you like your ashes to be kept or scattered.

There are other alternatives to cremation and burial too. Many people now choose natural bio-degradable coffins which have less of an impact on the environment, while others decide to donate their organs to medical or scientific research.

What type of funeral do I want?

Next, you should consider the type of funeral you would like. For instance, would you like a small and intimate ceremony with just close family and friends, or would you prefer an open invitation where anyone could attend.

You may have family and friends who live far away, or old work colleagues that you have lost touch with but who you were once close to. Do you need to make a list of those people and their contact details so that they can attend?

You might want to leave instructions about a dress code too. Would you prefer that mourners wear traditional funeral clothes? Or would you rather take a more relaxed approach and encourage bright colours?

You might also have specific ideas about aspects such as who would carry your coffin or who might do readings on the day. For example you might want a relative to read a poem that meant something special to you. Many people will have strong opinions about the content of their funeral service, so choosing the right poems, prayers, readings and music to fit their personality can be important to them.  If that’s the case then you should make a list of the songs, poems and readings that you would most like to be used.

Flower arrangements and donations are commonplace at many funerals, yet increasingly many people request that donations are made to a charitable cause instead. Is there a charity that you particularly care about, or a cause that you have always supported?

Another key decision you will need to make will be whether you have a funeral reception. If you do then you may want to leave some of the finer details such as catering and entertainment to others. But you may want to make other choices, such as the location. For example if you have a particular venue such as your favourite pub, restaurant or sports club, you might want the reception to take place there.

By planning your funeral in advance you can lessen the stress on your loved ones. People will commonly feel overwhelmed if they are left with lots of questions to answer and decisions to make at a time of grieving.  It can be even more difficult if they have no blueprint to work from. By working with a funeral director you can take charge of your own arrangements right now and lessen the burden on those close to you in the future.

For help and advice on funeral plans please contact us on 0151 228 3900, or leave us a message through our contact us page by clicking here