Thinking about your own demise isn’t something that sits comfortably with everyone, but if you are considering taking out a funeral plan you're likely to have considered the costs of the funeral, but maybe not how you'd like that funeral to be conducted.
Long gone are the days of a sombre event, with traditional hearse, oak coffin and a religious burial being the only option for a funeral. These days funerals can be fun affairs, full of joy, light and a true celebration of life. Or, if you are one for tradition, there are vast choices available on what kind of coffin or casket, what kind of hearse and what kind of internment you are looking for. Everyone is different and so why can't their funerals be different too?
Taking the financial burden away from your family by taking out a funeral plan is a great first step, and you can ease the stress of organising your final send off by planning your own funeral too. Setting out what you want your funeral to look like, what you want people to wear, what you music you want to be played, will take a lot of the worry away from family when the time comes.
A few things to consider
First and foremost, do you want to be buried or cremated? This is something that many people already know, but as the choice will dictate much of the service, it's an important one to consider when planning out your funeral. Where do you want to be buried or cremated?
Again, you might already know this as you may have a family plot or a crematorium close to home. But if you are going for something different, or want somewhere out of the norm, you might want to consider researching crematoriums to see if they can accommodate your wishes, or the amount of people expected at your funeral.
With burials in particular, you can go for a woodland burial, where you can be buried amongst nature. There are currently around 220 woodland burial sites around the UK that are usually surrounded by trees and woodland flowers, and it is a much more environmentally friendly way to be buried. It's also becoming increasingly popular to have your ashes scattered in woodland burial sites.
Do you want a religious celebrant or a humanist officiant to carry out the funeral ceremony itself?
If you are an active member of a church, this is unlikely to have crossed your mind, but if you aren’t particularly religious or are an atheist then deciding who you want to officiate your funeral ceremony might be very important to you. This is something you should inform your family of, to ensure you have the ceremony you want.
What kind of music do you want at your send off?
A choir, a harpist, your favourite dance tracks or just a simple hymn or two? The music you choose for your funeral can really set the tone for the event and can also reflect on your personality, whether that be a male voice choir, Frank Sinatra or Run DMC.
Coffin, casket or cardboard?
The choice of coffins is massive these days and all come with associated costs. You might want to have the best, and why not, but you also might not consider it important and go for cardboard or a willow coffin. Again, the choice is yours and this can have big cost implications, so is important to let your family know what you want.
Do you want readings, psalms or a eulogy?
If you have a favourite poem or a psalm that means something important to you, why not specify that you want it read at your funeral? Would you like a member of your family or a close friend to give your eulogy? Again, let them know that you have specified this in your funeral wishes and you could even write it together.
It is about you
These are just a few things to consider when planning your own funeral. It is the last party you will host, your final send off. It's as much about you as it is about allowing your family and friends to grieve, so having it all set out for your family will take away a lot of the stress in the run up to the event.
Different members of your family may have different ideas of how they believe a funeral should be conducted or where it should be held, and this might differ a lot from your views. If you would prefer to have a say in the planning, holding it at a place of your choice, with the music and readings you want, then write everything down, keep it somewhere safe and let your nearest and dearest know where it is when the time comes.
After all, if you have taken out a funeral plan - you'll be paying for it!