Planning for the End

Planning your own funeral may seem a little morbid to many of us, but it’s actually one of the most thoughtful things a person can do. Think about it. You’re saving your family a whole lot of stress. While dealing with the emotional trauma of losing a loved one, people then have the added burden of organising a funeral and paying for it. The average price of a funeral in the UK today is around 4,000 and will no doubt continue to rise gradually.

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A pre-paid funeral plan is taken out with a funeral director and is usually linked to a pre-selected style of funeral from that firm. Or you could opt for funeral insurance. This is an insurance policy that pays out a fixed lump sum (meant to be enough to cover funeral costs) which can be used to buy the funeral and all it entails from any firm.

When you plan and pay for your funeral, you will usually pay at today’s prices. Your family will not be asked for another penny after you’re gone if you do it right. Speak to a funeral director about it. And just like making your will, it allows you to get on with your life knowing that, whatever happens, your wishes will be carried out and you’ll get the send-off you want and deserve.

In the short time between the death and burial of a loved one, many family members find themselves rushing out to buy a cemetery plot or grave, often without careful consideration or a personal visit to the site. You can prevent all this by taking control and planning all the details yourself. The funeral director will offer a comprehensive and confidential service and you can discuss every detail with them including any personal wishes you may have. Their costs will also include payments made to third parties such as cemeteries, crematoria, newspapers and florists, on your behalf.

If burial is your choice, the sky’s the limit when buying memorial headstones regarding design and size. And why shouldn’t we get to choose exactly how our final resting place looks? Paying for a coffin can be an expensive element of a funeral. Your loved ones might opt for a very expensive casket while in the throes of recent grief. But you can shop around for a casket. You can even purchase one online if you like. From eco-friendly caskets to hand carved wooden ones with gold handles, the choice is endless.

As well as burials, you may also want to consider cremation. Put simply, cremation is the process in which the human body is burned to ashes. It is not just a more environmentally friendly way of conducting the last rites, another benefit is that you can collect some part of the ashes to make something memorable out of it. You can put the ashes in a locket or a pendant (known as converting diamond from ashes) to keep them close to you. You can also get a creative urn or a container to store them or can even spread them in a place as per the last wishes of the deceased.

If cremation is what you’ve decided on, it will be in your best interest to take a look at the cremation cost before proceeding. Not only will this help you to understand the process in more detail, but it can also help you to get a better idea of which urn you would like, as they come in a variety of sizes at differing prices. Cremation is generally a much cheaper option than burial, making them a popular choice among many.

Regardless of whether you have a burial or cremation, you can choose what type of ceremony to have and where it’s held, whether you’d like a traditional church service or not. You will also have full control over what music, if any, you’d like played at your funeral. All the things that are important to you should be thought about in plenty of time, so your family and friends can celebrate your life the way you wanted. Some people go one step further and think about whether they want to be remembered by future generations. Online tools such as those at Genealogy Bank ( allow people to search their archives to find information about their family that other relatives may not know. This could be a great way to make yourself known and remembered by those family members who come after you. Just like you can find information about your ancestors, they will be able to do the same for you, so any details about your funeral should be included in a newspaper if this is something you want.

It’s all about taking control of the last memories you leave behind rather than having someone else deal with it. And it’s also all about making financial provisions so your loved ones won’t be left with an added financial burden at an already difficult time.