Planning your own funeral
Planning your own funeral makes your wishes clear about the type of funeral you want and how it should be paid for. Planning ahead for your own funeral can be a great help for your loved ones in the future.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to plan your own funeral is with a Prepaid Funeral Plan, although we have discussed other options for paying for your funeral in advance in this article, to help you make the right decision for you.
Why should you plan your own funeral?
Many people find it difficult to talk to their family about their death but, by not doing so, may only make it harder for those left behind after you’re gone.
Planning, and paying for your funeral in advance relieves your family of the financial burden of paying for your funeral when the time comes, making what will inevitably be an emotional time that little bit easier for them. Arranging the funeral of a loved one is a common cause of conflict between family members, particularly when there is uncertainty over what you would have wanted. Making your own funeral arrangements can not only help relieve this stress, but it also ensures your wishes are honoured when the time comes. Planning your own funeral or discussing your funeral wishes is especially important if you have specific requests for what happens at your funeral.
Many people leave wishes for their funeral in their will in the hope this will be enough. Unfortunately, in many cases, the will is not read until after the funeral, so it's really important to share your wishes with your family before the time comes.
We’ve listed 10 reasons to plan your own funeral, to help you understand the other benefits of planning ahead.
How can I pay for my funeral in advance?
When planning your own funeral, one of the primary reasons for doing so for many people is to ensure that their funeral costs are covered. There are a number of ways of paying for your funeral in advance, the most common ways include:
- Funeral plans - A funeral plan can typically be paid in a lump sum or in a number of instalments. The services the funeral plan covers will vary, so you should do your research before choosing a funeral plan provider. The main advantage of a funeral plan is that once you have purchased a plan, you are protected against any future increases in funeral prices.
- Funeral insurance also referred to as ‘over 50s plans’ – this is an insurance policy that will pay out a fixed sum towards the cost of your funeral when you die. These policies can often offer poor value for money. You have to pay the premiums until you die, so some people end up paying more in monthly premiums than the fixed sum that is paid out at the time of their death.
There is often some confusion between the two, so we have compared funeral plans vs funeral insurance to help you understand the key differences and work out if either of these options is right for you.
- Savings accounts - you can prepare to cover the cost of your funeral without taking out funeral insurance or a funeral plan. You could leave money in a savings account and let your solicitor and next of kin know that the money is intended to cover your funeral expenses. However, there is no guarantee that the money you have saved will have grown to cover the cost of a funeral when the time comes. It is also important to consider that banks and building societies will usually freeze an individual’s accounts when they are informed of the account holder’s death, although they will usually allow the family to access funds to pay for a funeral if they provide a copy of the death certificate and funeral invoice from the funeral director.
In 2019, the average funeral in the UK cost £4,417*, although the overall cost of your funeral will very much depend on the choices you make and whether you’d like something extravagant or something simple. Other factors that will impact on funeral costs include the time at which you pass away, as funeral costs may rise between now and then. To understand the costs involved in a funeral, you can read more about average funeral costs in the UK here.
Choosing a funeral plan
Not only does choosing a funeral plan allow you to cover the cost of your funeral in advance, but it also allows you to make important decisions and get plans in place. The first thing you should decide is if you’d like to be buried or cremated. If cremation is the answer, we can help.
At Simplicity, we give you greater choice and flexibility in the way your loved ones remember your life. We don’t want to take away the remembrance that a traditional funeral can offer, but we do believe there is an alternative, less expensive way; a way that does not require expensive elements such as a hearse and limousines or a team of pallbearers.
You can select a prepaid cremation plan based on the number of people you’d like to attend your funeral, including a direct cremation without any mourners present, a small funeral for just a few close friends and family or a full-length service for an unlimited number of attendees.
Our cremation plans start at £1,495 and cover all of the necessary elements of a simple cremation, including cremation fees, a simple coffin, transport in our specialist vehicles, and most importantly, care in our quality mortuary facilities until the day of the cremation.
As long as you aged 50 or over, you are guaranteed to be accepted for a Simplicity Cremations Prepaid Funeral Plan.
View our prepaid funeral plans for more information on what each funeral plan provides.
Plan your funeral service with Simplicity
What happens at your funeral is completely up to you. If you choose a funeral plan which includes time at the crematorium for a service or ceremony, such as the Orchid Plan, you should think about how you’d like the ceremony to be.
We’ve listed a few considerations:
- Who would you like to lead the service? A family member, a religious leader or celebrant?
- Are they any popular funeral readings, funeral poems or prayers that you want?
- Is there a specific family member or friend you would like to prepare a eulogy or reading?
- Do you wish for any music to be played? You can find some inspiration with our popular funeral songs.
- What would you like attendees to wear? Is there a specific colour?
- Would you like a wake after the service? Or even a memorial?
- Would you like floral tributes or charitable donations? If so, which charity?
Even if you haven’t selected an attended funeral plan, your family will have the opportunity to make additional arrangements when the time comes. Perhaps you chose a direct cremation plan because you’d like your family to arrange a celebration of life or memorial service in your honour, at a time and place away from the crematorium.
When planning your own funeral, make your funeral wishes known
When planning your own funeral, one of the most important parts it to share your plans, or funeral wishes with your family, or your next of kin who will be responsible for arranging your funeral.
When you take out a funeral plan with us, we’ll send you a Planholder’s pack along with a Funeral Executor pack in the post. We’d recommend you share this pack with your family so they have all of the information to hand when it is needed. Whoever you’ve appointed as Executor will need to notify us so we can begin to make arrangements for your funeral.
It’s important to talk to those closest to you about your decision to purchase a plan. Many people find it difficult to understand why anyone would wish to plan their own funeral, so they might find it easier if you discuss this with them in advance.
One final thing to consider is if you’d like your ashes to be kept or scattered. If you’d like your ashes scattered, is there a special place you'd prefer? Or would you like your family to make this decision for you? These are all worthwhile conversations to have with your loved ones.
Not ready to purchase a prepaid funeral plan?
As we mentioned, while many people write their funeral wishes down in their will, they are often left unread until after the funeral so it can be difficult for your funeral wishes to be passed on in time.
If you’re interested in planning your own funeral, but not ready to purchase a funeral plan yet, you can still share your wishes with your family and friends. Simply fill out the form and we’ll email you everything you need to share your funeral wishes with your family.
Ready to plan your funeral? There are three ways you can apply for a Simplicity Cremations Prepaid Funeral Plan; buy online, contact us or request a brochure today. If you’ve any questions, our team are here 24/7 to answer any queries you might have.
*SunLife 2020 Cost of Dying Report https://www.sunlife.co.uk/siteassets/documents/cost-of-dying/SL-cost-of-dying-report-2020.pdf/