Pre-planning your own funeral

Making your wishes known about what type of funeral or end of life celebration you envisage, by pre-planning your own funeral, is one of the most thoughtful things you can do to help your family cope with bereavement.

Most of us, at some time or other, will discuss informally and in general terms, our personal views on what kind of ‘send-off’ we would prefer. In practice, however, surprisingly few of us go beyond verbalising our views, en passant.

Now, some of us may get round to jotting down on a scrap of paper a list of our favourite poems and music, for example. But, in reality, most people tend to leave no more than sketchy guidelines, if anything at all, for a funeral ceremony that would truly encapsulate their personality and life values.

Stamp your personality on your funeral plans

Just think about it, by pre-planning your own funeral you are making an invaluable contribution to easing the grief being experienced by your nearest and dearest and the distress occasioned by your departure.


But, if we’re honest, there is also an element of self-fulfilment involved here – and why shouldn't there be? After all, no-one wants to be misrepresented or misinterpreted on the occasion of the final summation of their life.

In other words, pre-planning your own funeral gives you the scope to ‘set the record straight’ once and for all – an opportunity not to be missed!

Practical tips for a personalised funeral plan

  • Formalise your preferences and wishes in writing
  • Keep a hard copy of the document as well as a digital version of your ‘personalised funeral plan’
  • Itemise such issues as whether you require a religious or non-religious funeral, green or grandiose, formal or informal, burial or cremation, the music, the poetry, the flowers and even the tone of the eulogies you would most appreciate; maybe include your choice of funeral director and funeral venue and where you want your ashes to be spread; in fact, any aspect of your own funeral that particularly matters to you and that is close to your heart
  • Let the relevant people know that these ‘instructions’ exist and where they can be located
  • Other Important Considerations

  • Prepaid Funeral Plan: Taking out a prepaid funeral plan is one of the best ways of reducing the immediate financial burden on your next of kin when you die. For more detailed advice on choosing the best prepaid funeral package, please see: Choosing the Right Prepaid Funeral Plan or Package
  • Charity Donation: Far better to plan ahead and bequeath a sum of your choice to the charity of your choice than to leave the possible decision essentially to the executors of your will and those involved in arranging your funeral. Clearly stipulate your instructions about any charity donations you wish to make in your will
  • Organ Donation: For more information on how to register as an organ donor, please see: Organ Donation: Essential Information