Planning your own funeral

candles burning for remembrance

Planning your own funeral gives you the freedom to plan it in exactly the way you’d like. Whether that’s a traditional funeral or an alternative such as a woodland burial, making your final wishes clear makes it easier for your family. So they can remember and celebrate your life in the way you want.

Here, we’ve provided info on how to make your own funeral plans, including recording your last wishes and keeping them safe, and different ways to pay for your funeral. We hope it makes planning your own funeral simpler.

Tips for planning your own funeral

There are a lot of things to think about when planning your own funeral. Answering the questions below should help to make things easier.

If you would like to be buried:

If you would like to be cremated:

Type of funeral service

Anything else?

Documenting your final wishes

Once you’ve decided what you want, make sure you talk about the details with your family so they know what you want. It’s worth writing down everything you’d like. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a piece of paper or saved on a computer. The most important thing is that you tell a trusted family member where to find it.

Wondering whether you can just rely on your will? It’s helpful to add your funeral plans to your will. But writing them down separately is sensible just in case your will isn’t read until after your funeral takes place.

Talking about your final wishes in advance with your family may not come naturally. It’s a difficult conversation to have. But it can make planning your own funeral service easier. And they’ll have a better idea of what you want when the time comes.

How to pay for your own funeral

You can put plans in place to pay for your funeral in advance. It isn’t essential. But if you’d like to, there are a few things you could do to cover the costs.

Set money aside

You could regularly set aside some money to help pay for your own funeral, if you’re able to. You could do this by opening a separate savings account so that it all goes into one pot. Just make sure your bank or buildings society will give family members access after your death. Most banks will freeze the account until a close family member provides them with a death certificate. They may also need a copy of the funeral invoice, so it’s worth checking how your bank would handle this.

Organise a pre-paid funeral plan

The benefit of a pre-paid funeral plan is that it allows you to pay for the funeral you would like at today’s prices. But you will need to pay for everything in advance. You can build your own funeral plan and compare costs for each option. Make sure that you check the terms and conditions so that you’re aware of any limitations on your plan. Some funeral plans may not cover everything required for your funeral such as burial costs. There could also be an increase in price if you choose a payment plan over a few months or years.

Take out an insurance policy

You could take out a life insurance or funeral insurance policy. Each will pay out a lump sum when you die. Your family could put this towards your funeral costs. But there will be different levels of cover so make sure you check which would suit your funeral plans and your budget. Keep in mind that you may also have to pay into this type of policy for the rest of your life.

Consider your estate

Your estate refers to everything you own. That could be a house, your savings, or your property. If you’ve organised a will, the named person responsible for organising your funeral will be able to use the value of your estate to cover your funeral costs. What if it’s not enough? They may be able to make a claim for a funeral expenses payment. They can check if they’re eligible for the payment by getting in touch with their local job centre plus or bereavement service.

Get more advice on planning your own funeral

Planning and paying for your own funeral right now can make it easier for your loved ones. If you’d like to talk through all your options, a professional funeral director can help. Use our directory of funeral directors to find someone near you.

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Call a member of the Funeral Choice advice team on 01983 754387

or complete our enquiry form.

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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