Planning your own funeral: A practical guide February 29, 2024

It is only human to shy away from discussions about death, particularly your own, so the concept of preplanning your own funeral will likely be uncomfortable and daunting. However, taking a brief moment to plan ahead can offer a huge amount of peace of mind – not only to yourself but also your loved ones. And, whilst it seems obvious to say, it is important to remember: planning for your death will not make it happen any sooner!


So, why would you want to plan your own funeral in advance?


To Remove a Future Financial Burden:

Funeral costs, like most things, increase over the years. Just as a funeral in the 1990’s would be a lot cheaper than a funeral today, today’s funerals will likely be a lot cheaper than those in the future. Paying for your funeral in advance through a pre-paid funeral plan means today’s prices are locked in, removing a financial strain from your loved ones in the future.




To Personalise Your Final Farewell:

Your funeral should be a reflection of your life, loves and beliefs, and preplanning ensures all your favourite things are included. From the selection of music, readings, traditions you wish to incorporate, even the clothes you want people to wear. It ensures your final send-off is a fitting tribute to your life and legacy.




To Ease Emotional Distress:

If the idea of planning your funeral makes you uncomfortable and anxious, imagine how your loved ones might feel going through the same process whilst experiencing huge feelings of loss and grief. Preplanning will spare them that burden, and the real fear that they might not ‘know what you wanted’ and get it wrong in some way. Instead, they can focus on processing their emotions and supporting one another.



To Ensure Your Wishes Are Honoured:

By documenting your preferences in advance, you know your wishes have been clearly communicated and honoured. Do you prefer the idea of burial or cremation? Do you wish to be interred at a particular location or have your ashes scattered at a favourite spot? Making sure your intentions are known will avoid potential disagreements amongst your family members.




So how exactly do you pre-plan for your funeral?


Research Funeral Providers:

Take time to research a reputable funeral director in your area, considering factors such as pricing, services and reputation. We like to think we’re the best choice in Essex, but don’t just take our word for it. We’ve won awards for Best Funeral Provider in Essex, Best For Customer Service and Best Funeral Home in the last few years alone.





Talk to your loved ones:

Whilst preplanning your funeral is uniquely personal, it can be helpful to discuss your intentions with trusted loved ones and allow for open communication about end-of-life preferences.





Document Those Preferences:

Write your decisions down. This should include all aspects you feel strongly about, from music and reading choices to burial or cremation. We offer a ‘Funeral Wishes’ document that might assist.




Consider Financial Planning:

The most popular benefit from preplanning a funeral is when it is prepaid for in advance, to fix the price at current rates. We work with Ecclesiastical Funeral Planning Services to offer a financially protected pre-payment plan specifically for funerals, and to suit a range of budgets and preferences. You can find out more here.




Don’t Forget To Review It:

We hope there is a very long time between you planning your funeral and your loved ones needing to arrange it. Life circumstances may change over that time so it is important to review your plans periodically and make any necessary updates to ensure your plan reflects your evolving wishes.





Preplanning your own funeral is a proactive and compassionate decision that offers numerous benefits to you and your loved ones. By taking time to consider your preferences and document them in advance, you provide peace of mind, alleviate a financial burden to your nearest and dearest, and ensure your final farewell is a fitting tribute to your life and legacy.

For more information, contact your local Co-op Funeral Directors here.