If you are thinking of planning your own funeral you should put your plans in your will. These will assist your family when the time comes to arrange your funeral. There are several questions to ask yourself in advance.
1 - Do you want to be buried or cremated? If you want a burial, do you have a burial plot? Should you purchase one before your demise, or will you family be able to foot the bill? If you do not specify these details, the executor of your will or if you fail to leave a will, your nearest relative, will decide these details for you.
2 - If you want to be buried, is there a grave that you want to be buried in and have you got the grave deeds and the section it is located in at the cemetery? If you desire a cremation, where would you like your ashes to be scattered? Alternatively would you like them to be interred in the Remembrance garden at the crematorium, or given to a relative?
3 - Think about the service itself; what music would you like to have played, and more particularly what kind of service would you like? Would there be flowers or would the money usually spent on these be donated to a charity of your choice? Will the service be held in a place of worship, or at a funeral director's private chapel, or simply at the crematorium?
4 - Have you any idea which funeral director you would use for the funeral? A good funeral director can advise you about all aspects of the funeral and together you could go through some of the details. Generally funeral directors will do this with you free of charge.
5 - What type of coffin do you require? You can choose from a cardboard one or a wooden one which is luxurious, such as a solid oak casket with plush lining and brass handles. Of course you pay more for a wooden casket than for a cardboard coffin.
There are other considerations too, such as if you are married will you retain your wedding ring or any other jewellery, or should it be given to a person of your choice?
If you are planning a funeral after the death of a loved one, you will have to deal with issues such as obtaining a death certificate. If the coroner has to be informed of the death, then you should not make firm funeral arrangements. You will need to decide if the body will be viewed, so that you can tell the funeral director that it will need to be embalmed, and you want to have an open coffin.
Hopefully you will know what kind of service the deceased wanted, and can arrange this with the help of family and friends. You may or may not require the services of the clergy, depending on the religious beliefs of the departed.
Remember that a good funeral director will be able to help and guide you through this emotional time.