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For many of us, the prospect of our own mortality is something that we don`t wish to dwell upon - or it is, at least, something we put to the back of our minds. Even more so, the thought of planning your own funeral now, may seem somewhat unsavoury or too morbid to consider.
However, the arrangements for your funeral and your wishes about the type of "send off" you would like, should not be ignored or left to others to sort out at such a difficult time
When making a Will, you will often be asked by your solicitor about your funeral wishes. This may seem somewhat morbid or possibly irrelevant, but at the same time, a very important part of the will-writing process. Many people have very strong views about how they would like to be remembered and their funeral can be be a very important part of that process. Even if you are somewhat ambivalent about your funeral and what happens to your body after your death, there are still important reasons for taking the time to consider your funeral arrangements.
Your funeral arrangements will typically be dealt with by the Executors named in your Will (or your Administrators - where there is no Will). They will decide upon how your body is disposed of and how your funeral conducted - although other family members and friends may be involved.
Why should I specify my funeral wishes in my will?
By specifying your funeral wishes in your Will, you can clearly set out your wishes about your funeral and the sort of funeral that you would wish to have. Remember, you won`t be around so, by specifying your wishes clearly in your Will, it means that your loved ones will not have to face the prospect of making difficult decisions (which may not necessarily accord with your wishes). By including clear and concise instructions in your Will, you can significantly reduce the burden on your Executors and/or family
What should you specify in your Will?
Most people may have a preference to being buried or cremated and this should be clearly stated in your Will. If you have very specific and more detailed wishes these can be, if appropriate, set out in a separate document, for example, in a side letter or memorandum that can be retained together with your Will.
Other matters you may wish to specify may include the following:
- Where you would like to be buried; for example, in a family plot or a particular churchyard or cemetery ;
- Where you would like your ashes to be buried, scattered or interred ;
- Who would you like to attend your funeral - for example, should it be close family members only? ;
- Whether you would like any readings or music (such as hymns) at your funeral;
- Would you like a Wake - if so, where? ;
- Organ donation (and whether you have a view on this) ;
- Whether you would like to be embalmed;
- Your choice of undertaker;
- Whether you have a Funeral Plan in place and, if so, who with ;
- Whether you would like flowers and/or donations to be made at your funeral;
- Whether you would like your funeral to be treated as a celebration of your life or something more formal or sombre.
The above is not an exhaustive list but provides an example of the sort of things you may wish to consider when thinking about your own funeral. By taking a little time now to think about these arrangements and including the appropriate instructions in your Will or even in a side letter, you can ensure you get the funeral you would like and further, ensure that those left behind are able to fulfill your wishes as best they can with the least amount of stress or worry.
If you would like any further advice, please contact James Rousell on 01384 371622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org