Category Archives: Funeral Plans

Do it your way – A guide to DIY funeral planning

Funerals are by their very nature sad and sombre occasions. If you’ve ever returned home after attending a funeral feeling drained and empty, it’s worth remembering that it doesn’t have to be this way. A good funeral has the potential to do a lot of a good, but to create a truly memorable celebration of a life well lived, will require a lot of effort and hard work.

A DIY funeral can involve as much or as little input from a funeral professional as you want. However, if it’s important to you to be able to feel in complete control over the proceedings, you shouldn’t let others do for you what you’re able to do for yourself. When it’s all over, although there will still be grief and sadness, you’ll also be left with a real sense of achievement.

The direction that a DIY funeral will take is usually determined by whether you want a faith funeral. If the funeral is to have a religious element, a faith leader will often to be involved with the planning. Religious funeral ceremonies are based upon a fixed format which is known as a liturgy and whilst there is some room for personalisation within a religious funeral service, this will be limited.

In the early stages of funeral planning you’ll need to think about whether you want a funeral service or a memorial service. The person who has died is present at a funeral service whilst a memorial service is an event to commemorate the life of the deceased after the body has been buried or cremated. In some cases people decide to have a funeral service and a memorial service.

If you’re in the Leeds, UK area, then you can visit a Leeds funeral director with a difference, in the form of Full Circle Funerals who will be able to help you with all sorts of alternate ways to organise a funeral.

Leeds Funeral DirectorWhilst opting for a non-religious funeral service is a very personal choice, choosing a non-religious funeral offers the opportunity to do exactly as you like. A good DIY funeral is designed to be as individual and unique as the life of the deceased and this is one of the reasons why non-religious funerals are becoming increasingly popular.

Funerals are unusual as they are one of the few events which do not need the expertise of professionals to be a success. The whole idea of a DIY funeral is that it should be designed and carried out to suit the traditions, culture and customs of your family. There is no law to say that you have to follow convention; just do what you feel is right and the funeral will make a fitting tribute to the deceased.

It’s OK to inject an element of humour into a funeral and although jokes can’t or shouldn’t replace grief, an account of someone’s life if more than likely to include at least a couple of funny anecdotes. Happy memories will always make people smile so don’t be afraid of humour.

Non-religious funeral celebrants are now widely available throughout the UK and if you’d like someone to lead the funeral; you’ll need to find a celebrant who you feel you can work with. Get in touch with a few celebrants as this is the best way to find the one who’s most suitable and don’t forget that you’re in charge.

 

Funeral finance plans – are they worth it?

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With the average funeral costing around £3000, many people worry about how they will cover the cost of paying for their funeral. Of course the majority of people pay for their funeral directly from their estate but if you’re concerned that you won’t have sufficient funds, a funeral finance plan could be the solution.
There are a number of designated funeral finance plan providers operating in the UK offering schemes designed to be paid into in advance, either for your own funeral or someone else’s such as your spouse. The alternative to paying into a funeral finance plan is to open a savings account but with interest rates currently so low, a pre-paid funeral plan could be the best choice if you are looking for peace of mind.
So what is a funeral finance plan and how do they work? Put simply, a funeral finance plan is a way to pay for your funeral costs in advance. Funeral finance schemes are operated by specialist plan providers and some funeral directors also offer schemes. Money is either paid into the scheme in instalments or a lump sum, this money is then either invested into a trust fund which is managed by trustees, or an insurance policy and the money is paid out for the funeral whenever it takes place.
It is worth noting that funeral finance plans are not authorised or regulated by the Financial Services Authority which means that the FSA’s compensation and complaints procedures do not apply if things go wrong. Funeral finance plan providers can, if they agree to meet the requirements, register their services with the Funeral Planning Authority although they are under no obligation to do this. The Funeral Planning Authority’s website contains a list of FPA registered providers.
Before signing up for a funeral finance plan, it’s a good idea to consider a few important issues. For example, will your chosen plan allow you to use the funeral director of your choice? What will happen if you die overseas? What will happen if there are extra expenses for arranging your funeral? Can the plan be cancelled and will there be any charges for this? How long will you have to pay into the plan and what happens if you die whilst payments are still due? Any reputable funeral finance service will be more than happy to answer your questions and if you have any concerns, contacting the Funeral Planning Authority for advice is a sensible course of action.
If you do decide that a funeral finance plan is right for you, make sure that you let your next of kin know. You should be given a written record of the arrangements for your funeral plan; keep these records safe and let your family or friends know where this documentation is kept. Whilst a funeral finance plan is not for everyone, having the peace of mind to know that the cost of your funeral has been covered can be a great source of comfort and reassurance.