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Have you made your funeral wishes known? Have you had a chat about it – but not made any real plans? You are not alone.
Sunlife provide the UK’s longest-running study into the cost of dying and funeral costs. The report findings show a continued lack of advanced planning around dying and death.
This post focuses on why advanced funeral discussions matter, how you can plan ahead and make your final wishes known.
Who wants to plan their own funeral?
One of the biggest life events has to be planned for and arranged in a very short space of time. Often funeral arrangements start to be made before the Will has been found. If you have not made any plans or discussed your preferences with your loved ones, they may be left questioning whether the choices they are making are what you would have wanted.
If you have a complex family situation with differing views and ideas, this can add further anguish. Especially if there are disagreements and conflict about the arrangements being made.
Do not forget that your funeral will be planned in the days immediately after your death. People will be adjusting to life without you, grieving and in shock.
The pressure of quickly arranging a funeral where no advanced plans have been made can be very overwhelming to deal with.
How can you make your wishes known?
Think about what you would like your funeral to look like.
Think about the different elements involved and discuss your choices with your family.
You may choose a pre-paid funeral plan to ensure the costs involved are covered.
Updating your Funeral Wishes in the legacy planning section of your Sunset Plan digital vault can give clarity to others around your last wishes when needed.
What would you like your Funeral Order of service to look like?
A letter of wishes can also be drafted to further formalise your funeral choices. A letter of wishes can be a useful method of expressing your personal wishes that are not covered or relevant to your Will.
A Will is a legally binding document, whereas a letter of wishes is not. They are very different documents and any confusion can leave your Will open to legal challenges.
As a letter of wishes is not legally binding, your executors are not legally obliged to follow any requests made in the letter. Therefore as executors do not have to action the contents of a letter of wishes, you are relying on the appointed person to fulfil your requests. Make sure you choose someone you trust that will honour your requests.
Any matters or instructions that absolutely need to be followed, such as dealing with items of value or any potential contention, you should seek legal advice and address those aspects in a Will.
Make sure you review your funeral wishes regularly so it is up to date.
Keep them safe with your Will and make sure people know where these documents are located.
Record your funeral wishes
Make funeral discussions a more positive and empowering experience. Have these conversations with your family and friends. You may be surprised to know what their funeral choices are.
Your funeral can be as individual as you are. Your final send off should reflect and represent you – and the life you lived.
Create your Sunset Plan in our digital vault today. Record all of your choices in one place. Look at drafting a Will. Explore funeral plan options. Just making a start can make you feel more in control.
Make these choices and information known now – and then enjoy your life. Have peace of mind that your final farewell will be a real celebration of your life, which others are able to clearly and quickly arrange.
Why not share this post on social media to encourage others to plan ahead?