Death planning guide: planning your funeral

Money Savings Expert Martin Lewis has compiled a checklist of 20 things you need to consider when planning for the financial well-being of your family (it’s on his website). The check-list includes tips on wills, inheritance tax, funerals and setting up power of attorney.  Our last post covered financial understanding for the family. This post covers the need to plan your funeral.


When a loved one dies, having to make funeral decisions with no guidance - which music, did they want flowers, where to scatter ashes - can be harrowing at an already painful time. Yet making a few quick decisions on your own funeral now can be a real help to your relatives after your death, and it needn't be drawn out.

Things to discuss include how much you can afford to spend, whether you'd rather be buried, cremated, or even have a 'green' funeral, as well as any music, flowers, religious rites and readings.

  • Note down your wishes for the ceremony. Age UK's free LifeBook has a section that lets you note down details of your funeral wishes to help others, and can be sent to you in booklet form or via email.
  • It can be MoneySaving. While you may love the idea of a no-expense-spared film star funeral, going for simple, cheaper options (eg, cremation rather than burial, flower-free ceremony, asking friends and family to be pall bearers etc) will help keep costs down.
  • Ask for flowers to be donated. If you do have bunches of flowers at your funeral, you may want to ask for them to be donated afterwards to a nearby organisation, such as a local hospice, for others to enjoy.
  • Don't go it alone. Planning your own funeral can be a lot to bear, so ask for help. Friends and relatives can give vital support, and if you'd like a religious ceremony, your local chaplain, rabbi, imam or priest will be able to give guidance on any rites needed. If you want to arrange a non-religious, or civil, ceremony a funeral celebrant is an option.


Estate Planning and Probate