Cremation

A Will Writer’s View about Funeral Plans

I am a will writer and I see clients regularly who know nothing about what happens when someone dies. Here I hope to share some of my thoughts with your readers. It is a very difficult time for anyone, young or old, to deal with the death of a loved one. Having had personal experience with this I can relate to this, first hand. I do feel that there is a need to supply clients with a breakdown of ‘what to do when someone passes away’. I strongly feel that the list should not be over extensive, but to indicate the initial matters to deal with. Probate and estate administration should be at the bottom of the list and should not go into a great deal of detail, but give an indication of how to obtain further information once the funeral has been dealt with. People have indicated to me that they have no idea what to do when someone dies, other than contacting a doctor. It is somewhat a little easier when someone dies in hospital as some of the initial matters are dealt with by hospital employees. Many people have no idea why it is necessary to have a post mortem. However, some are daunted by having to go to the register office to register the death and are totally out on a limb. If someone takes out a funeral plan it does take a lot of the pressure off the family in trying to sort the initial matters out. I know myself that elderly people do not talk to their children or family about their wishes for their funeral and this can make things extremely difficult at a time of grieving, especially to sort out the final arrangements for a loved one and deciding what they would actually like. Very often only the choice of a burial or a cremation is indicated in a will. Having had the forethought to choose a funeral plan indicating their funeral choices, it is one less burden for the family to deal with. I do agree that many relative’s second thoughts are ‘How much are they getting from the will,’ but it is also important for the deceased to have left details of where the will is and to know who the executors are. Many people do not even discuss with their families who their doctor is. I know when...

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Why You Should Understand Your Funeral Plan’s Rules

There must have been a major misunderstanding by either or both parties involved when Josephine Edwardes began her funeral plan with the Co-operative, paying in £800 way back in 1988. This story was recently highlighted in the Sunday Times. She thought that all of her funeral costs would be covered after her death. The Co-op recently told her family that the plan would pay out the £800 which is the amount she paid originally. Adjusted for inflation, the £800 paid to the Co-operative in 1988 would be worth around £2000 today. There would still be insufficient funds to cover the cost of a funeral, with a cremation costing somewhere between £3,500 and £4,000 in 2014. Her family thought that the purchase of the policy would mean that no one would be burdened with large bills after she died. If, as it would appear, the lady purchased an investment policy, it has failed miserably over the years or she had placed money in a Bond that was not designed to increase in value, just to keep the money so it could be put towards a funeral when it was required. This situation highlights the need for individuals to understand what a funeral plan actually does and what it will achieve. While it is good that she has put aside £800 towards a funeral, this still leaves her family between £2000 and £3000 short for the final invoice. We, at FuneralPlanAadvice.com, suggest that potential purchasers look for the information which specifies what will happen to your money. A funeral plan should be designed to guarantee the funeral director’s fees as well as making a contribution that you would expect to cover most if not all of the disbursements associated with a cremation. A burial will always cost more because you have to purchase the plot of land for the grave, but if you know what a plot of land will cost, you can purchase this in advance or add the money to your funeral plan so the right sum is available at the right time. We do not know the specific details of this purchase in 1988, so we cannot say which party is right and which is not. This is not to say the Co-operative did anything wrong; it may be that the plan details expected by the family now in 2014, 26 years later, were not the same as the plan that was...

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Why Accept A Traditional Coffin?

You don’t have to accept the standard, traditional coffin that your funeral director offers to you. After all, while a coffin does serve an important role as part of the funeral process, with around 75% of people choosing a cremation over a burial across the UK, is the use of the most expensive wood the best use of your money? For the environmentally conscious, choosing a 100% recycled cardboard coffin or making a preference for bamboo and willow coffins at least provides you with a range of choice, whether you have arranged a pre-paid funeral, or not. Print a design onto your coffin An Oxford company, Colourful Coffins  can print for you, on recycled paper, picture coffin designs so that you can choose to be buried or cremated in the national flag of your choice or your favourite football team’s stadium and colours. If you don’t wish to choose one of their hundreds of existing designs you can invent your own and they will print directly on to the coffin of your choice. When you have chosen to use the cremation route, you can select from the same range of designs to complete your ashes casket. You can’t buy direct from the Colourful Coffin Company, but you can liaise with your own funeral director to arrange for your designer send off. While you are arranging a prepaid funeral plan, you can ask your preferred choice of funeral director to order your coffin, complete with your favourite design and all of this can form part of your funeral plan. Related articles How To Go Green With Your...

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How Eco-Friendly is Your Cremation?

The UK newspaper, The Guardian, has published a story about eco-friendly funerals. Listed among their ten top tips is an alternative to a cremation, with a view to reducing the carbon footprint during the process and chemical based gases into the atmosphere. Here’s what they have to say about this subject called Resomation   Dealing with ashes aside, an alternative to cremation comes in the form of resomation, which uses alkaline hydrolysis instead of fire to break down the body chemically, reducing a funeral’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 35%, according to Sustain. The sterile, DNA-free liquid that results, is returned to the water cycle while the accompanying bone ash remains go in an urn to give to loved ones. The process needs to be regulated before it can take place, it is currently available in some US states and the company is awaiting the outcome of an approach to the UK government. The company involved,  Resomation Ltd, are based in Scotland. Once you read this explanation, you can’t help but think of those gangster films where, after a murder, the cleanup crew use acid in a bath to disintegrate a body so the hotel employees won’t find anything untoward during housekeeping. Of course, this is nothing like that scenario, but it will be interesting to see how many people choose this method when they consider their funeral plan arrangements.  The lack of Ashes apart from the ashes from the bones, may be a problem for some cultures, but it is an interesting subject to follow and to see if it catches on. It’s encouraging that people are trying to consider alternatives for funerals and to encourage a more green attitude about death and the funeral plan. Turn Into a Tree When You...

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Will They Remember to Collect Your Ashes?

Many people wonder what they should do with the ashes of a deceased loved one, following a cremation. There are no hard and fast rules to adhere to. Nevertheless, it is better that something is decided for a person’s ashes, rather than leaving them, forever, at the crematorium. One decision involves having the ashes buried in a cemetery or in another location, while others will take the ashes away and have them scattered in a particularly important place which meant something to the person who has died. To a football supporter, this might be across the football pitch of their favourite team, while a golfer might choose the 18th green. A fishing enthusiast might prefer their ashes to be scattered at sea or where a couple regularly visited a favourite park, that would become the obvious place for the ashes to finish their journey. Sometimes, family members cannot decide what is to happen to the ashes. Where siblings disagree about where ashes should be scattered, it might be a good idea to split the ashes between the relevant brothers and sisters so that each can have their last moment with the deceased. A New Zealand newspaper has recently printed an article which describes the high numbers of people that simply leave the ashes at the crematorium because individuals either cannot make a decision about where the ashes are to be scattered or interned, or they simply forget because of age, frailty or death amongst the people who were going to make the decisions. The best way to decide where your ashes are going to be scattered is to decide in advance and by organising your own funeral plan, you are effectively organising your own funeral and will remove the worry for those that you leave behind when they have to consider where your ashes are to be scattered. Related articles What Can You Do With the Ashes of a Cremated Loved...

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