Death Care

Would You Rent A Coffin For Your Funeral?

Choosing the right coffin is an important element of organising a funeral for you, or someone else. The make, style and cost are all important elements to the person making the decision and how it reflects upon others. Nevertheless, the coffin is going to be burnt or buried under the ground and only available, visually, for a short period of time; so what choices should you make? The range of caskets and coffins available is considerable, with prices from less than £100 to a top of the range model, costing several thousand pounds. Choose From An Undertakers Selection? You do not have to choose a coffin or casket from a selection shown by your undertaker or funeral director. Although you may be completing an emotional purchase at the time of high stress, you still need to consider your budget for the funeral among all the other associated costs at this stage of your life. While carrying out your research, you will need to know the difference between caskets and coffins. A casket is constructed with four sides and the top and the bottom; whereas a coffin is made with six sides and the top and the bottom. A coffin is wider at the shoulder space for the deceased person and slimmer along the leg length. Although the majority of selections are caskets, they are usually known as coffins. Confusing: yes? Worried about appearances? Most people would not wish to be known as cutting corners on the finances, when you choose a coffin. Also, you would not want to be disrespectful to the dead by choosing the cheapest possible model, but would they have minded and are you wasting money by spending more? In the varying price ranges, there is little distinction in the appearances between a rather cheap veneered MDF oak look coffin and the solid oak version which will cost you at least six times as much. By spending less money on the coffin, most people won’t be able to tell the difference. Going green? Rather than contributing to the cutting down of a forest, you can choose wood that has been carefully selected from a managed forest, where the wood content is constantly assessed and new trees grown in the area. Alternatively, you can choose bamboo, willow or a cardboard coffin. Not all of these will necessarily be the cheapest coffin that you can purchase, but you...

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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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Does Your Family Know Your Funeral Wishes?

How many of your family and friends know and understand all of your funeral wishes? The answer is likely to be a very small number as most people don’t like to discuss these matters in advance. There are also circumstances where people’s wishes are not the same decisions that family members take towards the end of a person’s life. There is an excellent video on the Dying Matters website, which shows how families can make decisions that do not agree with the person who is unable to express their desires because they may be ill, in a coma or unable or unwilling to try to tell their family what their wishes are. By writing down your own personal wishes for events while you are alive and after your death, you will relieve your family and friends from guessing what you really would have wanted. A living will points out, legally, whether you want to be kept alive on a machine, when you are brain-dead. A funeral plan will inform people whether you wish to be cremated or buried, take part in a religious or nonreligious funeral; prefer to be buried in a carefully planned woodland area or have your ashes scattered at sea. The video is not necessarily easy watching, but it does make you think about the decisions that people make and how close they might be to what people really...

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