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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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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What Does a Funeral Director do, Exactly?

At a time of extreme upset and grief for close family and friends, after a loved one has died, your chosen funeral director will show how they carry the responsibility to make certain that the funeral meets the needs of either the instructions of the person who has died (if they left specific instructions through a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan or perhaps their last will and testament – although family can choose to ignore the latter) or the wishes of the family. They will guarantee to provide a funeral that is extremely fitting and dignified and it will be carried out in an exemplary manner and with a professional behaviour. They are accountable for a funeral being completed while complying 100% with the law. The funeral director will help the family and friends with all of the necessary practicalities from arranging the funeral through to its completion and any necessary actions afterwards. Here is a list of most of the duties you will expect your funeral director to carry out. It’s a fairly general guide and while not completely exhaustive, some funeral directors will be able to offer other services in addition to those listed below. They will arrange for the deceased to be moved from where they died, which may be at home, a hospital, or elsewhere, to the funeral director’s premises so they may prepare the body for the funeral. The funeral director is able to move the body to the family home if that’s your preference. There is a range of documentation that must be completed before a person can be buried or cremated and if you are unsure, the funeral director will help you and offer advice on all of these matters as well as the entire funeral process. Where it is required, the funeral director will prepare the body and a suitable location if people wish to view the deceased before the funeral is completed. In some cases, the funeral director will arrange for the repatriation of the body from overseas so that the deceased can be buried or cremated in the UK. If the funeral is to be held in a different part of the country from where the funeral director operates, they will make all of the arrangements for the transfer of the body. Having inspected the requests of the deceased and discussed those further with close friends and family, the funeral director...

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