How to plan a funeral for yourself or a loved one

Planning ahead is usually something that’s limited to dinner plans next Thursday and holidays in the summer as opposed to what will happen in years to come when you or a loved one passes away. But putting plans in place is something that we should all think about at some point in our lives. This is a guide for what to do when someone passes away and it could give you food for thought for your own funeral plan that you might want to take out in anticipation of the future. We have worked on this comprehensive guide with our third party partner, Dignity and are proud to partner with them as the funeral provider who launched the first funeral plans in the UK. 

1. The where
Planning a funeral has a lot of components. Firstly, you have to decide where you would like the funeral to be for yourself or your loved one which will depend on your type of service. The main options are burials or cremations and then you must decide whether you would like a religious or non-religious service. The funeral service is normally held at your local crematorium, church or another place of worship. The Funeral Director will discuss your chosen requirements for the service and further support will be provided by the minister to conduct a religious or non-religious service. 

Getting to the service can be organised with funeral cars and a hearse for the coffin. You can also plan your processions if you wish for the funeral cortege to follow a particular route that might have been special to you or your loved ones. 

2. The when
Choosing a date will depend on your chosen funeral director and availability of your venue. Your chosen funeral director will be committed to helping you in this difficult time and will help you to plan your service, including liaising with third party suppliers. 

If you would like to, an obituary can be written in a local newspaper to help celebrate yours or your loved one's life and to share details of the upcoming funeral. Dignity even offer a Funeral Notice service which allows the details of the funeral to be shared with friends and family over email and social media channels. 

3. The what
Once you have decided whether you are having a burial or cremation, where it is taking place and who is conducting the service you can now think about the service itself. Other personalisation can be added to the service in terms of music, readings, eulogies, tributes and poems and will have to be sorted into an Order of Service. Speak to friends and family and your funeral director to help you decide on these important matters. 

Finally, a wake or funeral reception can provide an opportunity for the people attending the funeral to celebrate and remember life after the service in a more relaxed environment. For this you will need to consider a venue for this near to where your service was and also providing refreshments for guests. 

4. The how
Planning and paying for your funeral before you pass on is a great way to be prepared and also be assured that your family won’t have to deal with as many difficult decisions and unexpected financial burden when you’re gone. If you qualify as a rewards member of The Nottingham and have access to our loyalty scheme, Member Rewards then you will automatically be eligible for £120 cashback* on a Dignity Prepaid Funeral Plan

5. Other arrangements
If this article has got you thinking about your own arrangements in the future then a funeral plan is a good place to start. Another essential way to prepare for the future is to make a will, the legal document that expresses what you own in terms of money, property and possessions and what you want to happen to these things when you die. Even if you don’t think that you have much to pass on financially, you need to create a will and plan what will happen to what you do have.

A will also details who will look after your children and the funds to help that, what will happen to family pets, what will happen to your assets if your previous partner remarries and what will happen if you have a business where you are a sole director. A will executes who will look after your financial process when you die. Wills drawn up by solicitors cost fees plus VAT but it can be worth it to make sure it’s done properly. Once you’ve created your will, it can be stored with a solicitor for a fee and you will get a copy. Alternatively, you can store it with the Probate Service for a £20 fee but withdrawing it is free. 

We hope this guide has been beneficial into explaining the step by step actions that need to be taken when someone passes away and what would need to happen when you yourself have a funeral. A funeral plan and a well-written will can reduce the strain on loved ones at the time of death, both emotionally and financially. If you are interested in Prepaid Funeral Plans then we can help you look into the options with our partner, Dignity. 

*To qualify for cashback you need to have a savings balance of at least £500, and have either held one of our savings accounts for at least the last 12 months or currently have a Nottingham Building Society mortgage - you can read full terms and conditions here.


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