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Frankly, talking about funerals is about as depressing as an Arsenal fan discussing their recent 8 – 2 thrashing at the hands (or feet) of Manchester United.  However, as a Willwriter I find that some of my clients, once they have prepared their Will, go on to think about Lasting Power of Attorney and Advance Decisions.  This puts some people in the mood to talk about their funerals and how much they want to plan it for themselves.

What sense is there in planning your own funeral?

1.       Make it personal
Close family members arrange most funerals probably by making it up as they go along.  Your decisions, clearly stated in a Funeral Plan, give you control over what you would like, and takes the burden away from the family.  You choose your music, readings and venue, even down to the coffin.  By taking the decisions away from the family, the costs will probably turn out to be a lot less as well.
2.      ‘To absent friends’
You can set aside a sum of money in your plan to buy everyone a drink and some food after the funeral.  You can even provide and write a notice for the paper, flowers and additional small touches unique to you.
3.      Prompt payment
It is usual to pay the costs of the funeral from the estate of the deceased.  It is also usual and fair to pay the funeral director’s bill promptly.  However, very often the estate takes time to wind up and most funeral directors will not wait that long.  This means the family pay the bill and claim back from the estate later.  With a Funeral Plan, the family are not required to settle costs.
4.      Improved Care Benefits
Some care homes insist their residents have a funeral plan to ensure they know what to do when the time arrives. Nevertheless, for some the cost of buying a plan reduces overall savings.  The advantage however is that there is the potential to apply for additional care benefits.
5.      In Memory Of ……..
It is often appropriate to have a memorial headstone or a tree, to provide focus for future generations of the family.  Cost may be a factor; however, by making provision in the plan for a memorial of your choice, the family does not have the financial worry. 
6.      The Unforeseen Additional Costs
You may have a desire for burial in another area; your birth place for example or the family plot a hundred miles away.  This inevitably involves additional cost including transport and burial fee surcharges.  By preparing a Funeral Plan, making these decisions is easy and avoids concern over financial implications.
7.      Planning for Others
It is very worthwhile considering asking elderly parents and relatives for their views on planning their own funeral.  It is not everyone’s idea of a decent chat, but older people often welcome the chance to do so.  In addition, by making plans in advance, you avoid the problem of relying on the family when their emotions are running high.

I certainly do not want to come across as a cousin of the Grim Reaper, but the Funeral Plan provides peace of mind for all the family.  You can discuss the various plans and options with Hay Tarn and if you decide to proceed, it is easy to arrange and prepare.

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