Where to start when funeral planning

Where to start when funeral planning

Whether you find yourself coping with another person’s death or you’re ready to start thinking about your own, we’re here to point you in the right direction. Here you’ll find some of our most helpful articles to get you under way.

Have you thought about your own death, or are you wishing to deal with someone else’s?

Here’s the practical first steps to take after someone dies. It may be that there’s an overwhelming amount of stuff you need to tick off your to do list, which means letting the most important issues – such as grieving and celebrating a life – slip by. But, a look at our list could simplify the process and let you get on with what really matters. You might find our Support page helpful, too, for the emotional side of things.

You might be thinking about tackling your own death directly by considering your own send off. This is where you can start doing just that.

Thinking about your preferences

So, you’re thinking about your death. Or, someone else’s death has meant thoughts have turned to your own mortality and you’re ready to start planning your own funeral. First things first: have you thought about your options and preferences? 

If you’re stuck as to where to start, or you’ve not had cause to think on the subject for long periods of time, there’s some basics you’ll need to keep in mind. How do you imagine your funeral service? Will it be celebratory or traditional? Will your favourite song be playing in the background? Are you thinking about organ donation, but aren’t too clear on how that can impact on your planning?

You’ll also need to give thought to where you’ll end up after the service – will your ashes be scattered near your favourite natural spot or do you want to be buried? To start you off, here’s a rundown of our articles on what needs to be done when arranging a burial or arranging a cremation. And, if you were wondering, here’s what you need to know about organ donation.

Talking about it with others

Have you thought about talking through your preferences with those you know? Starting a conversation about death – yours, or someone else’s – allows you to openly think about the inevitable future. It can also help you to work out what your preferences might be if you haven’t given the subject much thought before. Getting the topic out there, you may find that it becomes gradually easier to talk about those who’ve already died, too. 

Carrying out your plans

After you’ve figured out your preferences, you’ll need to think about putting the whole thing together. A common place to start is to first get an idea of the costs involved in even the most basic funeral. Keeping in mind the the overall cost of a funeral and the typical ways to pay for it can allow you to factor in your own personalised details.


Equally, if you find yourself having to arrange someone else’s funeral, it can be helpful to know the different ways to cover the cost of a funeral as well are the financial support out there.

Do you want to be more involved?

A funeral director isn’t a requirement. It may be that you want to be involved at every stage of the process, keeping it very much a family affair. Read about the option of arranging a funeral, for yourself or someone else, without a funeral director.

And finally…

Have you used our tool to record your funeral wishes? My Farewell Wishes enables you to think directly about the sort of send-off you’d like and to save and send your preferences to those close to you.

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