It may not be a topic that pops into your mind all too often, but at some point, there will be a time when you have to address the occasion of your own funeral. In many societies, it really isn’t a taboo subject, the thought of your own demise, and though it may seem a little morbid to be planning for your death, you will be doing a disservice to your loved ones if you don’t have any plans in place. It is difficult enough losing someone without having to think of the funeral arrangements too, and all the details such as music, readings and burial options can be hard to consider when emotions get in the way.
There is no right time to start planning for your own funeral, personal circumstances will be a factor and it varies on the individual and your own ability to be organised, and if you are even concerned about how the day will go. But if you do wish to have some control over your big send off then you could start with a pre-paid funeral plan and start making payments into it with very little effort on your part, for now, to save your loved ones having to foot the bill. Equally, thinking about what songs or hymns or flowers or type of casket you might want at your funeral doesn’t mean having to take hours out of your day. At the very least, it is a good idea to let those around you know whether you’d prefer a burial, cremation or any other type of funeral.
If you take the opportunity to plan the day well in advance, then you can be sure that the people in your life will remember you in the ways you would like them to. Waiting until you become terminally ill to organise your funeral will likely bring you added stress and upset, so consider a time when you are of sound mind and the optimum emotional stability, and you will find that it may just bring you a sense of relief.
Of course, there are times in life when you might think about starting to plan your funeral arrangements more than you otherwise would. These tend to be at turning points in your life, so what are the main ones to identify?
Most 18-year-olds don’t think about funerals, but they should. The laws on what local authorities in the UK are obliged to offer in terms of funerals changes on your 18th birthday so it makes the perfect time to take responsibility and consider making a start on your own funeral plans.
Tying the knot is a big step and may be the first time you consider what your death might mean to someone else, both financially and emotionally. If you are taking out life insurance for the first time after getting hitched, then why not make a funeral plan at the same time?
Having your first child
Being responsible for someone else means taking full responsibility for yourself, too. Many people find that becoming a parent for the first time means they are more willing to consider their own funeral arrangements along with plans for what might happen to their child if they were still young. It’s not a pleasing prospect, but it’s important to be prepared.
If you live abroad for your job or any other reason, then it’s wise to make a funeral plan, especially if you would like your body brought home in the event of your death. Funerals work differently overseas, so plan now or you might end up with a service you didn’t have in mind.
Retiring from work is a milestone in many people’s lives. If you have not planned your funeral yet, now is definitely the time to start thinking about it, with more time on your hands – or at least before you start to fill your days with endless activities.
The death of your partner
Losing someone close is often the catalyst for making plans of your own, especially if you have had the task of arranging your partner’s funeral. This may make you think about all the choices involved and it may also be the push you need to arrange your own and avoid your loved one’s having to do so on your behalf.