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Planning your own funeral

The funeral is our final opportunity to say goodbye to a loved one, an occasion for family and friends to come together to support one another and an important element of the grieving process. The funeral is also important as a reflection of the person who has died, and it may be important that the funeral is meaningful to them. Bereavement Services is aware that this can only be achieved through the completion of a pre-need funeral arrangement document describing the funeral arrangements you will receive.

Funeral wishes, whether in a Will or as described below, are not legally binding, after death. It is, therefore, sensible to identify who will give instructions for your funeral, so you feel confident that your wishes will be followed. It is also helpful, and often therapeutic, if your family and friends can follow your wishes after death.

This document will enable you to price the various options, to see what costs may arise. The costs will arise in two areas. The first is "disbursements" – the sums you will pay to doctors (for cremation), the cemetery or crematorium and the minister. The second is for the “funeral” arrangements by the funeral director. These include the cost of collecting and handling the body, the coffin, hearse and cars, and all arrangements. If you are using a funeral director, obtain some quotes as soon as you have decided what you require. In general, the more you use the funeral director, the more expensive it will become.

Keep this document with your Will, or somewhere known to the person arranging your funeral. This point is important! We have already experienced an incorrect burial which arose because the Will, which contained funeral directions, was not read until after the funeral. As the family owned a number of graves, they realised they had chosen the wrong one.

This form is for guidance purposes only, you can amend this form however you wish, and add pages if you need to. Delete any sections that do not apply. The form can be photocopied.

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