It’s so important to involve your family when discussing your funeral wishes.  Why? Well, although we understand that it’s not an easy conversation to have, but it will make your wishes very clear whilst you’re still fit and able to communicate them to the people who will be carrying them out.

People aren’t normally mind readers, so it’s important that you take time to involve your loved ones in your thought processes and wishes.  Most people would really welcome the knowledge from their loved one with regard their wishes – it helps them in the decision they’ll have to make upon their death and they’ll be comforted in the knowledge that the decisions they have made would be in line with what you wanted for yourself.

There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ time when discussing your funeral wishes, but it’s best had when you feel comfortable and happy with the wishes you’ve planned.

Discussing your funeral wishes could include the following topics:

1. Funeral costs

Let your family know if you’ve got an insurance policy or pre-paid funeral plan that will offset the costs of the funeral when the time comes.  The more they’re informed about the provisions you’ve put in place, the less pressure they’ll feel under at the time of payment.  Also let them know your financial situation – savings, investments etc, because they’ll have to sort out your estate after the event.

2.  Disposition of the body

Let them know what your intentions are for the disposition of your body.  Do you want to be cremated, buried or to donate your body to science?  If they don’t know what your wishes are, it puts them in a difficult position when the time comes because they’ll worry about not making the wrong decision.  Would you like your ashes scattered and if so, where or kept by a family member etc

3.  Location

Communicate your preferred location for the service – in your local church, at home or at another venue completely?  If they know the location, they’ll be in a better position to make the right decisions in terms of transportation. By discussing your funeral wishes, you’ll feel relieved that it’s shared with your family members.

4.  Type of Service

Would you like a secular or religious service?  By having these conversations with your loved ones, they’ll be really clear about what you want – it takes the pressure off them because they won’t have to worry about it they’re honouring you as you’d wish.

5.  Type of casket

Would you like an open or closed casket?  All of these wishes can be communicated in a gentle and well thought out conversation.  What would you like your body to be dressed in, how would you like your hair styled, would you like to wear makeup?  They can all be discussed openly.  You’ll feel a lot more comfortable knowing that your wishes are known to the very people who will be carrying them out.

6.  Consider provision for your pets

One of the major worries that people have is what happens to their pets when they die.  It’s comforting and reassuring to know that your pets will be taken care of upon your passing.

7.  Other items to consider when discussing your funeral wishes

Take time to consider any personal touches you would like at your funeral, such as type of transport, music, eulogies, order of service, whether you want wreaths or donations to charities etc.

This template may help you clarify your thoughts.

8.  The Wake

You may also want to discuss your wishes for the congregation following your funeral.  The more information your loved ones have about your funeral wishes, the better they’ll feel about it and it will act as a source of comfort to them whilst putting your wishes into motion.

We are SC and BS Cocks Your Local, Family-Run Funeral Directors In Gloucester.  With over 50 years of experience serving our community, S.C. & B.S. Cocks Funeral Directors can deliver exceptional service with local knowledge and unparalleled expertise, giving you the peace of mind you need.