Organising the funeral of a loved one is an emotional and often stressful experience. Aside from the actual burial or cremation, there are a whole multitude of other factors to consider and all whilst trying to deal with your loss.

The key to making the process as stress-free as possible is good organisation – having a check list of things to remember can really help.

DIY Funerals

You can arrange a funeral yourself, but because of the amount of work involved, it may not be the best idea if you are struggling emotionally. If you want to go ahead though, valuable advice can be sought from.

Funeral Directors

In the UK, the majority of funerals are managed via a funeral director. For peace of mind, check that they are affiliated with a professional association, as then you will be covered in the unlikely event that something goes wrong and you have to make a formal complaint.

A basic funeral package will cover all the essentials such as transporting the body to the funeral directors premises, the care of the deceased up until the funeral, including washing and dressing them, a plain wooden coffin, a hearse to transport the body to the funeral location and other essentials such as acquiring the essential paperwork required for a legal burial or cremation.

You can of course upgrade any aspect of the service, meaning that if, for example, you want a more ornate coffin; this will be an additional cost.

Optional Extras

You may decide to entrust your funeral director with every aspect of the day – from having the body embalmed to arranging an organist or choir for a religious service. They can also handle extras such as floral tributes, press announcements and catering. However many people choose to take on arranging the more personal elements of a funeral themselves.

Keeping on top of expenses

A good funeral director will be open about their pricing structure and will be happy to talk you through your options. They should also supply you with a clear, itemised estimate so that you can see exactly what you’re paying for.

How to pay

If the deceased had a policy in place to pay for their funeral, money may not be released until after probate, so be prepared of the possibility that you may to cover the cost until then. Several funeral companies will allow you to pay for their services by installments.

Funeral Plans

It is increasingly common for people to take out a funeral plan whilst still living, in this way, it is possible to plan and pay for the arrangements in advance, saving your loved ones any extra stress and save money.

A quick internet search will produce details of established funeral services offering funeral plan packages such as those provided by The Co-Operative. As with any event, good organisation is essential, especially for a funeral when emotions are running so high.

Putting the arrangements in hands of a trusted funeral director is to be recommended and perhaps we should all consider whether we could ease the stress on our loved ones after our death by making our own funeral arrangements whilst we are still able to do so.