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....to have no plans or money organised for my funeral?

(63 Posts)
user1491724818 Sun 09-Apr-17 10:19:47

My DH and I have nothing organised for our funerals when the time comes.

We are middle-aged and I have had health problems which have made me think a lot about my own mortality of late.

We have no savings, but no debt either. Nothing to pay for a funeral with if one of us died suddenly.

No ideas or arrangements either. We are not religious. No idea who we would call to do the whole thing for us if one of us went.

I suppose cremation over burial? We don't have any plots bought and don't live near a family plot.

We live far from our families and whoever is left will have little to no input/support when the time comes.

I'd just like to get as much organised as possible and then put it in a folder somewhere so that the person left to organise it all will have less stress and rushing about to do.

We have no life insurance - but I am guessing the funeral expenses and other arrangements should be put aside outside of insurance anyway?

The last thing I want is for any family/in-laws to be dumped on to pay for stuff. That is not my intention at all.

Pretty clueless about this stuff. As you've no doubt noticed!

Thanks all!

user1491724818 Sun 09-Apr-17 10:21:49

What about those pre-paid funeral packages?

Are they worth getting involved with?

Cocklodger Sun 09-Apr-17 10:22:54

You can get life insurance that covers funeral expenses. I have it. I've never had to claim for anyone else (I wouldn't have to
Claim for myself now would I lol) so I don't know how easy it would be, but I'll have assets and cash anyway if needed/If insurance only reimburse rather than pay out IYKWIM

Blumkin Sun 09-Apr-17 10:33:18

Please, please, please write a will. It's not a huge expense to have done but will save so much stress should either of you die.

My dad died without a will, I was in the midst of inconsolable grief and then had to make major decisions on his behalf - should I go for a burial or cremation? What would he have preferred? These are impossible choices to make in a very short space of time when having just lost a loved one. If it had been written in his will I wouldn't still be second guessing myself

OdinsLoveChild Sun 09-Apr-17 10:33:44

Most people I know have the prepaid package although if you live a very long time you do pay tonnes more than the actual cost of a funeral.

Contact a local funeral directors and ask them what they offer.

My grandmother started paying for her funeral in the 1950s a shilling a month I believe. When she died we just contacted the funeral directors and they already knew exactly what she wanted including a brass band walking behind the hearse. It was a little odd as no one knew about the band and everyone was a bit confused

The family didnt have a say in anything though it was oddly very old fashioned almost victorian.

user1491724818 Sun 09-Apr-17 10:35:05

Oh my goodness, Blumkin - yes, a will! That's something else I meant to talk about. We don't have those either blush I am on MN for a much-needed boot up the backside. Much needed!

Yes, you are right. Must get onto this straight away.

HecateAntaia Sun 09-Apr-17 10:36:20

plans are imo not important.
youll be dead. it wont matter to you what happens.
but a funeral costs about seven thousand pounds and as you say, dumping that on your loved ones is a bit shit so id get a policy. they are a few quid a week.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 09-Apr-17 10:40:32

Yes, do get wills sorted, and have them done by a solicitor and registered. dont use a DIY kit that sits in a drawer.
www.gov.uk/make-will/writing-your-will

The cheapest funeral I could find locally was a DIY at £2,000. Its not for everyone, its a very basic cremation.

www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jun/28/funeral-die-low-cost-options

I have a medical condition so I've opted to leave my body to medical science, followed by a paupers funeral. I'll be cremated and my ashes buried in a mass grave. My family wont have a marker or plot. They can plant a tree for me in a woodlands if they want to.

Pre-paid funeral plans are fantastic. I used to work for a building society and I hated having to sell products, except for the funeral plans, because I could see how amazing (and vital) they were. No-one likes thinking about what happens when they've gone, but it's one of the only certainties in life. The cost of funerals goes up by a huge amount every year, I can't remember what they said the cost will be by 2020 but it's scary. Most plans will let you pay for your funeral at today's prices, saving you a lot in the long run. You can pay in monthly instalments - I can't remember exactly how long for but I think the basic package where I used to work was around £3.5k, divided into thirty monthly instalments or payable all at once, something like that.

There is space in the funeral plan to make any requests. You can state whether you want burial or cremation (there would be extra charges for burial because of fees etc), music you want, flowers, donations, transport etc. They can also offer guidance on registration and the vital logistics of the day, collection and transport to the funeral director's, the coffin, hearse, procession etc.

Different plans offer different extras e.g. limousines for mourners, thank-you cards etc. It's ideal for people who don't know who would sort out their funeral after they're gone - one phone call to the 24-hour support line and the plan is put into place (there's also 24-hour phone bereavement counselling as part of the plans), it takes the stress out of your hands now, and their hands when the time comes.

Having spoken to people who've come into branch after the death of a loved one to tell us how well-organised and respectful the funeral was, and how the funeral plan made things so much easier for them, I'd say it's definitely worth it. For me it's a no-brainer, once I'm old enough I'll take one out.

Derlei Sun 09-Apr-17 10:50:03

Hi ovaries that's useful info. What age would you say is the best to take one out? (Sorry to hijack OP)

You have to be 50 for most Derlei, some are 60 or even 70+. I'd say as early as possible is best, to lock in the best prices.

As an extra bit of advice on that note, go for one that is covered by the National Funeral Trust. It's like the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for funeral plans; it means that even if the funeral plan company goes under, your money is safe and secure and will be released straight to the funeral director when needed.

Derlei Sun 09-Apr-17 11:20:11

Thank you!

AnotherDayHasGone Sun 09-Apr-17 11:27:58

Have you looked into life insurance for just enough to cover the cost of the funeral. It's highly unlikely that you will both die at the same time so imagine how hard it will be for you or DH to be grieving and not having any money to pay for even a simple funeral.

I always said to my late DM that I would be able to find the money to pay for her funeral (yes we discussed these things) but she was adamant that I should not have to abd took out insurance that paid out around £3500 when she died which meant we had no worries about making sure she had a good send off. It actually came to about £4500 with flowers, service, one car, headstone and a small gathering afterwards. Funerals aren't cheap sad

PhilODox Sun 09-Apr-17 11:32:11

We made mirror wills when our dc1 was born, as we had someone to protect IYSWIM.
Theres a mner that does a will service- look in the small ads. She's had lots of commendations.

zeezeek Sun 09-Apr-17 11:37:55

My mother died recently after years of refusing to take out a funeral,plan, even though she had been asked to by my brother and I many times. So on top of having to deal with all the stuff that comes with someone's death, we had to fork out £3000 as well for the most basic package (we refused to pay anymore). It was like the final fuck you to us, after a lifetime of fuck yous.

Birdsgottaf1y Sun 09-Apr-17 11:43:45

It was a big help that my Mum (Dad/GPs) had insurance that covered the funeral and Wake costs.

I'm putting mine in savings because i want a 'Natural' burial, in woodland. My family (DDs) have enough in savings to cover it, when needed and then will be paid back.

After each death, there's been disagreements. I worked in end-of-life care and often they'd start before death.

I'd say to anyone, if you care about your family members, then have a plan outlined, you can talk about what they would like, to do, as well.

MiddlingMum Sun 09-Apr-17 11:44:58

I'm very keen to investigate the option of no funeral. Body goes straight to the crematorium for a private burning session, no ceremony at all. It will still cost something, but I've never been one for parties and don't want one after I've died.

Birdsgottaf1y Sun 09-Apr-17 11:46:14

As for writing wills, they often aren't made available to all family members and are not read until after the funeral, so don't put funeral plans in them.

Birdsgottaf1y Sun 09-Apr-17 11:49:05

""I'm very keen to investigate the option of no funeral. Body goes straight to the crematorium for a private burning session, no ceremony at all. It will still cost something, but I've never been one for parties and don't want one after I've died.""

We had a family do that, it cost around (in today's money), £900.

I think that some of the services should be free, because like giving birth, we have to use these services, under the law.

Tiredemma Sun 09-Apr-17 11:54:25

My Mum passed away at the end of Feb. I was aware that she had already 'paid' for her funeral. All we had to do was go to the Funeral Directors/church and just sort the finer details (music etc). I'm so relieved that she had the foresight to pre-pay. These past few weeks have been horrendous enough without having to worry about how I would have paid for her funeral. The only thing we had to find extra money for was our own flowers and the food for the wake.

Teabagtits Sun 09-Apr-17 11:57:38

I think it's great you're thinking about this now. My mum refuses to consider one day she's going to die and I'm in no position to be able to deal with funerals or her estate. If I try to bring it up with her I'm told to stop being so morbid.

CaveMum Sun 09-Apr-17 12:05:22

As far as funerals go you don't have to go into great detail - just leaving a letter expressing type (religious/non-religious), any specifics on music, location, etc, and of course burial or cremation.

The only thing I'd add about the burial/cremation question is to think about your relatives after you are gone. My best friend lost both her parents within 18 months of each other and their wishes were to be cremated, ashes mixed together and then spread at a specific beauty spot. My friend is very upset that she doesn't have a place to go to to "be with them". She wishes that they'd asked for a portion of ashes to be buried somewhere so that she could visit them.

Ginkypig Sun 09-Apr-17 12:10:56

I worked for a short time at a funeral directors.

The prepaid plans worked very well for almost every family of a loved one who had one.
There was one family who was not happy as the plan had a cremation (chosen by the person who took out the plan) but they wanted a burial which costs more so the option given was if you pay the balance you can have it but i gently said (without judgment) that they might want to think about what the person who had bought the plan had chosen but left the final decision to them.

It was goldencharters our firm used.

My dad was lovely but he left no money and didn't have a plan so at 21 years old I had to pay for his funeral and although I don't begrudge him it was a nightmare to first lose him so young then have to finds thousands of pounds at 21 years old to give him a funeral.

AverysillyoldHector Sun 09-Apr-17 12:14:48

My MiL died recently sad She is being buried and we are having no funeral cars other than the hearse and no church service. The cost so far is £4500.

I dont know how much a funeral plan costs, but maybe the figures I've quoted will help people decide whether it's worth it.

lalalalyra Sun 09-Apr-17 12:17:53

Planning for your funeral in terms of savings is a great idea.

I'd always caution against organising too much of if though. I know someone who is now unable to listen to the song played at their wedding, and often during times when their other half was dying because it now reminds them of the funeral. They also wanted to have a wake to have that time to spend with other people, but felt they couldn't as it was expressly forbidden in the plans. It gets forgotten sometimes that funerals are for those left behind more than the deceased.

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