Proper funeral planning

Date: Dec 17, 2012

If you are thinking about estate planning you should also think about the arrangements you'd like for yourself when it comes time for your farewell, this can be done by drafting a directive along with your will.

In planning your funeral ahead you can ensure you have the funeral you want whilst saving loved ones the difficulty of having to make these decisions during a period of grief – decisions that can lead to family disputes.

Funerals are expensive. A basic funeral may cost over $3,000 and the costs escalate once you consider caskets, venue hire, flowers, programmes, catering for the wake and transport not to mention the price of headstones. It is well worth considering a funeral plan as it can provide a scope of options and different payment plans to ensure that the entire financial burden is covered.

One of the more basic decisions to be made is whether you wish to be buried or cremated. It's a personal preference and can often be met with great anxiety or hesitance. If you do wish to be buried, you should consider the location and look into purchasing a plot in advance.

Most religions and cultures have rights, traditions and ceremonies associated with death. If there is a religious or cultural practice that is important to you in relation to your death, funeral or disposal of your remains it is worth including your wishes in your funeral planning. Most religious or cultural practices can be accommodated in a funeral home as well as a house of worship.

Your funeral can be personal or more formal in its content, depending on your preference. If you are not particularly sentimental, you may ask that no eulogy be read and the service be less personal and simply have poems or Bible verses recited. However, you can have it as personal as you wish and have eulogies delivered, family members offer anecdotes and have your favourite songs played.

Other funeral planning considerations include:

•Whether you want to have an opened or closed casket?

•Whether you attendees to bring flowers or make a donation to a charity or research group instead?

•Whether you want a private cremation or burial?

To talk to an experienced wills and estates lawyer to draw up a proper directive regarding funeral planning and other aspects of your estate call Dominic Wilson on 02 8268 4000.