It takes a few minutes to plan out a funeral. You’ll want to do what the person who has died wanted. And, together with those closest to the person who has died, you will also want to do what you feel you need to do".
- Charles Cowling, Good Funeral Guide
Most people don’t want their family and friends to put themselves out massively for their funeral. Listen to what they say then go ahead and give them the celebration you think they deserve. The law does not require you to use a funeral director, nor does it require you to hold a funeral service. Funeral wishes are not legally binding.
A survey of 2,000 people suggested that 54% wanted their funeral to be a "celebration of life". Some 48% said they wanted it to incorporate their favourite "hobby, colour, football team or music". (ICM)
Seven things to consider
Here are the 7 most important things to hold in your mind when you plan a funeral for someone:
- There’s no rush (except for some religions)
- Set your budget and shop around. This can save you a lot of money
- Use the internet for info, ideas, goods and services
- Don’t pay others to do what you can do yourself
- Follow your heart. There are no rules, so do it your way
- A good funeral is more about what you say and what you do than what you spend
- When all’s said and done you must be able to look back with pride
The content above was written by The Good Funeral Guide for use on DeadSocial. The GFG are a not-for-profit social enterprise company. To find out more about their independently audited directory of funeral funeral directors and the information they provide click here
Types of funeral
A survey of 2,000 people by ICM suggested that 54% wanted their funeral to be a "celebration of life". Some 48% said they wanted it to incorporate their favourite "hobby, colour, football team or music".
There are a wide range of ways that a funeral can be arranged. It is not a legal requirement to use a funeral director and the choices ranging from the ceremony to body disposal are increasing each year. DeadSocial provides a range of tutorials that may compliment arranging a funeral. There are however a range of support organisations with great support resources on the types of funerals, logistics and legalities of arranging a funeral.
The reasons why we have funerals
It may sound simplistic and and obvious however funerals are for the living. They can be an important way for the bereaved to deal with the death of a loved on and move on. They are to commemorate the deceased but it is important to once again, remember that they are not for the deceased they are for the living. The reasons why we have funerals include:
- To help us express grief
- To help us acknowledge someones death and the life they led
- To celebrate the a life now ended
- To say "goodbye"
Changing attitudes towards funerals and bespoke ceremonies
Funerals and remembrance ceremonies are becoming evermore personal and unique. Following in the footsteps of the bespoke wedding movement, bespoke funerals are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to a traditional or religious ceremony. The data below was attained in from our 'Digital Death Survey' in 2014.
What Type of Funeral would you like?
Data attained from the Digital Death Survey 2014.
If directions have not been provided orally or in the deceased's will the person arranging the funeral or the nearest relative will usually decide whether a cremation or burial will take place.
Paying for the funeral
Funeral costs are increasing above inflation in the UK, USA and most western countries. The person who is arranging the funeral is responsible for paying for it. Before making any arrangements however it is important to see if the deceased had a funeral plan, health insurance or had stated any specific wishes for their funeral.
Funeral payment checklist
If you are arranging a funeral you may wish to investigate and see if the deceased has any documentation(s) shown below
- A prepaid funeral plan
- A pension scheme or insurance plan
- Belonged to a union or professional association that pays benefits on the death of a member (military etc)
- Had a national savings account from which a lump sum might be released (bank and building society accounts may be frozen until probate is granted, but some may agree to release funds to pay for a funeral)
Funerals can be expensive, so you should attain a quote from more than one funeral director (if you decide to use one). You may want to ask for a written quotation and check that everything, from the venue to the flowers, has been included. You may also find our money resources of use
Inviting people to a funeral
When arranging a funeral you may worry that not enough people will find out about it in time. You may want to invite people to the event though the following
- Over the phone
- Publishing an obituary in the local newspaper
- Announce the funeral time and date using facebook and other Social media channels
- Create a 'Facebook event' for the funeral that is due to take place and invite people to it
- Send invitations by email (tutorial)
Using technology at a funeral
Arranging a funeral is a very stressful experience. There are some great guides and resources at the bottom of this page that highlight the main things to address when arranging a funeral. DeadSocial provides tutorials and support utilising technology for all matters that deal with death and bereavement. The guides we have written below highlight how consumer technology can help assist when arranging a funeral.
- How to create a memorial video from photos using PowerPoint (tutorial)
- Using iTunes playlists to decide what songs should be played at their funeral (tutorial)
- Sending funeral invitations by email (tutorial)
- How to display photos at a funeral or wake (tutorial)
If you do decide to use technology at a funeral make sure that you check it all works before the ceremony begins.
If you are arranging a funeral you may want to visit the following resources for more in-depth information:
- A Good Funeral Guide's Plan a Funeral (UK)
- Funeral Wise's How to Guide for Funeral Arrangements (USA)
- DeadSocial's 'using technologuy at funeral resources'
- Financial Support
- Obitury Guide's Writing an Obitury Tips
- Natural Death Centre's Questions to ask a funeral director before engaging with him/her