Arranging a funeral for a loved one can be extremely difficult, especially given the emotional stress many people are under when someone passes away.
Discussing your wishes now can make the future easier for everyone involved. It’s easy to imagine how making arrangements at such an emotional time can lead to loved ones overcompensating, perhaps making elaborate and expensive choices, simply because of the worry of getting something wrong or appearing too cheap to others. Loved ones often go above and beyond when in fact it’s the small touches that can matter most.
Talking about death and dying is never easy. We don’t want to upset our loved ones or feel like we’re all doom and gloom. However, research* indicates that our loved ones are ultimately happier with organising a funeral when they know that their loved one’s wishes are being followed. It prevents any ‘second-guessing’ and feeling that they’ve somehow let their loved one down by making the wrong decisions.
Leaving last wishes is the best final gift someone can make to their family. While some may choose to leave instructions as part of their will, a funeral plan offers a number of advantages over a will.
Firstly, a will may not be discovered until after a funeral has taken place, by which time it’s too late for your loved ones to follow your wishes. Secondly, leaving a will won’t protect you or your loved ones against any future rise in the cost of a funeral. By taking out a funeral plan, you will pay for the services included in the plan at today’s prices, no matter how far in the future it may be required.
But taking out a funeral plan is more than just a financial decision – for some of us, there’s also a level of emotional investment required as well. Some funeral plans allow you to record special requests for your funeral, many plans also enable you to pay towards those special requests in advance.
If you’re considering taking out a funeral plan, prepare to have the ‘conversation of a lifetime’ with your nearest and dearest and consider what’s most important to you when it comes to the ultimate celebration of your life.
Is there a favourite song that you would like played, or hymn to be sung? Do you have a favourite colour that you’d like people to wear to remember you? Is there a particular flower that evokes the fondest memories of a happy occasion?
As well as telling people what you’d like, make sure they also know why it’s important to you. Take the time to ensure people are aware of the memories that are the most precious to you. Think about those moments in your life that you may have kept to yourself and take the opportunity to share them with others now.
Choose the right funeral plan provider
When considering which funeral plan to take out, first and foremost you want a provider you can trust. One with proven experience and expertise. A provider that you can be sure will be there for your loved ones when the time comes and guide them through a difficult time, leaving them free to celebrate your life.
Radio Times has partnered with Dignity to offer a choice of four Prepaid Funeral Plans. Dignity introduced the UK’s first funeral plan in 1985. Since then, Dignity has helped over one million people^ plan for their funeral in advance.
With Dignity’s range of prepaid funeral plans, you can make as many special requests as you like**. Small requests, such as specifying a particular poem to be read, can be made at no extra cost. Others, such as a memorial, will inevitably incur additional charges, as there are third party costs to pay.
Any additional costs incurred will either need to be covered by your loved ones when the time comes, or you can add a contribution towards these requests as part of your plan^^. If you change your mind at any time, Dignity won’t charge you to update your wishes.
• Request your free guide online or call today, 0800 033 4717 quoting RAD171ND, and find out how you can protect you and your family from funeral costs, which have risen faster than inflation in recent years†.
• When you receive your guide, choose the plan that best suits your needs and budget.
• Call Dignity at any time if you have any questions and they will be happy to talk through the plan or payment options with you.
*Funeral Experts By Experience: What Matters To Them, Dr Julie Rugg and Dr Sarah Jones, September 2019.
^Dignity plc Annual Report and Accounts 2020. “over one million customers” refers to the total number of people who have made funeral arrangements with Dignity in advance.
**The costs of the services in your chosen plan are fixed but some special requests, such as flowers or an organist, if added, may incur additional costs.
^^It is not possible to make additional contributions with the Limited Plan.
†Matter Communications independent research.
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