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Where there’s a will… dipping our toe into funeral planning

March 30, 2022

It may seem strange to be thinking about your own death and what happens afterwards. But planning how – and where – you’d like to be remembered is part of your legacy. When the time comes, it will give your family peace of mind to know they’re carrying out your wishes. 

There are several components to end-of-life planning, some of which may help you and those close to you prepare. To help make this daunting task feel a little easier, we’ve got some tips on how to get things in order before it’s too late.  

Why plan ahead?  

Getting advice about later life planning is important, as it can help make things feel much easier later down the line. Planning ahead can also take the pressure off your family and significantly reduce the cost of your funeral.  

We understand that planning for your death ahead of time can feel overwhelming. If you need additional support, Life Ledger offers a free, easy-to-use service that allows families to notify every business connected to the deceased from a single place. Life Ledger can help individuals and families before they experience a bereavement with simple and easy end-of-life planning.  

Here are the other main things you should think about before dipping your toe into funeral planning. 

Ensure you have an up-to-date will 

Having an up-to-date will written by a solicitor is vital in ensuring your wishes are respected and followed. A legitimate will also free your family from the burden of difficult decisions and legal complications.  

If you don’t yet have one or are unsure of where to start, March is Free Wills Month. Supported by a group of well-respected charities, Free Wills Month offers anyone aged 55 and over the opportunity to have a simple will written or updated free of charge by participating solicitors across England, Scotland, and Wales.   

To get involved, simply enter your details on the Free Wills Month website to find participating solicitors near you.  

Appoint an individual with durable power of attorney

A durable power of attorney is an important legal document that gives another person the right to make decisions about your finances, health and welfare should you become incapacitated. Choosing someone you trust, such as a friend or loved one, negates the need for costly and stressful court action should the worst happen. This is especially important if you’re unwell or suffering from a long-term or terminal illness.  

If you need help in coping with a terminal illness, Hospice UK’s Dying Matters Campaign is committed to creating an open culture in which we’re comfortable about talking death, dying and bereavement. Visit the website for helpful resources and more information about how the charity can support you. 

Specify preferences for your funeral, burial, or cremation

Everyone deserves to have their wishes met when the time comes. Regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, choosing whether you’d like a funeral, burial or cremation is a big decision to make. However, thinking about it as early as possible helps take the stress away from your loved ones during a difficult time. Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but talking through your options with your loved ones will make the choice much easier. 

We understand that this step can be the hardest of all. That’s why our friendly team of experts are here to help at every step, empowering you to make the right choices. 

Select a resting place

Most of us believe that a final resting place is all about the deceased. It’s easy to ignore what will happen after you die – and many of us don’t consider how difficult the decisions are for the loved ones left behind. But choosing your final resting place before the time comes can bring you and your family a sense of peace before you pass.  

When thinking about where you’d like your final resting place to be, GreenAcres is not only a place where your loved ones can reflect on your life, but a beautiful location to meet, go for a walk, and make connections that can last a lifetime.  

You can choose where you want to rest from a variety of settings, from peaceful sustainably managed woodlands and stunning wildflower meadows to relaxing, well-cared-for parkland. 

Consider the environmental impact of your funeral

Whatever your wishes, you may want to consider having a sustainable funeral to minimise your impact on the environment. At GreenAcres, we take care to maintain our Parks so that your loved ones can enjoy them for years to come. 

We’ve also implemented a range of eco and conservation policies to protect the landscape (such as plastic free). Additionally, we encourage the use of natural coffin materials, such as bamboo, cardboard, willow and banana leaf, wherever possible. You can even choose to have no coffin at all! 

Explore themes, music, colours that you may wish your life to be celebrated 

A funeral or memorial service is a unique way to celebrate the life you lived. While traditional funeral etiquette suggests that mourners should wear black, you might want to choose more vibrant colours instead to more accurately represent your life. You may also wish to select a theme that reflects your hobbies, interests, or culture.  

Talk to your loved ones about your wishes, as they can help you plan the perfect send-off. They can also offer ideas that you may not have considered before. In fact, many families tell us that the conversation they’d been dreading turned into laughter and smiles. 

Co-op Funeralcare has pulled together a list of the nation’s most popular farewell songs – and the top five may surprise you! Take a look to see if your favourite’s on the list. 

Top of the (funeral) Pops include: 

1You’ll Never Walk AloneGerry and The Pacemakers
2My WayFrank Sinatra
3Always Look On The Bright Side of LifeEric Idle
4Simply The BestTina Turner
5Supermarket FlowersEd Sheeran

We’re here to help you every step of the way. Come and speak to our knowledgeable team to learn more about the options available to you for planning for the future. You may also benefit from attending one of our Later Life Planning Seminars run at many of our Parks throughout the year. See our website for more information.  

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