Along with the grief of losing a loved one, one of the most distressing things when someone passes away is the amount of things that need to be organised over a relatively short space of time. It can be stressful not knowing what exactly needs to be done, so to help you make sure you’re not forgetting anything, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide of planning the funeral process.
If planning for your own death or helping a loved one organise their affairs, it’s best to seek legal advice and put things like a will in place. A will can help make sure that your wishes are followed after death and that no confusion will take place regarding the division of money and assets. A will can also set aside money for specific funeral plans and wishes.
Legal experts can also help in the creation of things like trusts and inheritance planning. Planning around tax will make sure families will be taken care of, preventing them from the increasing likelihood of being hit by inheritance tax and preserving money. The threshold for inheritance tax is currently £325,000. With property prices rising, and the average house price in England being £292,000 – this threshold is fairly low. Protect yourself if you can.
A will isn’t something that should be put off until you are old. Research has found that 59% (31 million) of all UK adults have not written a will, with 65% in the 45 to 54-year-old age range not having a will. If the unexpected happens without a will, this could lead to additional stress and complications for your family.
Getting a will or other legal instructions put in place doesn’t have to be difficult nor expensive, and it’s worth doing at any age. In fact, 21% of 25 to 34-year-olds started thinking about writing a will when the lockdowns began.
Alongside making sure you have a clear will in place, if you are someone who likes to have all their affairs organised, consider looking into prepaid funerals.
Funeral prices have risen considerably over the last two decades, reaching a record high in 2021 with an average funeral costing just over £9,000 – and a basic funeral (without services) starting around £4,000 depending on where in the UK you are.
Many funeral directors offer a few different payment plans to help with the cost of the funeral, one of these options is a prepaid funeral plan. With a prepaid funeral plan, you can protect yourself from the rising costs of funerals by locking in the price at today’s current rate, saving you from future inflation.
Steps to Take After a Death
Whether a death was expected or not, you may worry about what to do when someone dies, there are some specific steps to be aware of.
- If the death of a person occurs in a private residence such as theirs or someone else’s home, you will need to contact either the person’s GP or the out of hours service.
- If the death occurs in a nursing home or hospice, the staff will usually contact a doctor on your behalf.
The doctor will issue a medical certificate that states the cause of death as well as a formal notice that states the doctor has signed the certificate and also explains how to register the death. It is generally required to register the death within 5 days.
If the cause of death cannot be determined by the doctor, such as if the death was unexpected. A coroner may need to perform a post-mortem, which is a medical examination to determine the cause of death.
Planning a Funeral
When it comes to planning a funeral service, unless a specific funeral director was chosen beforehand, you can research a handful of local directors to see what’s in your area. Take a look at their website and arrange to speak to them to see if they’re the right fit for you.
From there you can pick what options you would like for the funeral. You’ll choose the type of funeral whether burial or cremation, as well as the hearse, hymns and other tributes for the service.
Planning for a funeral doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it sounds, speak to a good funeral director for support and advice.