Have you ever been in the situation where you’ve lost a family member and you haven’t known where to start with arranging the funeral they would have wanted, and/or dealing with their estate?
There are many things we can do in advance to make things easier for loved ones when the time comes. Here are just a few ideas:
- Write down what you have! It may seem silly, but just because things are obvious to you, it doesn’t mean that other people will be able to work things out easily. These days we don’t get many items of written correspondence – statements are often sent electronically; so, it may leave your family wondering which company you had a credit card with, who your mobile phone contract was with etc, etc. If you’d like to record ‘Useful information about me’, download our template here.
- What about the funeral? You can go for the ultimate way to be organised for your family by paying for your funeral in advance, but if you don’t do that, at least give your family a clue about what you would want. A big full-on funeral, a small intimate service, a burial, a cremation, a certain celebrant, flowers – or not, charitable donations? There is so much to think about. It will come to all of us one day so why not be prepared for your loved ones’ sake – save them the trauma of having to decide what you would have wanted by setting that out for them in advance.
- You can go one step further and make some notes about your life – celebrants we speak to explain that families often find it hard to piece together enough detail for a eulogy. List key dates and events that younger family members wouldn’t necessarily know about. It will make for a more accurate story of your life when your loved ones are remembering you fondly during the funeral service.
- Make a Will is obvious of course; but a staggering 54% of the adult UK population haven’t got around to it. This can cause real problems and can mean that everything would pass to people you wouldn’t have wanted to inherit at all!
- Sentimental gifts – do you have ideas about keepsakes you’d want family member to have to remember you by? Valuable items should be included in your Will, but you can leave inexpensive items in a separate letter of wishes.
Just a few ideas – but hopefully we’ve given you something to think about…