It’s ideal to have planned your funeral yourself. That way you can organise all of the details, make sure everybody is aware of your wishes and nobody will be left wondering what it is you would have wanted.
If it seems a little morbid; think this way-of all the variables that can happen to us over the course of our lives; the one thing we are absolutely guaranteed is death.
We can hope for a good and happy life, but should probably be realistic enough to make a plan for the ultimate inevitable ending of it.
Most people don’t think about planning their funeral-certainly the majority of adults, 76% of people aged 30-55 have never planned a funeral, and 24% of that number said they wouldn’t have a clue of where to start.
An experienced Funeral Director is a wonderful asset when it comes to making plans in advance; Jennings.ie have a comprehensive amount of information, contacts and operational knowledge at their disposal and can help you through all of the steps in the process of planning a funeral if you need them.
If you’re gathering your thoughts about the kind of things you need to think about for a funeral, here are some guidelines.
Make a Will
There are some practicalities that are involved when deciding what to do with you possessions and property. See Ask Jennings.ie on Making a Will for details.
Power of Attorney
If you think that you may become incapacitated over time or want to empower someone else to make decisions on your behalf, you may want to investigate Power of Attorney. It’s essentially a legal device that you can up to allow another specially appointed person (called the Attorney but not necessarily a lawyer) take action if you are absent or become incapacitated. See also legal arrangements for incapacity.
Advance Care Directives
An advance care directive in Ireland is a statement about the type and extent of medical or surgical treatment you want in the future, on the assumption that you will not be able to make that decision at the relevant time. Please see here for further details on the ‘Let Me Decide’ program.
Burial or Cremation
There isn’t a big cost difference between the two unless a new grave has to be purchased. If you don’t spell out your wishes, it may lead to disagreement or confusion when you’re gone. For details see Jennings.ie on Cremation
Music, Readings and Flowers
It may surprise you that you cannot dictate your own funeral music; it is actually the priest who has final say on what can and cannot be played in the church-once you’re inside the doors, it’s his domain.
If your idea of a great send-off is something a little more than a traditional hymn, you need to check with the relevant church first.
The readings will depend on the religion of the deceased, and you can learn more about choosing significant flowers here, or writing a eulogy here.