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Planning your Funeral Wishes

Funeral Wishes

When a loved one passes away, this can understandably be an emotional whirlwind. That is why we would always encourage you to ensure measures are put in place to make the process as simple as possible for your friends and family.

Making a Will is a fundamental step when ensuring everything is looked after the way you would want it to be when you are no longer here. Your Will not only deals with whom you would like to benefit from your Estate but it also deals with whom you would like to carry out your wishes and appoint as your Executors.

When you are no longer here, it is important to include as much information in your Will as possible so that your Executors know your wishes and can carry these out for you.

Planning your Funeral Wishes

What can be included within my Will?

When preparing your Will, not only will we ask the common questions such as whom you would like to inherit your Estate but we will also ask if you have any specific wishes in relation to your funeral arrangements. This can include stipulating a burial or cremation, donating your body to Medical Science and can also include specific reserved plots in your chosen cemetery.

We can also include where you would like your Wake held, if you would prefer a memorial or church service and we can also include reference to any specific requests such as music or flowers.

It is important that if you choose to include any specific funeral wishes within your Will, that you notify your Executors that you have done so in order that they can carry out these wishes for you. If you have included any plot numbers of pre-paid funeral plan numbers it can assist them and ease the stress in identifying these.

Pre-paid Funeral Plans

Where possible, it is always recommended that you prepare for all eventualities. We strongly recommend that you get in touch with a funeral provider to discuss arranging a pre-paid funeral plan. This can alleviate a huge weight from the shoulders of your loved ones and Executors. If you choose to take this step we will include a copy of any pre-paid funeral plan and place this with your Will in order that your Executors have all of the necessary information to hand.  

What if I have very specific wishes?

When it comes to including funeral wishes within your Will, there is only so much we can include. If you have very specific wishes that you wish to be followed, writing a “Letter of Wishes” can be useful guidance for your loved ones and Executors.

This Letter could include the following information: -

  • Whom you would like to speak at your funeral;
  • Any particular hymns/poems/readings you would like;
  • Musical requests;
  • Nominated charitable donations for the day;
  • Floral preferences;
  • Wishes in regards to a Wake/Celebration of life

You can add and remove this information freely without the need of altering your Will at any given stage.

Are my funeral wishes legally binding?

We would always recommend and encourage the inclusion of funeral wishes within your Will. It is important to note however that funeral wishes are not legally binding.

If you have chosen to include your funeral wishes within your Will, it is vital that you speak to your loved ones and Executors to notify them of this. This is to ensure that your wishes do not get overlooked as it is sometimes possible that your Executors may have already started planning your funeral before the Will has been retrieved and reviewed.

Whilst it may be an uncomfortable and difficult conversation, we recommend that you discuss your preferences with your loved ones and those appointed as your future Executors and notify them that you have included your wishes within your Will.

The team at Hodgkinsons have prepared a helpful questionnaire listing various aspects to consider when planning your funeral. If you would like to speak with a member of our Wills & Probate Team to assist with your funeral wishes, please contact our team on 01754 897150 or alternatively head to our website and complete an online enquiry form where a member of the team will be in touch.