A funeral is a special time for family, friends and loved ones to gather, to celebrate the life of someone special who is no longer with us. Considering what you’d like to happen at your own funeral can help your family, friends and those closest to you say goodbye in a way that feels true to you.
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Thinking about your funeral

What is a funeral?

A funeral is an opportunity for people who have lost someone close to say goodbye, whilst remembering and celebrating their loved one’s life.

Often, a funeral will be arranged in a way that feels true to the person who has died.

Thinking about your funeral, and making your wishes known to those closest to you, can help your family and friends feel that they are making the right decisions when it comes saying goodbye when you are gone.

What type of funeral would you like?

There are lots of choices that you can make as part of thinking about funeral arrangements.

You may wish to think about several things, including:

  • If you’d like a religious or non-religious service
  • Funeral director
  • Venue for the service (i.e. a place of worship, a crematorium chapel, or at home)
  • Music, poetry, hymns, readings and personal touches
  • A coffin, and travel from the funeral director to the service venue (i.e. a hearse)
  • Burial, cremation or natural burial ground

If you have a faith leader in your life at the moment, you can also request to have this person lead the funeral and to help with planning, if you’d like.

You may also wish to plan a funeral without a funeral director.

Paying for a funeral

Costs may vary considerably from one funeral director to another. It is worth thinking about what is important to you, and how the costs will be met before arrangements are made.

You may wish to make plans for the funeral to be paid via funds from your estate, and you can make this known to those close to you through your Will.

If this is not possible, someone close to you may be able to cover the costs of the funeral. Alternatively, there may be an opportunity for friends or family to receive a Funeral Payment from the state. You can read more about this at

The organisation Down to Earth offers practical support to people struggling to pay for a funeral. For more information, please visit

Letting people know your wishes

Letting your family, friends and those closest to you know what you’d like to happen at your funeral can help them to feel like they’ll know what to do after you are gone. You can also make your wishes know in your Will.

It’s important to share what’s important to you, so that you can feel reassured and comforted that your wishes will be taken into consideration.

More information

For guidance on choosing a funeral director, we recommend choosing one who is a member of the following organisations:

These organisations have codes of practice – including that they must give you a price list when asked.

For guidance on organisations that can provide information on non-religious funerals, please visit:

Get in touch

If you’d like to speak with a member of the St Clare team about making your Will please be aware we cannot make any recommendations but can offer support and signposting.

Call us on 01279 773700

Email us at