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Organising a funeral part 1: Five things you need to know

Hand touching a flower


A death can bring with it a broad range of emotions. Our feelings toward the person who has died can become stronger and our need to provide them with a meaningful tribute can lead to anxiety about ‘getting it right.’

Throughout the process it may help to keep these five points in mind.

1. There is generally no reason to hurry

If you’re able, take the time you need to create a meaningful tribute to the person who has died, and for the family, friends and colleagues involved.

2. Look at all the sources of money available

Funeral costs can lead to debt, but you may be able to access state funds, charitable grants, affordable credit, and support from friends and family.

3. It’s your choice

There is no legal requirement to hire a funeral director, have the person who died embalmed, or to buy a coffin or hire a hearse.

4. Shop around or go DIY

Funerals can be expensive and prices between funeral directors vary enormously, so get several itemised quotes – you could save a lot of money. There’s no legal requirement to employ a funeral director, and a DIY funeral is also possible.

5. Make it meaningful

You can create a unique and personal ceremony without overspending. Consider any funerals you have attended in the past, and what made them memorable. Words, music and actions can be far more powerful than expensive cars or coffins.

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