How to prepare for your funeral while you are alive

How to prepare your funeral during your lifetime ?

Prepare your funeral while you are still alive allows you to spare your spouse or loved ones a difficult step to take when you are grieving. How to best prepare for the aftermath of a death ? What are the steps to take to organize a funeral? ? When to start preparing for your funeral ? Here is how to relieve your loved ones of the preparation of the funeral after your death.

Why prepare your funeral during your lifetime ?

In addition to sparing your loved ones from the organization of your funeral, preparing your funeral while you are alive will allow you to decide on the preparation of the funeral.

Thus, you will be able to make your last wishes known, such as

  • Your choice between cremation and burial.
  • Your choice between a secular or religious ceremony.
  • The choice of the funeral company.
  • The choice of the repatriation of the body and its destination (mortuary room, your home or a designated person’s home).
  • The place of burial.
  • The content of the death notice.
  • Organ donation or its opposition.
  • What you want to wear and what you want to have in your casket.
  • The funeral urn or coffin you prefer.
  • The course of the ceremony: music, readings, list of people to notify (or not to notify), donation to an association rather than flowers..
  • The place of burial and the layout of the plot (burial in the ground, choice of headstone, vault…).
  • The place of scattering of the ashes or the location at the crematorium.
  • Being buried in a cemetery or on private property.
  • ..

Preparing the organization of your funeral while you are still alive, is the possibility to to relieve your loved ones financially. To avoid being left with nothing when death occurs, you can consider taking out a funeral insurance contract or a contract for funeral services in advance, also known as a funeral agreement.

Finally, organizing a funeral also means less administrative work for your loved ones, especially at such a painful time..

How to go about it ?

Preparing for your funeral while you’re alive couldn’t be easier !

All you have to do is list your last wishes on plain paper and to entrust it to one or two trusted persons. You do not need to go to the notary to write your wishes and the law obliges the heirs to respect the wishes of the deceased.

As for the funeral expenses, do not hesitate to ask for several funeral estimates from funeral companies. Most funeral companies will offer you funeral contracts.

There are two types of contracts:

  • The death benefit contract which allows you to build up a nest egg to finance the cost of the funeral when the time comes. This capital is paid to a relative of the deceased and it is he or she who then takes care of the funeral arrangements.
  • The funeral services contract, which includes a life insurance policy. With this type of contract, the funeral company takes care of all the organization and financing of the funeral.

However, you can also open a savings account to cover funeral expenses. Although the deceased’s bank accounts are blocked, relatives are allowed to withdraw the money needed to pay for the funeral, up to €5,000.

When to think about it ?

Even though preparing for a funeral during one’s lifetime is no picnic, many people start to organize the funeral between 50 and 70 years.

The reason is simple: the earlier you take out your funeral contract, the larger your capital will be !

However, do not confuse funeral contract and death insurance. If the first is intended to finance and organize the funeral, the second is only there to provide an annuity or a capital to protect your loved ones.

When should you think about it?

Preparing your funeral during your lifetime has many advantages and you will be assured that your last wishes are respected. Also think about organizing your succession by writing a will. Preferably choose a notarized will that is unassailable !