Some people prefer to plan their funeral themselves, while others would be happy to leave most of the decision-making to their loved ones.
Whichever you prefer, sharing your wishes for your funeral will take a lot of pressure off your family at an already difficult time. It means they won’t be left second guessing or even arguing over what you’d want, leaving them to get on with making the necessary arrangements to give you the best possible send-off.
Making your wishes known
Your funeral wishes should accompany your will. Read more about how to record your wishes in your Public Trust will below. Wills are sometimes not read until after the funeral, so it’s a really good idea to give your preferences to someone else as a back-up.
There are two key aspects to your funeral. You can specify your wishes for:
The funeral service.
For your remains
You may want to specify what happens to your body after you pass away, including:
Buried or cremated, donated for medical use
Viewing: the location, open or closed casket, choice of clothing, or no viewing at all
Coffin type: style, materials, temporary (for viewing) or permanent
Preference for ashes: plot or scattered
Headstone or plaque, and associated text.
For your funeral service
Things you may want to specify for your funeral service include:
People to be notified and the person to notify them
Leading the service: funeral director, celebrant or someone else
Location: the funeral director’s premises, your home or somewhere else
Type: faith-based or nonreligious
Readings: eulogy, quotes, poems
Display: videos, photos
Post-funeral service proceedings.
How much does a funeral cost?
The cost of a funeral generally starts at around $4,000, but can exceed $10,000 depending on your wishes and budget. The expenses can include things such as the death registration charge, funeral director fees, and any costs associated with the casket, hearse, flowers, celebrant, cremation or burial service, and the headstone or plaque.
See more about funding your funeral below.
Your wishes in a Public Trust will
It’s good to specify your wishes for your remains and your funeral in your will.
Public Trust has three will consultation types, each offering a different level of detail depending on your preferences.
Standard will consultation
Includes a straightforward choice between burial and cremation, and allows you to express your preference for a particular burial plot.
Comprehensive will consultation
Includes more specific funeral instructions, including the scattering of your ashes; and gives you the opportunity to express the use of your remains for medical or research purposes.
Custom will consultation
Includes even greater detail with funeral instructions and your preferences for the use of your remains in research. It can also include instructions for your remains should you die overseas, as well as specifying the payment of travel costs for others to attend your funeral.