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CHAPTER 13


My message is that funeral planning doesn’t have to be a sad time; it can be as uplifting as you choose to make it. It is as much a celebration of life as it is a mourning of its passing.


where the committal service takes place. The ceremony may be a conventional religious service or follow a format of your own choosing (which was our choice). We have been able to plan in advance by taking out individual funeral plans through which the entire payment is fully insured, regardless of when we eventually die.


My message is that funeral planning doesn’t have to be a sad time; it can be as uplifting as you choose to make it. It is as much a celebration of life as it is a mourning of its passing.


That, of course, leads me on to emphasise the importance of making a well-drafted Last Will and Testament. Dying ‘intestate’ -- where no will has been drawn up -- means that your wishes may not be honoured. Anyone who has assumed responsibility for


overseeing the implementation of a Will following the death of a relative or friend will be aware of how much is involved even when the deceased has made an effort to put his or her affairs in order. There are key tasks to be undertaken immediately after a person dies and prior to the burial or cremation. And there are a number of different ways of drawing up a will. You can purchase a ‘do-it-yourself’ form, but unless you have some legal training, this is not recommended, particularly if the estate is complex and/or there’s a chance it might be contested.


Should you wish to establish a Trust or Trusts, you need skilled advice from a lawyer with specialist qualifications. A list of Trust Solicitors can be obtained from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). While some firms have a fixed fee, many charge by the hour so make sure you understand the fee structure of your chosen firm of solicitors before they are engaged and any contract signed.


Preparing your will and funeral should be viewed as a respectful and sanctifying experience that ensures your wishes are met. It also helps to remove worries that your


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