7 Common Funeral-Planning Mistakes

One thing you never want to make a mess of is the funeral of a loved one.
7 Common Funeral-Planning Mistakes

Have you recently been tasked with planning the funeral of a loved one? We’re well-versed in the funeral-planning process and what it entails and we think it’s safe to say it can be a super exhausting and daunting task, especially if you’re in the midst of grieving.

With big tasks come big responsibilities, and if you find you aren’t able to think or plan with a clear head, it can be easy to make mistakes that can greatly impact your loved one’s funeral.

Here are 7 of the most common funeral-planning mistakes we hear about. Hopefully, with this guide in your hands, you’ll be able to avoid these whilst you plan the service.

Not considering your loved one’s wishes.

Chances are, your loved one had wishes as to how their funeral or memorial service should be carried out. Maybe they wanted to be buried in a specific cemetery, maybe they wanted to be cremated, or maybe they wanted no funeral or memorial service at all.

Regardless as to what your loved one wanted, it’s important to take their wishes into account (even though they aren’t here to witness what you choose to opt for). Honouring a loved one’s dying wishes – especially in relation to how they wanted to be sent off – is the perfect way to show honour and respect to them while you say goodbye.

(And hey, you can even choose to host a memorial service a little later on, or at the anniversary of their death, so you can commemorate their life in a way that feels appropriate and right to you).

Choosing the wrong funeral director.

Eek. This can certainly happen, and it’s less than ideal when it does.
Naturally, a funeral director will guide you and your loved ones through the funeral and/or memorial process. So, you’ll likely want to choose someone who understands you, the other loved ones of the deceased, and the wishes of the deceased. They should also possess a personality and character that aligns with the type of funeral service you (and the deceased) would want present at the funeral.

Ensuring your loved one’s body and service is handled with respect and care is important. Take the selection process slowly and, of course, check if they specified exactly where they wanted to be buried or cremated, who they wanted to direct their funeral, and other funeral-related choices in their legal Will.

Blowing the budget.

Nobody likes spending more than they planned to (or more than they had to). Unfortunately, funerals are known to be pretty expensive here in Australia. It’s not uncommon for families to spend upwards of $15,000 on a funeral, which isn’t a small amount worth dismissing.

Setting time aside to plan out costs, the essentials for the day, and how you’ll work towards sticking to your original budget is important and can help you avoid unnecessarily stressful surprises. It’s also worth letting suppliers (including funeral homes, funeral directors, florists, caterers, and more) know about your budget so they can help you stick to it while also understanding their limits as your supplier(s).

This might also be a good time to let you know that the team at Willed can offer a complete funeral service from as little as $5,999 (inc GST)! Click here to learn more.

Rushing to organise the service.

We know, we know. Organising a funeral can feel really daunting and stressful, and often those in charge of planning it want to get it over and done with so they can grieve peacefully.

While certain elements of a funeral need to be chosen pretty soon after someone has passed, you can take your time with some of the other decisions you’ll need to make, like planning a service if your loved one wants to be cremated (the cremation itself often occurs soon after death, but the service can be held any time afterwards), writing a eulogy, or planning a memorial service with food a little later down the track.

Organising a funeral service that just follows the status quo.

We hate to break it to you, but some of the most memorable and meaningful funerals are those that have a unique touch or flair to it. Consider ways to showcase your loved one’s personality – through colour, music, imagery/photography, hobbies, food, or anything else they were known for. You could even ask attendees to bring something to the funeral that reminds them of your loved one. Ultimately, you might regret making choices that mean their funeral is a little less personal.

Only starting to plan once the person has died.

It can feel weird planning (or preparing for) a loved one’s funeral, especially if they’re still alive. However, as we know, grief can impair our ability to think clearly and plan according to our own (and the deceased’s) wishes.

Not taking the time to prepare before they pass can also bring about additional stress and pressure during what is already a difficult time. So, if you can, try and make plans in advance. (It might even save you a cheeky buck, too.)

Ignoring your grief so you can focus on funeral planning.

Acknowledging your grief is important, despite what you are or aren’t planning. Sometimes, sitting with grief can mean you take a little extra time to get started on funeral-planning, and that’s okay. Suppressing your feelings can lead to an inability to process your emotions surrounding the death of your loved one, which can ultimately prompt you to feel and experience your grief for longer than you otherwise would.

Wrap up

Planning a funeral can be daunting, but it’s important to remember to look after yourself, be patient with yourself (and with others, of course!), and to take your time to plan things both before and after your loved one has passed. We have a feeling you’ll definitely do them proud, no matter how their funeral pans out.

Did you know that Willed offers prepaid funerals  for peace of mind? Learn more about them here.

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