I gave as much info as I could in a 20-minute conversation with the ever eager and fascinating Ivan but I did want to follow up with a top 5 tips on how to save money...I don't know if you want them now (and are listening to me and my PREPLAN!!! advice) or if you might need them at a later date...in which case you probably won't be googling this.... but how and ever, here they are.....
- Shop around!!! This might sound tacky and the last thing you want to do when you have lost a loved one, which is why I recommend PREPLANNING, but it is entirely possible to cover a few different funeral director visits in a few hours physically, or even better phone them up. Even better again? Have someone else you trust do this research for you as you will be under immense pressure and emotional stress and the last thing you need is more stress.
- Go with Natural/Woodland burial - try the greengraveyard.com guys. They do all sorts of coffins and you lose the headstone costs, the embalming costs etc so worth checking out. Plus an added bonus is it is good for the environment and oh so pretty.
- Cut out the frills! No Cars to escort you (most have our own or can borrow), no flowers, no headstones, posh-all-frills coffins etc. Ask friends to help with graphic design and printing of the booklets, memorial sheets. Have friends provide the music, be a celebrant etc. All these cost cutting ways often make it more personal too. My book has more info on this!
- Direct to cremation - no church, chapel, service at all. No embalming, coffin etc. When you get the remains back you can have a shindig in the house...I might go for this option myself...might put it in as a backup, depending on available funds!
- PREPLAN/Prepaid funeral plans obviously have their advantages if I haven't stated them enough? It pays to think ahead. Let's leave it at that. The LEAST you should do is fill in this plan here, tell someone where it is and at least you're being helpful! ;-)