The Great Planning for Death Hunt

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  • DdraigGoch
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    I think I would, from experience, agree with everyone who says that you should find yourself a specialist wills solicitor and go there - your intentions will be carried out with the minimum of expenditure and anguish to your legatees [is that the right word?] If you follow the links for the cancer charity will writing service you'll probably get someone who's good at it.

    DG
    If you see me on here - shout at me to get off and go and get something useful done!! :D
  • hilstep2000
    hilstep2000 Posts: 3,089 Forumite
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    My Mamma passed away two weeks ago, and we haven't had the funeral yet. I'm the executor of her will, and am finding it daunting all the stuff I've got to do. I've bought a book "What to do if someone dies" by Paul Harris, published by "Which" the Consumer souncil, and am working my way through it.
    I Believe in saving money!!!:T
    A Bargain is only a bargain if you need it!



  • charkess
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    Hi
    I am a funeral director in Edinburgh and am amazed at a number of things..
    a) that a very simple funeral cost £4200, although people's idea of simple does vary.
    b)that you were able to reclaim £4200 from the state, normally the maximum is around £900 and families left with a shortfall.
    I would encourage people to both investigate prices between different firms but also maybe visit different firms to get a feel for them in terms of premises and facilities and how they are received and treated. obviously this is easier to do pre need rather than at need.


    This is my first post so hope I get it right and it saves you money!

    When Dad died 2 years ago Mum paid for the funeral, it came to about £4200 and that was on a budget, the cheapest coffin was £700 I was mortified (excuse the pun!), anyway Mum was on benefits and I found out you could reclaim the funeral expenses with 3 months of the death. Unfortunately we found this out one day before the 3 months was up,
    no-one ever volunteers this information to you, so there was a mass panic driving round the country, picking up forms, filling them in, driving to Mums getting her to sign them and dropping them off again. Anyway we did it and 3 weeks later Mum got 3 cheques which all amounted to £4200, we rang up and checked it and it was all okay and correct. So Mum now has the money in a bond for her funeral, bless her. I think the paying in advance is a great idea though I'm still shocked at the price of a mdf, wood veneered box at £700, someone somewhere is making lots of money out of people's death!

    This form tells you all about it....

    http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/JCP/stellent/groups/jcp/documents/websitecontent/dev_012144.pdf
  • lankeela
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    I don't want a funeral of any sort - if they can't come and pay their respects when I'm alive sorry but its too late when I'm gone. I shall be leaving my body to medical science if they want me - my brother has already arranged to do this too. They keep the body for a student to practice on and after three years it is cremated and the family can have the ashes if they so wish, although I shall tell them to stick mine in a bin bag or on the compost heap. I refuse to visit the crematorium where my mum and dad were cremated - they are not there - and I'd rather have a pint and think of my dad and think of my mum whenever something reminds me of her.

    Lankeela
  • Leonie
    Leonie Posts: 101 Forumite
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    I don't think they'd want my organs - they don't want my blood anymore, though I used to donate. I had 2 blood transfusions earlier in my life, and they can't accept blood from me any more, in case I might pass something on that I was given then! In view of my current state of mind, I suspect it may be Mad Cow disease :-)
    "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

    "After all is said and done, more is said than done." Aesop
  • heppy23
    heppy23 Posts: 478 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    mancmum wrote: »
    Hello, its taken 18 years before I can write this but I wanted to say thank you to the Co-op. Certainly 18 years ago they never made a charge for arranging a basic funeral for a child. I don't have the emotional resources to re-visit and find out if this is still the case but I hope it is.

    If you ever need to advise a parent on arranging a funeral do consider the Co-op.

    This isn't about money saving its about feeling that someone out there cares when you are at your lowest point. Sadly there will always be parents in the position we were in - the humanity we met from a institution was more than we had from the hospital.

    As an ex-nurse I'd like to think that bereavement care for children has improved in hospitals since your experience.

    My cousin died 33 years ago after a playground accident and his immediate family are still in shock about it all. I get the feeling they were just left to it at the time by the authorities.
  • carefulspender_2
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    When my very elderly Dad died in 2000 my Mum and I knew there would be less than a dozen people at the funeral (no other relatives) and we wanted a quiet affair. He was to be cremated ans wasn't religeous.I went to the local Council Bereavement Services (Carlisle) and asked about the options offered. I discovered that we could have a secular service -with content chosen by us- taken by a member of their staff, and that we didn't have to have an undertaker involved.So they organised the moving of my Dad's body to their mortuary, the death certificate, and the crem organisation too.No hearse needed as the mortuary was on the crem site.We bought a very cheap plywood coffin from them and then rented from the Council their very posh wooden coffin which was put on display during the service.When the time came for the cremation only the inner coffin was involved. It was a brilliant way to have a very cheap funeral and my Dad would have been thrilled that we didn't have to go to great expense. He would have been tickled pink about the hired coffin bit too.My Mum wanted the same and so when she died in 2002 I did the same again. One interesting point was that we were told we had to pay doctors for the death certificate to be signed.We told the Bereavement Services people that we would pay when we got the bill.Still waiting......The system obviously can't cope with people who do their own arranging..... It is worth asking your local Council about their services.Up here Carlisle has won several awards for their innovative approach to death services !
    Hope this may help someone somewhere.
    cheers
  • schoolfundraiser
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    ootoobeah wrote: »
    So what's the best/easiest/cheapest way to make a will? :confused:

    Go to a reputable solicitor who can advise you on tax planning. Explain what you want to do, take their advice and pay what it takes to do that. Do not be a cheapskate on something as important as this. You need to provide properly for your dependents in case you die suddenly.

    I will need to make a tax planning will when my husband's will is finally probated which will cost at least a grand but will save my daughter £60K in inheritance tax and will mean that she doesn't have to sell our home within 6 months to pay the tax man his cut. With hindsight my husband should have updated his will but we didn't expect him to die so young.

    When your house value is taken into account in most areas you are practically over the inheritance tax limit of £300K and inheritance tax is 40%!!!!!!! of what is left. With my husband's pension lump sum (invested to give me a bit more income) and the house value suddenly I am way over the inheritance tax limit even though my actual income is really low.:eek:
  • schoolfundraiser
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    Mikeyorks wrote: »
    ..... and, more importantly, where the original is. The copy is fine for planning what needs to be done .....but the original is mandatory for Probate.

    You can lodge your original will with the Probate Registry for £15 and then they already have it.

    http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1218.htm

    My husband's original will is lost - solicitors who had it went IVA in 2005 and can't find it. 3 copies in existence so will have to do pleading letter to probate registry and keep fingers crossed.:eek:
  • pompeygirl69r
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    I would like to introduce myself to this thread as i work in a funeral directors in Hampshire. I arrange funerals myself and many of the families i see are often unaware of alot of things at such a difficult time. There are a few points i would like to raise, firstly a pre-paid funeral plan is a great way to do things. You can pay on a monthly basis at no extra cost or you can spread the payments over a longer period of time this means that you pay the price for todays funerals meaning that even if it's years later that you pass away you would have only paid a fraction of the cost. Over the years the money that you have paid in accrues interest so you actually get more for your money. This in my professional opinion is far better than having to save for a later date and passing it all on to your bereaved family members. Secondly, alot of people are unaware that if you are receiving some sort of benefit or entitlement you can apply to the DWP for some of the funeral costs to be paid. It may differ from area to area but in most cases they can pay up to £1200!!! Not alot of people realise this and it would have been a great help to them. Thirdly, everybody wants peace of mind to know that they're loved one is at the funeral home, in order to do this they need the green certificate from the registry office when you register the death as soon as possible. Certain rules now mean that the mortuary require the certificates to collect the deceased. There are alot of points that are very useful but very long to write them all down. If you need any help or advice at all please do not hesitate to contact me, i will be more than happy to help at such a difficult time.
    :jLittle one due 1st October 2010:j
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