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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 29th Jan 08, 6:33 PM
    • 8,111Posts
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    MSE Martin
    The Great Planning for Death Hunt
    • #1
    • 29th Jan 08, 6:33 PM
    The Great Planning for Death Hunt 29th Jan 08 at 6:33 PM
    What's it about?

    Well, without wanting to sound too morbid it does what it says on the coffin! One thing none of us can avoid is the prospect of dying and while some may prefer not to think about it and leave it up to our loved ones to fork out, many would rather have the peace of mind of knowing it's sorted out before the time comes.

    What to do

    So I thought I'd tap MoneySavers' wealth of knowledge and ideas to collate a list of tips and suggestions on where MoneySavers can cut the cost of planning a funeral, making a will or even providing for childrens' and grandchildrens' futures.

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    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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Page 1
    • phoebe03cat
    • By phoebe03cat 29th Jan 08, 10:14 PM
    • 868 Posts
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    phoebe03cat
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:14 PM
    Can I take it with me?
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:14 PM
    Don't tell me Martin hasn't found a way to take it with him yet?
    • sillyvixen
    • By sillyvixen 29th Jan 08, 10:21 PM
    • 3,206 Posts
    • 4,947 Thanks
    sillyvixen
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:21 PM
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:21 PM
    my auntie preplanned and paid for her funeral 15 years ago..she did it so as her children wouldn't have to deal with it - also as prices have risen in the last 15 years so she will have made savings as her next of kin will not be paying funeral costs at curent rates and therefore will benifit more frome her estate.
  • Strapped
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:37 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:37 PM
    Don't tell me Martin hasn't found a way to take it with him yet?
    Originally posted by phoebe03cat
    Yes...by cheque (old joke, I know, groan...)
    They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth. -- Plato
    • inkie
    • By inkie 29th Jan 08, 10:40 PM
    • 2,569 Posts
    • 2,371 Thanks
    inkie
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:40 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:40 PM
    I am a minister and so have a lot of dealings with the funeral directors. I was there the other day having a coffee with them, and they told me that if you are a Co-op divvy member (which costs 1 to join), then you get 56 reduction on the funeral bill if you use Co-op funeral service. Better in your pocket than theirs.
    Can I add as well that if you have a 'pre-paid' plan, then if the deceased is a a church member and therefore your minister doesn't charge a ministers fee, then please ensure that the final bill is checked, as this fee is costed in for a pre-payment plan, and so will need reimbursing.
  • Emma37
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:46 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 08, 10:46 PM
    The small number of replies to Martin's thread just shows that it's something people don't want to think about. It's something we should all plan for, but it's a horrible thought so I suppose we just switch off when the subject comes up. For the sake of our loved ones though we should try to make things easier for them.
  • Older but not wiser
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 08, 11:05 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 08, 11:05 PM
    Make sure someone knows where a copy of your will is kept.
    Wha's like us - damn few, an' they're a' deid


    Competition wins:-
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  • Strapped
    • #8
    • 29th Jan 08, 11:36 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Jan 08, 11:36 PM
    Good point from older not wiser. When we made our wills, the company gave us little cards to give to the executors stating where the wills were stored.

    I'm also in the process of making "the little black book of all things financial to do if I die", because hubby wouldn't have a clue - listing bank accounts, credit cards, life policies, etc. (Having been through two recent bereavements, I wish they'd done this).

    As far as what they do with my body, I really won't care, as I'll be dead, and my nearest & dearest know to do whatever suits them best and easiest - bin liner (bio degradable of course) in the back garden would be fine by me, although it might devalue the house so a basic cremation might be better. No minister required, so that's one fee saved.
    They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth. -- Plato
    • sillyvixen
    • By sillyvixen 30th Jan 08, 12:14 AM
    • 3,206 Posts
    • 4,947 Thanks
    sillyvixen
    • #9
    • 30th Jan 08, 12:14 AM
    • #9
    • 30th Jan 08, 12:14 AM
    my auntie preplanned her funeral as she didn't believe her children would carry out her whishes - she has planned it right down to the hymns she wants. she has the piece of mind in doing that..also as it is prepaid she has made significant savings in this... bless her she is in her 80's and had recently had a heart attack and will hopefully not need to test this theory - but hopefully when her time comes she will have her whishes carried out as she had planned.
    • DdraigGoch
    • By DdraigGoch 30th Jan 08, 3:31 AM
    • 715 Posts
    • 3,996 Thanks
    DdraigGoch
    I've planned out my funeral and I'm a healthy 50ish! I really must get around to paying for it ahead of time. The children & OH know what to do, true MSE style where possible ...

    I think it only makes sense - as Martin said, it does what it says on the coffin. Had me laughing all the way through this thread - thank you.

    Thank you for the reminder about the wills and keeping a little black book with the information somewhere safe. I have a deed box so shall probably put it there, and a copy with my solicitor/bank

    DG
    If you see me on here - shout at me to get off and go and get something useful done!!
  • ailuro2
    In a wicker coffin in a wood/forest somewhere nice so my DD can come and have a picnic, hopefully with her kids, and tell them how lovely her mum and dad were....

    The money is available, but I really do need to get round to making a will.
    Member of the first Mortgage Free in 3 challenge, no.19
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    • sandy2
    • By sandy2 30th Jan 08, 7:18 AM
    • 1,927 Posts
    • 2,781 Thanks
    sandy2
    organ donation, organ donation, organ donation
    Please give generously and make sure everyone knows this is what you want
    • phoebe03cat
    • By phoebe03cat 30th Jan 08, 7:34 AM
    • 868 Posts
    • 837 Thanks
    phoebe03cat
    Having just organised three funerals of immediate family members in the last year I do agree with Martin that this is so important, especially the financial aspects. However I do know first hand that organising some of the funeral has a tremendously theraputic effect and can be the start of the healing process. Personally I would always leave some areas of the funeral to family discretion,I know they can always do the address but somehow choosing one of the hymns maybe the coffin etc focuses rellies minds and gives a chance for some individual reflection and expression of feelings by family discussion; they can release some of their own grief through doing something proactive with scope for choice. Dad chose a hymn and left an amount for his burial, the opportunity to express our grief through making the remaining funeral choices started to give my teenage children and myself a sense of purpose, expression and peace which then continued to develop over time.We put a lot of ourselves into those family funerals and it helped so much. We also knew that we were carrying out the individuals wishes for part of it which was also good. I must do mine too, so thanks for the wake up call Martin, but I won't be tying mine up too closely-only removing the financial burden of course.
  • stevetherev
    A few thoughts from another minister

    1. As a lot have said already - plan ahead. Financially and wish wise it makes sense. Put it all in a ring back folder - will, funeral wishes, policies.

    2. For the funeral itself - shop around like anything else. Remove the extras - do the work yourself. Do you really need flash undertakers cars or is there a family member or mate who can drive you? How about a no flower funeral? Do you really need a big wake draining your bank account or just time alone together?

    3. Cremations are usually cheaper than burials and there's no need to have an organist or minister if you don't want that kind of thing.

    4. Make sure someone knows what your wishes are -- I've seen too mnay arguments over funerals and what is to happen

    5. Involve everyone - even the smallest. It helps them to come to terms with one of the 3 biggies in life - life, death and income tax (thanks Mark Twain).

    6. Shop around if you need a minister: some like me don't charge - I see it as part of a community provision on my church's behalf. It certainly raises a few eyebrows in this day and age as I think to fully accede to the family's reasonable wishes you have to spend a lot of time putting it together: most people expect a charge and in the long run if they feel the church has helped they pass on their thanks or a donation (which is never the object). If you don't know a minister the undertaker will usually know who is or who isn't on the ball and will direct you to someone suitable for your needs.

    7. I am told, although I dont know for sure, that the cheapest funeral is where you donate your body for medical research. It would mean that a medical or nursing student will use the body in training. The whole idea would understandably concern some but please others (in the sense that soem are happy for organ donation). The cost of burial or cremation is borne, I believe by the University or institution concerned.

    Hope this helps

    Stevetherev
  • stevetherev
    On ething I forgot: you can get will forms from most stationers for a few pounds. They do have some instructions with them to help you avoid the most glaring problems. If your estate is likely to be a bit complicated then a Solicitor is adviseable - usually I am loathe to recommend extra expense - but in this case, the expense of tens not hundreds of pounds is worth the potential problems later. Believe me, a badly written will can cause monetary chaos!

    Who's in the house? The Rev's in the house --- in the office

    Stevetherev
    • vics 1982
    • By vics 1982 30th Jan 08, 8:34 AM
    • 184 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    vics 1982
    My grandmother donated her body to medical science, unfortunatly they couldn't take her in the end due to her illness. She had to register before hand with them)cambridge university i think, and they have to accept you.
    They wil then take you once you have passed away and i think that you do actually get some ashes back after about 3 years or so. They do ask for a small contribution.
    Grandma done this as she wanted to help and also didn't want to pay rediculous funeral fees. In the end we had a private familly crematation, i rose and that was all, it was lovely.

    I want the same,non of this faffing about.

    HTH
    Vics
    Sainsbury CC - 1597.25 0% 18 mths left 37.57 Per month DD

    Savings Goals 6500K / 10000K
    • smellymel74
    • By smellymel74 30th Jan 08, 8:48 AM
    • 59 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    smellymel74
    Make a will!!!!
    I know it's a fairly obvious one, but it's amazing how many people haven't yet got around to the basics of making a will. I understand that people don't want to think about death and avoid doing so by not making a will but having been through hell for several years now following the sudden death of a family member who didn't make a will, i can tell everyone that you're never too young to write a will and doing so will save many months of angony and heartache for those you leave behind, as well as ensure that your wishes are carried out.
    so even if you're young, healthy or feel like you don't have much, PLEASE get round to writing a will - everyone should have one! And remember that if you're circumstances change - like you (re)marry - this will affect your will so you may need to write a new one. also don't forget to change things like who yout want named as your beneficiary on your pension/ life insurance etc. if you marry, remarry or divorce - my uncle's ex-wife of 10 years ago just received a huge payout from his private pension because he'd never gotten around to changing the beneficiary!
  • bookworm1363
    Whilst donating your body to science is a great idea in principle, a word of caution: Think how it will affect the ones who stay behind. I once took a lady to pick up her husband who had donated his body, and it had taken over 3 years before it was released to her, and in the meantime, she felt that she hadn't been able to get that all important "closure", hadn't been able to say goodbye properly, had all that on hold so to speak.

    For a lot of people, the funeral itself is the turning point where they come to accept the reality of the person's death and is an essential part of the grieving process, so think carefully and think of your loved ones before taking that step.

    Also, it may come as a wake-up call to some, but maybe the plans you are making for your own departure are going to financially cripple the ones staying behind, so think twice: Do you REALLY care whether you're buried or cremated? (cremation is a lot cheaper!) Do you really care whether your coffin is reinforced cardboard or the finest oak? Whether you have brass handles on it? Is it going to help you having giant floral tributes being left to rot next to your grave?

    To me, this is where I can really be a moneysaver to the end and beyond: Keep it simple, keep it cheap. I have already told the family: Cardboard coffin, cremation, no flowers, no minister, no convoy, no organist, just a party to celebrate my life rather than mourn my death, if I believed in an afterlife, I'd rather hear laughter associated with my name than tears, thank you very much, and I'd rather that they went on a nice holiday or break with the money saved. The thought that my last act on Earth would be to put them in financial jeopardy is unbearable, frankly.

    (Incidentally, my daughter knows how much I LOATHE those flowers arrangements which spell out a name or "Nan" "Father" or the worse of all "Mom" [spelt the American way, grrr], and her biggest "threat" in an argument is to tell me that's what she'll get for me to put on my grave as a punishment, LOL)
    Last edited by bookworm1363; 30-01-2008 at 9:16 AM.
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  • OliveOyl
    We have a complicated 21st century family with step children etc. Not unusual nowadays.
    Our solicitor advised us to buy whole life policies on our lives, one in the name of each child.
    When the first of us dies the policies pay out to each policy holder (offspring) 100,000.
    This is not liable for inheritance tax (not part of the estate, as it is owned by offspring) and will take off ANY pressure from the surviving spouse to share out the estate; possibly at their own expense.

    We bought our house from a reluctant elderly woman who had been bullied by her children to sell and move into sheltered flats. They didn't want the burden of looking after her, and they did want their slice of the pie. We didn't want that for each other.

    The policies are cheap (we're young and healthy) and we really are going to do it one day.....
    • splishsplash
    • By splishsplash 30th Jan 08, 10:36 AM
    • 2,840 Posts
    • 8,126 Thanks
    splishsplash
    To me, this is where I can really be a moneysaver to the end and beyond: Keep it simple, keep it cheap. I have already told the family: Cardboard coffin, cremation, no flowers, no minister, no convoy, no organist, just a party to celebrate my life rather than mourn my death, if I believed in an afterlife, I'd rather hear laughter associated with my name than tears, thank you very much, and I'd rather that they went on a nice holiday or break with the money saved. The thought that my last act on Earth would be to put them in financial jeopardy is unbearable, frankly.

    (Incidentally, my daughter knows how much I LOATHE those flowers arrangements which spell out a name or "Nan" "Father" or the worse of all "Mom" [spelt the American way, grrr], and her biggest "threat" in an argument is to tell me that's what she'll get for me to put on my grave as a punishment, LOL)
    Originally posted by bookworm1363
    I could have written that! It is exactly how I feel about it, and I have also warned my kids about those flower arrangements! (except that my kids call me Mom - from the Irish, Mham...)
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