Thinking about the funerals of your loved ones is likely to fill anyone with dread, but one local family has taken a very modern approach and have all planned their own funeral arrangements. The complimentary ‘Expression of Wishes’ service from Beckfords has allowed the whole family to decide their own funeral arrangements, so we found out why this is so important to each of them.
Many will know Derek as the President of the Guernsey Table Tennis Association, or the kit-man for local football team GFC, or perhaps even a driver for the Ron Short Centre – a man with many hats to wear but he is very certain on how he’d like his funeral. “I have three children – three very opinionated children and whilst I’m sure them squabbling over what music to pick for my funeral would be quite amusing, it’s probably best I do it! On a more serious note, my father unfortunately had Alzheimer’s which is of course hereditary, so whatever happens in the future at least I know my funeral arrangements have been done and the family have nothing to worry about or decide on when I’m gone. Anyone who knows me can expect to be wearing bright clothes or stripy socks to my funeral, but most of all I just want people to walk out with smiles on their faces.”
Wife and mother Christine encouraged the family to get their Expression of Wishes done so everyone has peace of mind. “Having organised my parents’ funerals, which was hard enough in itself, it made me realise that I don’t want my children to have to go through some of the deliberating choices I had to. I want them to concentrate on celebrating life rather than worrying about getting funeral arrangements right. Beckfords have made this so easy with the expression of wishes, it really helps to make sure you’ve thought about all the details.”
There are no age restrictions when planning a funeral, literally anyone can do it and it doesn’t cost a penny, so even the three children have now expressed the wishes for their funerals.
Firstborn Emma has planned her funeral because she wants to make sure everything is done just as she wants. “I’m a really organised person and I have pretty clear ideas as to what I’d like for my funeral. It means a lot to me that I have my favourite music played and there are definitely a few special things I’d like to come with me.” The details you provide can be as specific as you like and Beckfords will always honour these wishes if they are practically possible and can meet potential budgets.
Middle child Hayley wants to make sure she’s buried in the perfect outfit. “I love planning parties and this is exactly how I see my funeral – my last party here before the eternal one. So I want to go in an amazing dress with some killer heels on (pardon the pun!) and a full face of make-up. I can’t help but overdress and I want to for my funeral too. Also knowing that my family will all get exactly the funeral they want really means a lot so I’m so pleased we’ve all done this. It was actually quite fun and definitely sparked some interesting topics around the dinner table!”
Expressing your funeral wishes is a complimentary service with Beckfords, and of course completely confidential. Youngest son Dale likes the fact it’s done and he doesn’t need to talk about it. “I’m not great with death in general and I find it a really difficult topic to discuss so I think planning it like this is great. It means when the time comes for my parents, we don’t have to worry about any of the arrangements and for mine, I can just quietly write down my wishes, send them to Beckfords and I don’t need to discuss it with anyone. I’m starting a family with my partner and these things just seem so much more important to get done now.”
It’s a simple process and just requires filling in a form, although a bit of thinking time is probably required. The form is a guide which takes you through everything that needs to be decided. Forms are available from Beckfords and can be posted out on request or they are available to download from their new website.
“Our Expression of Wishes service is becoming very popular as more and more people are realising the benefits of pre-planning funerals. It’s a completely confidential and complimentary service and your wishes can be changed at any time. We always look to honour the wishes of our clients, no matter how different they may be because we understand that this is very personal and an opportunity for you to say your goodbyes or leave your last mark on the world.” says Beckfords managing director Jane Duquemin.
Whilst expressing the wishes of your funeral doesn’t cost anything, there is also the option to pre-pay for funerals. This can be done in a lump sum or by agreed monthly payments, but the biggest benefit is that you pay for your funeral at the cost it would be the day you make the plan, regardless of when you die. The savings made here for you and your family can be significant. The plans are very flexible, including allowing you to pre-pay for another person’s funeral.
Finally, in true Webb style the kids joke, “the next step is to get mum and dad to sacrifice a cruise and pre-pay for their funerals instead!”
To Express your Wishes you can either download a form or fill it in online here.
Having organised my parents' funerals, which was hard enough in itself, it made me realise that I don't want my children to have to go through some of the deliberating choices I had to.