Plan to provide your loved one with a fitting farewell
COPING with the death of a loved one is undeniably tough. After the shock, you’ll have to deal with sorting out the deceased’s estate, alongside organising a funeral.
As difficult as it seems, there are many people who can help you through this and ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
If you need help with the deceased’s estate, then a solicitor can provide the expertise required.
They can provide guidance if the deceased’s will cannot be found, or on how to go about the probate process – which means establishing the validity of a will.
You then need to apply to get a “grant of representation” which provides the legal right to access things such as the deceased’s bank account, alongside paying any Inheritance Tax that’s due.
Other financial matters to be dealt with include collecting the estate’s assets – such as the money from the sale of the person’s property – and paying off debts such as utility bills.
The deceased’s estate will then need to be distributed, with any property, money or possessions going to the beneficiaries of the will. Alongside dealing with the deceased’s estate, you’ll also need to look to engage the services of a funeral director.
A basic funeral is likely to include a plain, lined coffin, and the transportation of the body to the funeral director’s premises where the deceased will be washed and dressed.
Funeral directors can also provide services including arranging flowers, catering arrangements for the funeral and press notices.
If the deceased has chosen to be cremated, the chapels are usually on the grounds of the crematorium.
There is the option for a short ceremony before the cremation.
What is to be done with the ashes may be stipulated in the individual’s will, or family members can decide how best to honour their loved one.
If a burial has been chosen, then that can take place in a churchyard, a local authority cemetery or a private cemetery. There is also the possibility of burials on private land, or in a woodland site. Most cemeteries are owned by local authorities or private companies and are non-denominational although some have space dedicated to particular religious groups.
If you are looking to get a permanent memorial to your loved one, it is important to remember that churchyards and cemeteries have firm rules about the size and type of memorials that are allowed.
It is important to check on these regulations before ordering anything, with Church of England churchyards usually having more rules than local authority cemeteries.
As a memorial is a lasting monument and a tribute to a person’s life, perhaps created as a final gift to someone cherished, so it is very important to choose the memorial carefully, with consideration paid to more than cost and time.
You may wish to use a company recommended by a friend or relative.
If the burial is taking place in a woodland cemetery, some permit wooden plaques but most will only allow the planting of a tree.
Whatever has been chosen, with careful planning you can provide your loved one with a fitting farewell.