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Let’s talk about #TheFWords: Funeral

In the third article in our #TheFWords series, we unpack the steps involved in planning a funeral.

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Planning a funeral, especially your own, is the last thing you want to do when you’re simply enjoying life. But the reality is that you’re going to need to do it at some point and doing so sooner rather than later will take a lot of pressure off your loved ones who will need to make funeral arrangements when you pass away.

Spend time considering your preferences… a burial or cremation, a large gathering or an intimate wake, a religious or non-religious ceremony. You could even suggest specific things like songs or hymns, or what you’d like guests to wear, whether traditional black attire or bright and colourful clothing.

There are things you can do now to relieve the funeral stress from your loved ones. Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It could simply be a note to your family detailing what you’d like, which you keep in a safe place along with your funeral policy details. But before you put your wishes down on paper, it may be helpful to consider all the aspects of planning a funeral so that you don’t miss any important details.

A 5-point funeral planning checklist
Although the type of funeral being planned may depend on your religion, beliefs or budget, this checklist is a great place to start. You could include these instructions in your own plan or use them when planning a loved one’s funeral.

Step 1: Notify the funeral policy provider
If the deceased had a funeral policy, submit a claim to the provider as soon as possible. Once all documents are received, the claim will be processed and when the money is paid out, the arrangements can be made.

Step 2: Calculate the budget
Because a funeral can cost anything from R3 000 to R80 000, working with a budget will help make decisions easier as you’ll know what you have to spend.

Step 3: Contact a funeral home
A funeral home can help with a lot of the planning, such as:

  • Arranging necessary paperwork
  • Collecting, storing and preparing the body
  • Choosing a coffin, casket or urn
  • Arranging a hearse
  • Organising family transportation
  • Making arrangements with religious ministers, chaplains, cemetery managers and cremation officials
  • Planning the Order of Service or programme

Make sure the funeral home you choose is reputable.

The next decision involves burial options. Did your loved one indicate whether they wanted to be buried or cremated? It’s always best to honour their last wishes. If they didn’t, this will be a personal decision based on cultural beliefs, religion or even finances. Remember that the costs will vary depending on whether you choose a burial or cremation

Step 4: Arrange an Order of Service
Although the Order of Service or funeral programme is personalised and depends on the type of funeral ceremony that’s chosen, it usually details what will happen at the event. It’s also often printed for guests to keep as a memory of the day and can include:

  • The words for songs or hymns guests will sing
  • Prayers or blessings
  • Readings
  • A eulogy

Step 5: The guest list and invitations
Next you need to decide who to invite. Questions to consider include:

  • Did the deceased person want an intimate service or large celebration?
  • How many guests can your venue accommodate?
  • Will you livestream the service?

Don’t forget to consider extended family, work friends, members of their church or religious group, school and varsity friends.

Try to give people as much notice as possible to attend and include as many details as you can, such as:

  • Venue, date and time (of both the service and gathering afterwards)
  • Dress code
  • Whether or not children are invited
  • Your contact details

Move to Capitec and get cover from as little as R25

Give your family peace of mind with a Capitec funeral plan that covers up to 21 dependants on one policy, for costs up to R100 000. You can apply via the banking app for lower premiums, or at your nearest branch.

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