Unless you become aware of the many choices available when pre-planning your funeral, you will likely end up with a conveyor-belt funeral, with a huge price tag.

It is possible for families to arrange a funeral, with or without the support of a funeral director. At Last Wishes it is our aim to empower people, but first it is important to have open conversations and to acknowledge the fact that sooner or later we will all ‘pop our clogs.’

There are few rules:

By law a body must be disposed of in an appropriate manner to avoid it becoming a public nuisance, and the necessary paper work completed; otherwise your choices are endless.

A funeral director is there to carry out your wishes, not to do what they think you should have.


Think and plan ahead:

  • Don’t be afraid to shop around to locate a funeral director that is willing to be flexible, transparent and that you feel in tune with. This is especially important if your family wish to take an active part in the proceedings. Ideally finding the right FD is best done while you are still able to make this choice.
  • Should you family be willing to carry out a (DIY) family led funeral (detailed guidelines are available from: www.naturaldeathcentre.org)
  • Book an early or late slot at the crematorium, which is sometimes less expensive
  • Direct cremation takes place at the convenience of the crematorium and funeral director. It is unattended, with a basic coffin and no service/ceremony
  • Body donation to medical science could be an option
  • Order and decorate a cardboard coffin (ideal family involvement).
  • Friends and family can act as pall bearers
  • Create your own service sheets
  • Gather garden or locally grown flowers, request that everyone brings a single bloom or just family flowers with donations going to a favourite charity
  • Use a private vehicle providing it is large enough to accommodate a coffin
  • Consider a shared meal, where everyone contributes a dish
  • Accept offers of help, people derive pleasure from being of assistance at such a time.

It is possible to be buried in your garden, on agricultural or private land with the owner’s permission; rules apply: www.naturaldeathcentre.org

If the company you have chosen is not willing to carry out your wishes it may be wise to use another funeral director – hence the wisdom of pre-arranging your funeral!

Our next Last Wishes course begins soon where you can learn and plan your funeral while saving money WITHOUT sacrificing choice or ethics. Every purchase plants trees with www.ancientandsacredtrees.org a volunteer run not for profit celebrating and planting trees in the IK and the Tropics supporting communities and rewilding.