Planning your legacy: what to include in your funeral plans

Would your friends and family know where your marriage certificate is kept, or the name of the songs you would like played at your funeral service? For most of us, this is information we wouldn’t think to share.

We know it can be difficult to think about the things to include in your funeral plans - but documenting your wishes and planning ahead is important for your loved ones, especially if they wouldn’t know where to look for certain information.

This is where The Farewell Guide can help. With us, you can create a bespoke funeral plan to store your wishes, important documents, contacts, memories and notes safely in one place - and share them easily with your loved ones.

What to include in your funeral plans
In our Funeral Planner you will find the Legacy vault, this is where you can document your funeral wishes - so that on the day, your loved ones can get the details exactly right and celebrate your life in the way that you choose.

Here, you can enter basic details such as your name and address, and nominate somebody to manage, edit or know your wishes - this could be your partner, sibling, or another loved one. As well as sharing and editing your own plan, you can also make a plan on behalf of your loved one.

Our Funeral Planner will allow you to document all of your wishes by asking you specific questions, saving you time and worry over remembering every detail.

Here are some of the details included in your funeral plan:
  • Do you have any religious beliefs? This will allow us to assess your religious requirements.
  • Would you like to donate your organs? This perhaps you may not have thought about, but it can be a generous way to help others.
  • Would you like a burial or cremation? You can select between the two types of funeral, and specify the details and location - for example, digging a grave at Oak Park Cemetery, or cremation and scattering ashes in the River Thames. Whether you choose a burial or cremation will also make a big difference to the funeral price by thousands.  
  • Where would you like the funeral service to take place? You can specify the location and address of your funeral service: perhaps your church or mosque.
  • Would you like to allow visitations after your death? You can select from a chapel of rest, open casket, or ghusl. Bear in mind that many open caskets and visitations before burial will require your body to be prepared and stored. You will need what’s known as a hydrafacial or body preparation, which can increase the cost of a funeral.
  • What would you like to be dressed in, if no shrouding is added? This is a good place to specify if you would like to be dressed in a specific item of clothing - for example, a favourite dress or suit, or any jewellery (such as a wedding ring) you would like to wear.
  • Who would you like to officiate your service? This could be your local priest, imam or rabbi it can all be noted and prepared.
  • What transportation would you like? Enter any specific transport requests here - for example, a hearse, a horse and cart - or perhaps none at all. It’s worth keeping in mind that transport costs can be very expensive (around £250 per car, and sometimes for very short journeys). Again, this is all up to your and bespoke to your funeral plan.
  • Who would you like as pallbearers? You can specify the names and contact details of your sons and daughters, your rugby team, or your close friends – but you can only select up to eight people.
  • Would you like readings, eulogy, scripture or poems at your funeral? You can enter specific reading requests, poems, hymns or music, include links to the songs you select, and detail who you would like to read on the day.
  • Would you like to have flowers and/or charity donations? You can link to the charity you would like to donate to (if applicable), and specify the flowers you would like.
  • Would you like a memorial brochure or a simple email circulated? Your family can prepare a memorial brochure beforehand via a printing company, or opt for the more costly funeral home brochure.
  • Would you like a wake or a get-together after the ceremony for your friends and your family to celebrate your life? This could be a civic hall, a park you loved (for example, the park you got engaged in), or another outdoor space special to you. Generally, outdoor spaces are less costly than hiring a hall, so this is something to keep in mind for your budget.
  • Would you like to post an obituary or notice of death in the local newspaper? You can specify the publication and website, so your relatives and friends can say a special goodbye in your favourite newspaper.
  • Would you like a gravestone, memorial plaque or remembrance? For example, you might like a bench in your favourite park with a beautiful view.
  • What is your budget for the above? You can also specify in which bank your savings account is held. We can then help you plan ahead for your funeral costs in an affordable and manageable way.
What to include in your The Farewell Guide Vault
Within the free funeral planner, we have the Legacy Vault – which contains the Memory Vault, Document Vault and Contacts Vault to store your memories and important information for your family and friends.

Memory Vault
This is where you can store your treasured memories with your loved ones: photographs of special family moments and parties, and written notes for your loved ones to cherish for generations to come.

Here are some ideas to include in your funeral plan’s Memory vault:
  • Photos with love ones
  • Photos of you
  • Notes to loved ones
  • Images of keep sakes to pass to friends and family
  • Achievements
Document Vault
This is where you’ll be able to store all of the important documents that your loved ones will need. For example: if you have a pet, you might want to make a note of who you would like to take care of them – or you might want to upload important documents about your mortgage or belongings, so that everything is in one place for your loved ones to find easily.

Remember, too, that your loved ones will need some of these documents to receive a certificate for burial or cremation (known as the Green Form) and a certificate of registration of death. They will need at least two of the following documents: your NHS medical card, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), driving license, and proof of address. Sadly, they will not be able to release the body from the mortuary until this formality is completed, so it’s important to upload these documents here - or add important notes on where they are kept.

Here are some things that are important to include in your funeral plan’s document vault:
  • Your will
  • Passport: along with one of the other forms of identification below, this will be needed for your ‘Green Form’ to release you from your place of rest and to allow you to be collected by a funeral director.
  • Your marriage certificate
  • Your birth certificate
  • NHS medical card
  • Proof of address
  • Driving license
  • Probate authority
  • Mortgage or property rental documents: where it is held, premium bond serial numbers, proof of ownership or rental.
  • Log book for your car or motorcycle
  • Deeds of properties
  • Premium bond certificates
  • Saving certificates or ISAs  
  • Belongings: if you have any special requests for belongings to be given to members of your family, you can specify your keepsakes (for example, your first edition Enid Blyton book or a Fleetwood Mac ticket stub from the 70s). Whatever you want to share with your loved ones, you can add it here.
  • Pets: if you would like somebody to look after your pet, you can document that here.

Contacts Vault
In the People to Contact vault, you can add your next of kin, family members, friends, and other important contact details. Here, you can store their telephone numbers and email addresses, and specify their relation to you - so that your loved ones know who to contact.

Here are some people to include in your funeral plan’s important contact vault:
  • Next of kin
  • Other family members - siblings, children, and so on
  • Doctor
  • Mortgage provider
  • Utility providers and account numbers
  • Bank or bank manager along with account numbers
  • Insurance policies
  • Landlord of your rental property, if applicable
  • Vet for your pet
  • Distant relatives or friends you would like to celebrate your life
  • Executor(s) of your will
The Farewell Guide are here to support you through every step of funeral planning – helping you to create a bespoke plan that works for you and your loved ones, whether you want a traditional service, or something more unique.