Preparing for your own death

It's never nice thinking about your own death. But unfortunately, for all of us, it is a fact of life and something we have to navigate. When we come to the end of our lives, there are things we need to prepare so our legacy can live on.

How to prepare for your own death

You can never really properly prepare for your own death. No one knows the emotions, feelings and thoughts that will come up when we're in that position.

But there are things we can do to help ourselves when we're in that position, and our family and our legacy.

In this article we'll look at some of the ways you can emotionally prepare, as well as funeral arrangements, will writing and more.

The emotions of facing your own death

Facing your own death is an incredibly difficult experience to wrestle with. It's easy to say we need to reach acceptance, but it's much easier said than done.

We will go through a number of different emotions as we get near to the end. Sorrow, anxiety, fear, not least powerlessness, and each feeling and emotion is completely natural.

But what is in our power is to say the things that were previously left unsaid and repair relationships that have gone through some type of turbulence. Now, more than anytime ever, is the time to tie up the loose ends.

Repairing relationships with loved ones

Couple hand in hand

Guilt is one of the most prevalent emotions many of us feel when faced with grief - be it facing our own mortality or having lost a loved one. We may feel guilty about something we said or a relationship that broke down. But whilst we are here, there is always the chance to repair a relationship and in our last few months it's important not for only ourselves, but also the people that we leave behind, that we mend what has been broken.

Making the most of the time that's left

Grandparents spending time with family

Not every moment has to be a moment of sorrow. If we feel up to it, we can also do the things we've always wanted to do or the things that make us happy. Maybe it's to ride along the Orient Express, maybe it's to spend time with our nearest and dearest. We may want to tell family stories we've never told before. Now is the time to give our family a legacy to remember us by and provide them with moments that'll never leave their heart.

Facing death and getting help

Holding hands

The grief of facing our own death will take a toll on both the body and the mind. We may feel depressed, angry or guilty. We may not be able to eat or sleep. But it's important to remember that everything we experience is a natural part of grief and there are people out there who can help. That may be a family member or friend, or it could be someone professional. Below are a few numbers that may be of assistance.

Getting support and getting care

If you're struggling or would just like someone to talk to, below are a few helplines that do great work and provide a shoulder to lean on for anyone who needs support:

Samaritans (Call: 116 123) - Free 24/7 support for anyone needing any kind of emotional support

Cruse (Call: 0808 808 1677) - Free helpline supporting those suffering with grief

Veterans UK (Call: 0808 191 4218) - Government-ran support organisation providing free support for veterans and their families

Age UK (Call: 0800 678 1602) - The UK's leading charity helping millions of older people with support, companionship and advice

The Silver Line (Call: 0800 470 8090) - Free 24/7 helpline for older people struggling with loneliness, sadness or lowness

If you're looking for palliative care, a hospice or further information about end of life support, here are a few places that can help:

Hospice UK - Hospice care finder showing you the nearest hospices to you

NHS palliative care services - Palliative care finder showing you the near palliative care services to you

NHS pain management services - Find pain management services near you

Marie Curie - Leading end of life charity providing support line, hospice care, frontline nursing and information on dying and bereavement

Funeral arrangements

Many of us have an idea of what we want our funeral to look like when we die. But there are a number of different aspects we need to consider.

For example, how much will the funeral cost? Do I want a burial or a cremation funeral? Do I want a simple funeral? Do I even want a funeral?

To answer some of those questions for you, below are a few helpful resources.

Cremation or burial: which is best?

2000 x 800 woman arranging a cremation at home on computer

The choice between a cremation or burial can be a complex one with many factors to consider including the cost, environmental impact and religious beliefs.

Cremation or burial?

Popular alternatives to a traditional funeral

Alternative funeral

Alternatives to a traditional funeral have become more popular in recent years. In this article we outline the options and look at why people are opting for something different.

Alternatives to a traditional funeral

Planning a funeral ahead of time

Sue Cook Bench

Funeral plans let you get organised and arrange a funeral in advance allowing you to decide exactly what type of funeral you want and pay for it ahead of time too.

Planning a funeral ahead of time

What is a funeral plan and how do they work?

couple thinking of a direct cremation

Discover what funeral plans are, how funeral plans work, and the features and benefits they offer to decide whether a funeral plan is something you would like to consider.

What is a funeral plan?

How to choose a funeral plan

compare funeral plans

Here we help you choose a funeral plan, find out what different funeral plans offer you, how different providers compare and what questions you can ask to define your wishes.

How to choose a funeral plan

Funeral plans that guarantee you more

Sue Cook Standing

A Distinct Cremations funeral plan gives you peace of mind knowing that funeral costs are covered. Acceptance is guaranteed with no medical questions. Find out more below.

Our funeral plans

Have a question?

Whether you're wanting to arrange a funeral today, plan for the future, or looking for something else, our customer service specialists are here for you 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.

Ask a question today or call us on 01543 211997.
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Estate planning and other important considerations

We all want to leave some kind of legacy when we go. Be that giving our loved ones some great memories to remember us by or passing on what we own to the next generation.

There are a number of things to pass on, and there are a number of things we need to consider when we die, including our will, digital assets and accounts, pets and important paperwork that may be stored in our house.

Here's a quick rundown of all the things you may need to consider.

Writing your last will

Writing a last will, also known as a last will and testament, is an important legal document that allows you to specify how your assets and estate should be distributed after your death. It gives you peace of mind, control of your legacy and helps to avoid family disputes.

Digital assets and accounts

Your digital assets and passing on access to any digital accounts is an important consideration so that your family don't lose out on any financial investments such as access to online bank accounts, and so your family has access to any digital memories like photos stored online or on a social media account.

Guardianship of pets

The well-being of your pets after you die is an important aspect of estate planning. You will need to designate a caregiver and maybe even provide some kind of financial provision and care instructions so your pet can remain in capable and comfortable hands.

Letters of instruction

Creating a letter of instruction to provide guidance on specific matters not covered in your legal documents is an important thing to consider. This letter of instruction can include personal messages, wishes for the care of pets, the location of important paperwork, or directions on sentimental items.

End of life care preferences

Consider your preferences for end of life care. This includes decisions about life-sustaining treatments, resuscitation, pain management, and hospice care. You might like to inform your loved ones of your wishes or more formally you can document your choices in advance using something like a living will.

Legal and financial advisors

It's important to consult with legal and financial professionals such as a lawyer and a financial advisor regarding all your estate planning so you can ensure your plans are legally sound and aligned with your goals and what you want your legacy to look like.

Other helpful resources

Below are a few more resources that may help when it comes to planning for your own death.

The costs associated with a funeral

Cremation costs

If you’re looking at arranging your own funeral, you’ll need to know exactly how much a funeral costs so that you can make the appropriate arrangements. These can differ depending on a number of factors.

Funeral costs

Planning a memorial service

Group toasting a friend's memory

Planning a memorial service isn't always straightforward. In our guide, we'll provide you with practical information on how to organise a memorial service whether you're pre-planning for yourself or for a loved one close to your heart.

Planning a memorial service

What to do when someone dies

What to do if someone dies in England_ wild flowers

The death of a loved one can be difficult and overwhelming. Understanding what your family need to do when you die, and when to do it, can help ease the stress and confusion they may experience.

What to do when someone dies

We offer the highest level of support, but don't take our word for it

Below are a selection of reviews from those who have arranged a funeral or purchased a funeral plan through Distinct Cremations.

"Smooth and straightforward purchase with plenty of contact and feedback."

“Easy to use and very helpful. Very easy to use their services and always called with updates. Sorry to say I've had to use their services twice now and I've already booked my own service. On both times I've used this service I've been kept informed by calls to everything going on. All my requests were made to feel like no trouble whatsoever, happy to help attitude made what was a very emotional time pass with no problems. Ty to all the teams involved"

"Quick and easy to arrange. Very good value. The information pack arrived days after I made my enquiry. It was so easy to arrange the plan that I wanted. The follow up call was very reassuring. I am very happy with the service provided."

"Already recommended to other family members. Easy to access and apply for a plan at a good price, and even better, in 20 years time there will be no additional cost. It's not a subject that anyone wants to think about but now I have it sorted it has given me peace of mind knowing my family won't have the worry or cost when that time comes, now I can forget it and enjoy many more years, highly recommended. Hassle free application that was completed in minutes but I'm not planning on using this plan anytime soon!!"

"I was very pleased with the prompt efficient service that I got, everything was explained to me, and the paperwork was easy to understand, and there was no pressure put on me for a decision. I would most certainly recommended this company for price and efficiency."

“Happy with everything. We were well pleased with the consultant Sarah Mills she was very helpful and made us feel very confident that we were doing the right thing about our funeral plan."

"Positive without being pushy. Easy to understand the scheme, helpful brochure and a realistic price. The staff I contacted were polite and professional. Great value. An ideal alternative for those of us who don't want a lot of fuss."

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