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A loved one may be passing away soon

When there's a chance that a loved one may pass, we know how hard it can be. You may not know what to do, which is why we’ve created a guide with things that you can consider and find out from your loved one.

Coming to terms with the news

Everyone deals with and processes death differently, there’s no right or wrong way to come to terms with the news. Making sense and talking about death is tough but there are several organisations that can help you deal with it during this difficult time.

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Creating memories

When a loved one is about to pass, you may want to consider doing something to celebrate their life.

This could take the form of short breaks or outings to their favourite places for instance.

If you’re unsure of what they would like, you may want to ask them, they may have already created a list of final wishes or things they’d like to do before they pass.

Create memories | Dignity
Talk to family funeral wishes | Dignity

How they’d like to be remembered

You may also consider the ways in which your loved one would like to be remembered after they're gone.

This can include birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s or Father’s Day, the anniversary of their passing and where to scatter their ashes, if they’re cremated.

Find out if your loved one has a will

You may need to ask your loved one whether they have a will, this will help determine what happens with their possessions, money and property after they pass; this is called the ‘estate’.

  • If your loved one has a will, you should ask whom the executor is and where it is being kept for when the time comes. You may want to also ask if they’re happy with the current terms.

  • If your loved one doesn’t have a will, you may ask if they’d like to make one. This will make it easier when the time comes to fulfil all their wishes. If they don’t have a will and they pass, their ‘estate’ will be shared as defined by the law.
Legal services | Dignity

What are their wishes for the funeral service?

Not everyone may express their wishes for their funeral in advance, so this allows you to find out exactly what they want. This can include anything from whether they’d prefer a cremation or burial, to favourite places to drive past on the procession or type of funeral service.

Some other things to think or talk about could include:

  • Music to be played during the service
  • Cars i.e. limousines to transport family members
  • Flowers or donations
  • Charity, if donations are preferred
  • Clothes for the person to be dressed in
  • Jewellery and whether this will remain on or be returned to the family after the funeral
  • Catering – Somewhere for the mourners to go after the service
  • Family pall bearers

You should sit down with your loved one and ensure you write down everything they want; this may make planning the funeral a little easier when the time comes.

It is important to know that you don’t need to have decided on any of the points mentioned above and they are only listed if you feel ready to start thinking or talking about the funeral. Our highly trained funeral personnel are here to advise and support you through all the necessary decisions and most of the families we meet have not previously decided on any aspects of the funeral.

We will ensure that any decisions you make that have a financial implication, you will be made fully aware of before committing to it. An estimate of costs is provided to you upon making the funeral arrangements and you are at liberty to change those instructions should you reconsider your preferences.

Dignity Funeral costs

Funeral costs

With the cost of funerals rising annually, you should consider the costs of the funeral you choose.

In 2019, the average cost of burial was about £5,033 compared to £3,885 for the cost of a cremation*.

This will be different depending on where you live, your funeral director’s fees and third party costs.

Find out more about funeral costs in the UK

*Source: SunLife (2021), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2021

Find out if they have a prepaid funeral plan

You should ask if they have a prepaid funeral plan, this means they would have paid for or are still paying for their funeral in advance.

Purchasing a funeral plan will give you peace of mind, that their funeral will be paid for in advanced and relieve some of the emotional burdens throughout a difficult time.

Depending on the time your loved one has left, they still might be able to purchase a funeral plan with Dignity.

Find out more about our range of Prepaid Funeral Plans

Dignity Funeral Plans 1
Telling friends and family about a death | Dignity

Telling friends and family

When you hear the news that someone you love is going to pass away, it can be a difficult time. You may be tasked with telling other friends and family members, which can cause extra stress and worry.

There’s no right time to give the news, so you should do it as soon as you feel comfortable and ready.

Telling others may help release the burden and help you cope, share your feelings and allow others to help you deal with grief. Who you should tell will depend on the wishes of your loved one.

Some guidance on talking to friends and family

Other useful guides

We have created several useful guides to help - from information about what to do when someone dies to planning a funeral, to the key things to think about after the funeral.

Find a Funeral Director

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