Planning your own funeral

Last updated: 8 August 2017

Planning ahead for your funeral makes your wishes clear about the kind of funeral you want and how it should be paid for. This can be a great help to your loved ones in the future.

Your funeral wishes

You can record your wishes for your funeral using the Planning Your Own Funeral form on the gov.scot website or by including the information in your will.

What to include

You can use your funeral planning information to let people know things like whether you want:

  • to be buried or cremated
  • a religious or non-religious service
  • any particular readings or music
  • flowers or donations to a charity instead
  • a green/natural burial – an environmentally friendly option
  • to donate your body to medical science – organise this with your local university in advance
  • a direct cremation – this is when the body is cremated right away without a funeral service (some people choose an alternative ceremony at a later date)

Paying for your funeral

Funerals can be expensive so it's important to let people know if you have money set aside to pay for your funeral. You may have done this using:

  • a funeral plan – lets you organise and pay for your funeral at today's costs
  • a life insurance policy – also known as 'over-50s plans', these pay out a lump sum when you die (unlike pre-paid plans, your family still needs to arrange your funeral)
  • savings – you could set up an account with a family member to make sure they can access the money when you die

New funeral planning products are becoming available all the time, so it's important you check your plan regularly to make sure it still meets your needs.

Get help

You can get help and advice on how to plan and pay for your funeral from the following organisations: