Plan your own funeral

It's sensible to make plans for your funeral now and to identify who will give instructions for your wishes, to ensure peace of mind at any age.

Although funeral wishes, even those described in a will, are not legally binding after death, formalising your wishes now will allow your friends and family to honour your requests when the time comes.

We recommend that you keep your funeral instruction document with your will, or somewhere that is known to the person arranging your funeral.

This is important as a will may not be read until after the funeral, making any instructions contained within it too late.

Cremation bonds

Lambeth Bereavement Service are proud to offer a pre-purchased bond allowing you to pay for your cremation in advance.

Essentially, a cremation bond allows an individual to pay for a cremation service at their chosen crematorium for the current price today. This will mean that once sold at the current price, there will be no inflation added and the cremation is secure.

This fee is currently set at £800 and can be purchased by an individual or in conjunction with a pre-paid funeral plan arranged with your chosen funeral director.

The benefits include the assurance that the cremation is paid in full and that you have selected the crematorium of your choice - Lambeth or West Norwood.

We hope that all of the above achieves peace of mind when considering a pre-payment plan.

Financing your plans

The average cost of a funeral is now estimated to be around £3,311 for a basic cremation and £4,257 for a burial, plus optional payments for coffin upgrades, memorials and flowers. (Source - Royal London National Funeral Cost Index Report 2017)

If you’re planning your own funeral, you may like to consult an independent financial advisor to ensure that money is available to cover the costs of your funeral.

A few payment options include:

Term life assurance policy

This will provide a lump sum payment if someone dies before a certain age (known as term assurance or endowment assurance), or on death at any age (whole life insurance).

This is tax-free and can cost from £1 per day. Payment is usually made after probate but the insurance company may pay out a limited sum on evidence of death.

Savings account

You may wish to set aside money in a savings account.

However, you should ensure that your next of kin or executor is aware of this account so that the bill may be passed to the bank to release the funds.

Pre-paid funeral plans

These plans enable someone to set aside money solely for funeral costs. Unfortunately, there is no legislation passed to safeguard the money paid out.

We recommend that you consider carefully any plan offered to you by your chosen funeral director.

You may wish to ask the following questions:

  • Do I get a funeral director of my choice?
  • What happens if I die before payments are complete?
  • Will my money be kept in a trust fund separate from the funeral director’s accounts?
  • What happens if my family is not aware of the plan and make independent funeral arrangements?
  • Are there any extra costs not covered?
  • What happens if I die abroad?

Making a will

Visit the GOV.UK website for information and guidance on making a will.

Here to help

Our offices are open from 9am to 2pm.

To discuss your requirements, please call us on 020 7926 4221 or email

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