Sunday, February 5

I want to hire the services for my own funeral, what do I have to know?


Despite the fact that in Spain death continues to be -in various senses- a taboo subject, concern for material matters related to the funeral itself occupies an important place. In fact, funeral insurance is the third most contracted in the country, only surpassed by the automobile and the housing sector.

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At the end of 2020, more than 22 million people were covered by death insurance: the 46.6% of the population. “A percentage that has shown itself to be stable and even gently increasing in recent years”, points out a report of the Spanish Union of Insurance and Reinsurance Entities (UNESPA) on the matter.

On the other hand, beyond the total number of people who hire it, six out of ten deaths are covered by insurance, according to X-ray of the funeral sector published by the National Association of Funeral Services (Panasef).

The numbers of the pandemic -a 18% increase in the number of deaths that caused during the past year, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the thousands of lives that it also took in it – make the subject take on renewed importance.

Benefits of planning your own funeral

However, in addition to funeral insurance, there is another trend that, little by little, is gaining followers in our country: that of planning and leave prepared the funeral itself. For this reason, companies have also appeared that offer the anticipated sale of funeral services.

Such companies list the benefits of anticipating in life what will happen after it, in the same way that a will is drawn up to decide to whom to bequeath the properties and the rest of the inheritance. The main benefits are as follows:

1. Free the family from decisions in difficult times

The loss of a loved one involves going through one of the hardest moments in life. And yet, in many cases, during those first hours of grief, the deceased’s family members must deal with the burial organization problems, the contracting of services, etc.

Hiring the services of the funeral itself is equivalent to save them these tasks for the bereaved, in the same way that making a will avoids at least some of the cumbersome inheritance and succession procedures.

2. Choose the funeral details

Family members are also often overwhelmed by the question of “what would I have wanted “ the deceased person for his funeral. By planning ahead, you prevent the psychological burden of uncertainty and insecurity from falling on them.

The details of the funeral involve from flowers, music, speeches and other reminders that can be part of the ceremony up to what kind of coffin to choose and the decision of what to do with the body: whether to bury it or incinerate it, in the latter case what to do with the ashes, etc.

In addition, decisions about one’s own funeral may imply that your ecological impact be as small as possible. This is proposed, for example, by the company DKV, which offers funeral insurance that includes planning a “ecofuneral“, and also a” fingerprint erasure “service (cancellation of email accounts, unsubscribe from social networks, dating apps, etc.).

3. Leave everything paid and even save money

A funeral “discreet, dignified but without great luxuries” it costs on average about 3,700 euros, according to a report of the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) published two months ago. In some cities such as Madrid, Vigo, Alicante and Pamplona, ​​the average cost can exceed 5,000 euros.

Paying funeral costs in advance has several advantages. On the one hand, it is another way to free the family from cumbersome procedures. On the other, it allows you to calmly analyze prices and possibilities and decide on the most convenient option, something that – in the bitter hours after the death of the loved one – is much more difficult to do.

And in addition, several companies specialized in the advance sale of funeral services offer plans for pay in installments, over several years. According ElectiumWith one such company, the price of a funeral arranged in advance can be up to 25% lower than that of one arranged in the traditional way.

Planning one’s own funeral, an “act of love”

Just thinking about the funeral itself gives many people “bad roll”, partly as a consequence of the taboos mentioned at the beginning of this article, since it seems that dedicating time to these ideas is like “calling” death.

However, it can also be seen as “an act of love “ for family and friends, as explained on the web Natural FuneralIt not only implies solving some problems beforehand, but also the possibility of leaving personalized farewell messages and adding other services to the usual rites.

Those other services may be those already mentioned, such as music during the funeral or decoration, but assistance may also include psychological accompaniment for family members, a list of people to whom to give the bad news, legal assistance, etc.

The procedure is simple. When one contacts the company, an advisor informs about the different possibilities for the type of ceremony, the final destination of the remains, the different services, their costs and the forms of payment. In general, what is agreed it doesn’t have to be final, but can be modified in the future.

When the insured person finally dies, one of his relatives must notify the company, and this will begin with all the procedures and corresponding actions at that time.

Still there is no legislation to ensure that the decisions of the deceased regarding their own funeral are respected. And although in some cases it could happen that the family opposes these last wishes, in general they are accepted and fulfilled.

In any case, companies in the sector as a general rule commit to the person who hires their services from fulfill those wishes at his funeral. And if the relatives refuse to accept them or want to change them in a notorious way, the company could refuse to carry out the ceremony, without thereby returning the money to the relatives.

Funeral services and other rituals related to death are essential for the mourning of loved ones, an essential process to overcome the loss and for which – although there are some general advice – there is no “normal” way of living it: everyone goes through it in their own way.

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