Planning a funeral
Thoughts about one’s own death often include concern about how those left behind are able to cope with the inevitable questions caused by the death of a loved one. One would not want to unnecessarily burden their closest ones with practical or financial problems. Many people – especially ones with no next of kin – are worried that after their death, there will be no one around to take care of funeral arrangements.
Funeral homes that are members of the Finnish Association of Funeral Services offer their customers two different ways of giving their closest ones instructions regarding their own funeral.
The ’My Funeral Arrangements’ booklet
A person planning their funeral can fill their wishes into the My Funeral Arrangements booklet to the extent that they wish. This booklet can be given to the person they wish to take care of the funeral arrangements. At the very least, it is a good idea to tell them where the booklet is kept. You can also give a copy of the booklet to the funeral home.
You can get the Funeral Arrangements booklet from funeral homes that are members of the Finnish Association of Funeral Services. The booklet is also available in Swedish. A list of funeral homes that are our members.
A funeral testament is a system developed by the Finnish Association of Funeral Services that allows the author of the testament to make decisions about their own funeral. The funeral testament is signed and witnessed the same way as a regular last will of testament. Two identical copies will be made, one for the author of the testament and one for the funeral home.
A funeral testament always includes a funeral plan, where the author of the testament can specify the services and products they want. They can make a decision about just one single thing or make a detailed plan about the arrangements for their own funeral.
The funeral testament may specify that funds for the funeral will be taken from the assets left to the author of the testament, or that the funds will be stored on a bank account opened by the author specifically for this purpose. The author will sign a Funeral Pre-Order Agreement with the funeral home organizing the funeral. Funds on the account will be controlled by the author of the testament. After their death, the funeral home with which an agreement was made about organizing the funeral has a right to withdraw funds for organizing the funeral according to the funeral plan.
The funeral testament is always made at a funeral home that is a member of the Finnish Association of Funeral Services. The funeral plan appended to the testament requires negotiation, presenting different alternatives and making choices.
It is very important that the author of a funeral testament informs their relatives or friends about the existence of the testament. The author’s copy of the testament should be kept someplace where relatives or friends will find it easily. A funeral testament should never be kept in a bank safety deposit box, because it will often not be opened until after the funeral, before estate inventory.