My Funeral Wishes — Your questions answered

Poppy's team discussing funeral wishes at Poppy's offices over a cup of tea

Five minute read

Many people have strong ideas about what they want, or don’t want, at their funeral. For others, it’s a case of ‘do what you like, I won’t be there’. At Poppy’s, we’ve found that people often want the chance to think and talk about their funeral wishes, but don’t know where to start.

We’ve always been open to listening to people’s ideas and questions about their own funeral, but now we are able to offer funeral wishes consultations more widely.

This blog explains what to expect from a funeral wishes consultation and answers some common questions.

Contact us to book a funeral wishes consultation. Call 020 3589 4726 or email

What is a funeral wishes consultation?

A funeral wishes consultation is an opportunity to talk through what you want to happen after you’ve died with one of the Poppy’s team.

The conversation can cover everything, including whether you’d like to be buried or cremated; the type of coffin you would choose; or whether you want a religious or secular send-off. The things you really want — and the things you really don’t. Whatever matters to you.

How is this different from a funeral plan?

This is not the same a prepaid funeral plan, which is a way of paying for a funeral in advance. Funeral plans are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Contact us if you want to find out more about taking out a prepaid funeral plan.

A funeral wishes consultation could include discussing how much different options might cost but doesn’t involve any payment. You can also get an idea of how much your choices might cost, by checking out our online estimator.

Why talk about your funeral wishes?

According to 2021 research from Hospice UK, only one in three of us have talked to the people close to us about whether we’d want to be buried or cremated. Even fewer have discussed other funeral elements, like our music choices or who we’d want to speak at the ceremony.

This could be because we don’t want to upset family or friends; because of a fear that talking about death makes it happen; or because these questions don’t seem relevant to us right now. We also might not know what our options are or where to go to find out more.

Poppy’s is offering a free consultation to anyone who wants to talk about their funeral wishes, not as an alternative to talking to those closest to you, but as a way of making those conversations easier to initiate and better-informed. Contact us to book a consultation.

What sort of people want to talk about their funeral wishes?

“We have people come to us who want to start thinking in a general way about what will happen ‘when my time comes…’ and others who are in end-of-life care and want to make as many decisions as possible now to make arrangements easier for their families,” says Angie, one of Poppy’s Client Support Advisors.

“Some people come with a detailed idea of what they want already, and we help with practical information and advice. Some will come along with a friend or family member, others by themselves. Each consultation is different.”

“If someone chooses a funeral with Poppy’s, meeting us can give them confidence in the care that we provide to everyone we look after, and we can reassure them about anything that concerns them.”

Why come to Poppy’s for a funeral wishes consultation?

1. We know our stuff.

We plan funerals every day and every one of them is special and unique. Our experience means that we know what’s possible, what the options are, and we can point out or suggest things you might not have thought of.

2. We’re not going to judge.

It’s also sometimes easier to talk to someone friendly and professional who isn’t a friend or family member. Even if a question feels awkward, embarrassing or inappropriate to you, it won’t seem that way to us.

You don’t have to switch off your emotions when you’re with us — we know it can be hard or scary to talk about death and dying. But we find that talking about your funeral wishes can be empowering, comforting, and once you get started, it’s far easier than you thought it might be!

3. We’re here to listen, not to tell you what to do.

This is about what you want. We’re not here to sell you a particular product. Instead, we’ll give you pointers to think about and answer any questions you have.

4. We’re flexible.

You can come and see us in person (we’ll get the kettle on), talk to us over the phone or via an online meeting at a time that works for you. Some people choose to come by themselves, others with a friend or family member.

What happens after a funeral wishes consultation?

After the consultation, we’ll send you a digital summary of your funeral wishes to keep. This is not an estimate and won’t include the costs of your choices. We won’t store your wishes at Poppy’s, so we suggest you keep this summary somewhere safe.

Some people consider including funeral wishes in their wills, but the will may not be read in time to include these wishes in the funeral arrangements. It’s also helpful to tell someone in advance if you want to donate organs, tissue or your whole body after death. Find out more about organ donation here.

Sharing your funeral wishes summary with the people who are likely to be organising your funeral is a good prompt for a conversation with them where you can be clear about what’s important to you. If this doesn’t feel right, you can simply let them know where your wishes are stored in the event of your death.

Your wishes can’t be legally enforced — but talking them through with family or friends will help make sure that they understand what they are and why they matter to you. And, of course, writing down your wishes doesn’t mean you can’t change them at any time too.

Most people won’t want to pin down every detail, instead they will focus on what’s most important to them. This provides a map for the people arranging the funeral to follow.

Talking about death is natural

At Poppy’s we believe that talking about death should be normal and natural. Every one of us will need someone to arrange a funeral for us after we die.

Thinking through what you want, and recording those thoughts, is one way to take the pressure off those closest to you. Then they can feel confident that they are doing the right thing.

Just as importantly, all of these individual conversations are powerful because they feed into a bigger conversation. One by one, they can help change our society’s attitude to death, transforming it from a topic to be feared and avoided to one to be faced with kindness, honesty and compassion.

Contact us to book a funeral wishes consultation. Call 020 3589 4726 or email

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