Planning your funeral

by | February 20, 2014

This can be a hard thing to do but knowing what you want can reduce any additional headache for your family and friends.

BY: Gracie Han

Though death is often a taboo subject, it is often not seen as part of active ageing, when it should be. Planning your own funeral can take the pressure off your family and friends by making them less likely to face a nasty bill or difficult decisions when the time comes.

So here are some things you might want to make sure are included in your planning:


1. When should you start planning your funeral?

Planning for a funeral at a young age was more common in the past. However, in today’s society, it is different due to our mobile and ever changing society. It is highly recommended that planning should take place in your 40s or 50s. At this age, one is more likely to be financially stable and settled. 


2. Which funeral services?

Funeral arrangements are a deeply personal choice. One should choose a reputable service parlour, which will carry out the services that best represents your lifestyle as well as taste. You can always consider visiting a few funeral parlours; they have representatives who will explain clearly their services and facilities. 


3. Burial or cremation?

In Singapore, the Choa Chu Kang cemetery complex is the only cemetery still open for burial. However, with effect from November 1, 1998, the burial period for all graves will be limited to 15 years. At the end of the 15 years, the graves will be exhumed. For those whose religion permits cremation, the exhumed remains will be cremated and stored in columbarium niches. As for others, they will be exhumed and plotted to another area.


4. How much should you set aside for your funeral?

Funeral costs are increasing yearly. However, in Singapore, funeral costs are still kept affordable, prices start from S$3,888 and can go up to S$68,888. There are very comprehensive packages available in the market, which one can consider which includes quality caskets, food catering services, obituary placements, etc. By purchasing such packages, it will help to relieve yourself of unnecessary future worry and your family members of unexpected expenses.


5. Who to attend your funeral?

Besides having an obituary to inform friends and relatives, you may also like to have a list of people whom you would want to be at the service. This list could be passed to your loved ones who would be responsible for the invitations. If you have any other special wishes/requests about your funeral, make sure you let your family know in advance. This can include anything from the picture at your funeral, etc.


** Gracie Han is the service director at New Vision Alliance, a distributor of Nirvana Memorial Garden, a Buddhist columbarium.

(** PHOTO: life and death 1, hoye, stock.xchng)



  1. Avatar

    It is a good idea to plan for one’s death memorial & how one should be sent off & to be remembered by the loved ones. However, should not one also plan for one’s eternity after death? It may be futuristic, extraterrestrial & unlikely concepts to comprehend, but it definitely affects every human being, young & old on this earth, including the ones in Singapore. Everyone has to enter eternity after death, whether one likes it or not. However, what credentials does one need?

    Birth & death is part & parcel of human life on earth, just like spring & winter or planting & harvesting cycle. Life goes on & is replaced by someone else. So, if one has done his/her best in life & has prepared well for his/her eternity, he/she will have no angst at all to talk about death.

    However, life on this earth is just a fraction of eternity. Is each one of us prepared for eternity or does death end all & everything in this earth & there is nothing else after death. Is it really so? If it is really so, then be it.

    However, common sense, logic, conscience & the awe of the universe suggest otherwise. If this is so, should we not prepare for eternity? On earth, we are very meticulous in acquiring a career, car, house, marriage, etc, so that we have a satisfied earthly life. Then what about one’s eternity? Should not one be as meticulous in preparing for one’s eternity, which has no end? Should not one have eternity with bliss with the Creator, rather than His enemy, who comes in many disguises as angel of light? Should not one investigate how this can be done in this life, while we have all the time to do so?

    Ancient scriptures point to a Creator & this Creator is the God of Abraham, who has been highly regarded by the Jews, Christians & Muslims alike. Can this long history people be wrong? This Creator also caused only one sinless person in the whole universe history to be born of a virgin birth, to live & sacrifice his life for the sins of the human race & after 3 days, to be raised from death to be with Him to intercede for us, upon one’s acknowledgment & acceptance. So, should not one get reconciled with Him before it is too late? It is really one’s choice/decision for the type of life one wants for eternity. If there is no eternity, one has nothing to lose, as everything ends here. But, what if eternity exists, then where will one be found?

    When we came into this world, we had no choice for obvious reason, but now that we are matured & before death, we have a choice to enter the kind of eternity: bliss or torment; heaven or hell in all eternity. Can we afford to squander away this choice/decision eternally with no second chance? Do we want to regret at all for all eternity?

  2. Avatar

    Thank you for this useful information.


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