Preparing my Funeral

Key Concept

It is very difficult to deal with the death of someone you love and at the same time keep steady enough to make all the preparations for a funeral.


This module provides some guidelines on what you want your funeral to be like and helps you plan it for yourself.

Preparing my funeral

Don't leave your family in chaos; when you die they will go into shock and grief – not the right frame of mind for dealing with your funeral. Give them the directives they need to honour your wishes properly, including method of burial / cremation / or whatever other form you want your funeral to take (if at all), the type of service desired (private or public).

You can make specific location arrangements well ahead of time by contacting a local funeral home or mortuary. You can even leave instructions regarding the music that should be played, what to do with flowers, who should speak and who the pallbearers should be. Simply write it all down and leave it, along with other documentation, where someone will be able to find it.

Use this My Funeral Service document as a guide to help you plan the service you want.

What do you want to say at your funeral (probably have to get someone else to read it out on your behalf – although, who knows)?

The funeral will cost anywhere from R20 000 ($2 000;  €2 000) That money needs to be in an easy to access account that isn’t going to be frozen the instant you stop breathing.

What to do When Someone Dies

The items listed below give a general guideline of things that need to be taken care of when someone dies.  The information below does not cover every eventuality - only the most basic straightforward cases.  If your circumstances are complex or unusual or if you are in any doubt as to what action to take, you are advised to consult an attorney.

  1. Transporting the body to a mortuary and obtaining a death notice
  2. Information for organ donors
  3. Planning a funeral
  4. Paying for a funeral
  5. Obituaries, Death notices and Eulogies
  6. Obtaining a Death Certificate
  7. Establish who the executor is
  8. Basic guide to administering an estate (duties of an executor)
  9. What the executor must do once appointed by the Master of the High Court
  10. Estates FAQ
  11. If the deceased has no will / Intestate
  12. Firearms in an estate
  13. Firearm licence application procedure

For your convenience we have added a few links to the Master of the High Court website.

    1. The Master of the High Court's contact details country-wide.
    2. The Master of the High Court's website provides you with all the forms you may need in winding up an estate in a convenient printable version.
    3. How to report an Estate to the Master. This page provides instructions as to what forms you will need to fill in when you approach the Master, depending on the value of the estate in question.

The guidelines in this module were taken from Funeral Guide

To make any further notes about your Funeral – go to Preparing for my Death and complete the section on your Funeral.

Discussion Assignment - Preparing my Funeral

There is always something that is harder / more complicated to do than your realised. In completing the My Funeral Service document, what was that something for you and how did you deal with it?

My “something” was ..... and,  I dealt with it by ....

Discussion Forum

Next module : Doing the Paperwork

There is a mass of detail that must be taken care of – your Will(s), your accounts, your estate – far better that you sort it out now than leave a mess after you die.

Next Module