Coping with your Loss - Autumn/Winter 2019

COPINGWITH • YOUR LOSS • AUTUMN / WINTER 2019 OURGUIDETOMAKING THIS DIFFICULT TIME EASIER TO MANAGE FUNERAL TYPES • LEGAL MATTERS • WAKES • DEAL I NG WI TH LOSS •

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

Diamond & Son Funeral Directors We create every funeral individually, just for you.

AVRidout Funeral Service

Highcliffe 01425 689 503 414 Lymington Road, Highcliffe-on-Sea, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 5HE To arrange a funeral or find out more about our funeral plans, call us 24 hours a day. avridout.co.uk

Proudly serving your local community since 1928

We offer a friendly, professional service to families in Lymington and the surrounding areas. We have a range of funeral options available to suit all wishes and requirements.

Our services include: • 24-hour service

9 Lower Buckland Road, Hampshire SO41 9DN 01590 608 264 Lymington

• Bereavement advice • Transparent pricing • Home visits • Private chapel of rest • Floral tributes • Memorial masonry • Prepaid funeral plans

diamondandsonfunerals.co.uk

J & L Sturney Funeral Directors

Waterside Funeral Home

Proudly serving your local community since 2000

Our staff are here to support and advise you 24 hours a day Long established funeral directors, proudly serving your local community

191-195 Long Lane, Southampton, 023 8098 5204 Holbury

Hythe

023 8098 5248 13-15 The Marsh,

62 High Street, Lyndhurst , Hampshire SO43 7BJ 023 8098 6323 Call to find out more about our funeral plans

Hampshire SO45 6AJ

Hampshire SO45 2PD

Call us for advice and support 24 hours a day Prepaid funeral plans available

sturneyfunerals.co.uk

watersidefunerals.co.uk

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

CONTENTS

The complications of obtaining Probate

Free Will writing month

Registering a death

William Thompson— estate administration

page 4

page 6

page 7

page 5

Questions to ask a Funeral Director

Dixon Stewart

page 8

page 5

Redcliffe Garden Centre: The Ivy Room

Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground

Funeral Planning

page 13

page 11

page 9

Leaving a legacy

Children & bereavement page 14

The Coates Centre: Don’t be at a loss...

Coping with grief: holiday guide

Celebration of Life

page 12

page 15

page 16

page 10

For further information or to advertise, contact Carol Shears on 07734 384687 Alternatively you can email carol.shears@adt.press

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With this advertisement we will deduct £100 from any of the above services.

Maria Jones Funeral Directors Little Holbrook, 56 Brookley Road, Brockenhurst, SO42 7RA

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

A ter a death: the complications of obtaining Probate

P robate can o en involve a combination of complicated legal, tax and financial work which may have to be handled by solicitors.

It is the legal and nancial process involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions of a person who has died. If the deceased had a valid Will, they may have named someone to deal with their assets. This person is the executor and they will have the responsibility of administering the estate. If there is no Will, then the rules of intestacy apply. When there is a will If you are named as an executor, you may need to obtain a Grant of Representation depending upon the value of the deceased’s estate. This is the legal document issued by the Probate Registry which grants you the right to administer the estate. The executor uses the grant to show that they have the right to access the deceased’s bank accounts and all their funds, manage the nances and collect and distribute the deceased’s assets, as per the instructions in the Will.

civil partner or spouse if you present them with the death certi cate. However, if they had any sole accounts, you will most likely need the Grant of Representation. You can obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration by contacting your local Probate Registry. You can do this by lling out and returning Probate take between three and ve weeks. However, if there are other complications — if there is inheritance tax to pay, or you make a mistake in lling out a form, for instance — obtaining the Grant could take a lot longer. You will also need to contact HMRC to pay any inheritance tax due on the estate. What to do if there is no Will A blood relative will need to become an administrator of the estate if there is no Will, as without one, the deceased’s estate will become intestate, meaning that it must be distributed according to the strict rules of intestacy. If you are not sure what to do, contact a solicitor for advice. Application form PA1. Ideally, this process will

What happens once I have the Grant of Representation?

Obtaining the Grant of Representation To execute a Will, you will usually need to obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. The Grant of Representation refers to the grant that you must obtain to carry out probate. The kind of grant that you need will depend on your circumstances. The Grant of Representation will make it possible for you to access all of the deceased’s assets, such as their bank and building society accounts. Doing so without the Grant of Representation would be very dif cult, if not impossible. However, the Grant of Representation may not be needed if: The deceased did not have much money in their accounts – a bank or building society may be willing to release the funds without a grant Their properties, bank or building society accounts and insurance policies were joint- owned by a surviving spouse or civil partner. In the event of joint-owned accounts, the bank or building society may be willing to transfer sole ownership to the surviving

Once you have the grant, the last task is administering all of the deceased’s assets. This means gathering all the assets that you have identi ed and distributing them as directed in the will. Once probate has been granted, most institutions will release all the funds without delay. You may need to send them certi ed copies of the grant, which is why it’s best to ask for copies from the Probate Registry when they issue the grant. This will usually incur a small fee. Looking at probate in more detail if the deceased left a Will, they may have speci ed the designated executor or executors – these people are expected to “execute” the Will, which means they will share out the estate as speci ed and deal with any related complications, as well as carry out any other nal wishes speci ed in the Will. However, you are not legally required to act as executor, even if you are the only executor named in the Will. If there is no executor named, or there is no Will, someone must become the administrator of the estate – this may be someone who would bene t from the Will, or a blood relative if no Will exists. The administrator largely performs the same tasks that an executor would, although they often have no Will to act upon. Do they have a Will? It is estimated that only 30% of people have a Will, so it is possible that the deceased died without one, leaving them what is known as intestate. However, they may well have created one without your knowledge. You should check their paperwork to see if they have a copy of this anywhere. If there is no Will to be found among their personal belongings, they may have kept a copy with their solicitor, or their bank. Alternatively, they may have left a copy with a dedicated Will storage service, or with the Principal Registry of the Family Division in London. In order to retrieve the Will from the Principal Registry, you will need to provide proof of death (such as the death certi cate), and you will most likely need proof that you are a named executor. You should also provide a certi cate of deposit for the Will, but if you are unable to nd this, you will need to write to the Record Keeper at the Principal Registry. A non-executor can apply to withdraw the Will if no executor is named, but you would need permission from a District Judge before they will let you have the Will. Whether there is a Will or not will affect what kind of Grant of Representation you will need in order to continue the probate process.

When there is no Will When there is no will, the deceased is said to have died intestate. There are rules that set out which family members will bene t from an intestate estate and these are known as the intestacy rules. If the deceased didn’t have a Will, then it will usually be up to the spouse or one of the family members who are due to bene t under the intestacy rules to administer the estate. They will still have to apply for a Grant of Representation, but the grant given is called a Grant of Letters of Administration.

When do I need a Grant of Representation? Probate is usually required when: • The person who

has died owned a property or land; and/or

• The deceased owned a bank account or

investment for which the bank or other financial institution requires a Grant. This

is normal if the amount in the

account is over the specific threshold

set by that institution. • Banks and other

How long does probate take? This will depend on how complex the estate is – if there are complicated assets, such as multiple properties, shares, and accounts, it is likely to take longer than if they had owned a single bank account and very few other assets. On average, probate takes between six to nine months to complete and can take up to eighty working hours. However, other complications can cause the process to take considerably longer, such as if the Will is contested, or the deceased did not keep clear records of all their assets. Some cases have taken several years to nalise.

financial institutions set their own limits above which probate will be required, so it’s worth checking with the individual

organisation as to whether they need a Grant of Representation.

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

FreeWillsWriting Month O ctober is Free Wills Month which brings together a group of well-known charities to offer people aged 55 and over the opportunity to

An up to date Will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected and also avoids difficult decisions and legal complications for your loved ones. Free Wills Month allows you to provide for family and friends and leave a gift to your chosen charities too. People can contact one of the firms of solicitors taking part in a Free Wills Month campaign during the designated month to ask for an appointment. Free Wills Month is intended for people or couples aged 55 and over but in the case of couples making ‘mirror’ Wills, it is sufficient that one has reached the age of 55. The solicitor will help to draw up a will that accurately reflects your wishes or those of a couple. You are under no obligation to leave a gift to one of the Free Wills Month charities, however, it is hoped that people will see this as a chance to help their favourite cause. Appointments are allocated on a first come first served basis. Once all available appointments are booked the campaign will close and this may be before the end of this month. The charities will not get a copy of the Will and the only documentation that is received is a confidential declaration form which asks questions such as where people heard of the campaign, their age and whether or not they have left a gift to one or more of the Free Wills Month charities.

The campaign only covers the writing of simple Wills so if your Will needs some more work, the solicitor may ask you to pay the balance yourself. Many charities also offer a regular free Will writing service through appointed solicitors, that allows you to choose how you want to write your Will and once again they would be grateful if you left a gift in your Will to them, but there is no obligation. Several charities have teamed up with the National Free Wills Network to have a simple Will written or updated with a local solicitor for free. You apply through the National Free Will Writing Network who will send you a pack with details of up to six local solicitors’ firms who are registered with the network. You can then choose which firm and contact them directly to arrange your appointment. You can also write your Will online with some organisations where you will need to complete an online interview which offers guidance and support through the process. Once you have written your Will, you will need to print it out and follow some simple instructions to get it witnessed correctly. If you wish, you can pay for additional legal advice. In this case you will be put you in touch with accredited solicitor who can offer advice by phone or face-to-face.

have their simple Wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors across the country including many in the New Forest and elsewhere in Hampshire and Dorset.

The campaign only covers the writing of simple wills so if your will needs some more work, the solicitor may ask you to pay the balance yourself.

W hen a family member or dear friend dies you may not only have to deal with your feelings of loss you may also have to wind up their financial affairs. Dixon Stewart

and how those charges are to be paid. It is often useful to have a solicitor involved in the administration of the estate even if you have been appointed to act as executor. This is because the beneficiaries of the estate can see that there is someone independent

At Dixon StewArt we take pride in offering an understanding, sympathetic and professional service and aim to take away as much of the stress as possible. We are able to act in all matters concerning the administration of an estate including Will Trusts, the transfer or sale of properties, inheritance tax and the obtaining of a grant of probate or letters of administration. Our personal service ensures that matters are handled professionally and efficiently and often at a significantly lower cost than equivalent services offered by banks and similar institutions. If you require any further information or would like to arrange a free consultation either at one of our offices or in the comfort of your own home then please contact us or see our website. Dixon Stewart has been providing a full range of legal services to businesses and individuals in and around the New Forest for over forty years.

This may involve the obtaining of a grant of

us we will often know and remember them and this always helps when you are dealing with your own losses. Our initial advices will always be given without any charge to you. Our initial advices can also be given at your home. They are part of the service we at Dixon Stewart pride ourselves on providing. Those initial advices enable you to be fully informed and to decide whether you wish us to do anything further to assist you or whether you are content to deal with all or some matters by yourself. If you decide we are going to assist you further then we will tell you how our charges are calculated, what our charges will be

probate (where there is a Will) or a grant of letters of administration (where there is no Will). The grant is your authority to deal with the financial affairs. Sometimes no grant is required. If you have never been involved in the death of a loved one before then this can be a very difficult time. Here at Dixon Stewart we deal with the financial consequences of death every day and consequently any work we do for you will be carried out quickly and efficiently so that you can have access to the monies and investments of your loved one as soon as reasonably possible. Furthermore if your loved one made their Will with

acting and if there are any difficulties in the

administration these can be dealt with by the solicitor.

Anita Whelan

Wills | Trusts Probate & Administration of Estates Powers of Attorney & Court of Protection

New Milton 01425 621515

Highcliffe 01425 279222

Contact Dixon Stewart for free advice without any obligation. We are friendly, efficient and right on your doorstep. We will visit you at home if you prefer. Anita Whelan on 01425 621515 or email enquiry@dixonstewart.com

www.dixonstewart.com

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

Why Registering a Death is so important T he last thing on your mind after losing a loved one is the paperwork involved but failing to register a death not only risks putting funeral arrangements on hold but also risks breaking the law. You normally can’t wait longer than five days to register a death, which includes weekends and bank holidays. But this can be extended by a further nine days if you provide the registrar with written confirmation that a Medical Certificate of Death has been issued.

Where do you register a death? The Register Office for the New Forest area is located at the Ringwood Gateway in the The Furlong, Ringwood. The Register office comes under the jurisdiction of Hampshire County Council and operates an appointment system. For Christchurch it is located at the Civic Offices, Bridge Street and at the Town Hall in Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth. All operate on appointments system. However, any register office in the country can be used when looking where to register a death. But choosing one too far from the loved one’s place of residence can cause paperwork delays and risk missing the five-day limit. A register office in the same district as your loved one’s home should ideally be used if they passed away at home. If the death occurred in a nursing home or hospital, refer to their district register office. These options aren’t always practical, especially if you live far away from the deceased. So choosing the closest register office to their last residence as possible is the best option. Register offices can be very busy and so to avoid delays or increased waiting times, it is recommended that you call to make an appointment. This will allow you to prepare relevant documents to bring along to your appointment. Home visits to register a birth, death or stillbirth are entirely at the discretion of the Registrar, and are subject to many and varied criteria.

What documents will you receive from the registrar? The registrar will give you two documents once they have all the information required. The first is the Certificate for Burial or Cremation, known as the green form. The second document will be the death certificate, which is a paid-for service. This allows the deceased to be buried or cremated and must be filled out and handed to your chosen funeral director. Registrars can instead provide a burial- only green form if the death is yet to be registered. Additional copies of the death certificate can be important, especially when administering the estate, or if the estate falls into probate, as photocopies are not usually accepted. The registrar may also provide a BD8 Registration of Death form. If your loved one received a state pension or benefits these must be completed and mailed to the addresses already written on.

Who can register a death? The person registering a death —

What do you need to register a death? The only document needed to register a death is a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death not to be confused with a death certificate. This will be issued to you by a doctor and lists your loved one’s cause, date, and place of death, as well as name and age. This is essential — the Registrar can do nothing without it. If the death has been referred to the Coroner, the Coroner’s Office will advise you what to do. If the deceased received a pension or allowance from public funds, such as a Civil Service or Army Pension inform the Registrar. Although other documentation is not essential for registering a death, providing as much additional information as possible can help speed up the process. You shouldn’t delay registering if you do not have the below information. It helps the registration process if you can also provide • the deceased’s NHS medical card • birth and marriage/ civil partnership certificates • proof of address and passport As well as the details on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, further information required from you includes the deceased’s last occupation, address, state pension information, place of birth and their partner’s full name, birth date and occupation. Bringing supporting documents for these is useful but not vital. The Registrar will enter all these details into a computer system and will then give you the opportunity to check they are correct. The information will then be written into a register. This is the “original” legal record and you should check it through very carefully before signing it, as any mistakes discovered later on may be difficult to correct. • driving licence • council tax bill

How much is a death certificate? The cost of a death certificate excluding postage fees is £11 in

otherwise known as the informant — is often a close relative of the deceased, named the executor of the Will. If a close relative is not available to do so, it’s also possible that the informant can be: • a relative who witnessed the loved one’s death, last illness or who lives near their residence • the owner of the premises where the death occurred • the relative arranging the funeral with the funeral director or someone else who was present at the death but this does NOT mean the funeral director • are a senior administrator from the hospital (if the person died in hospital) • are the manager of the care home where the person died • are the occupier of the building where the person died

England and Wales – £15 if you haven’t registered for a Government Registration Office (GRO) index reference number. Multiple copies can be ordered for the same price. Death certificates typically take up to five working days to arrive but if needed sooner, one can be sent with priority for £35. death certificate won’t be available until November the following year, with a priority postage fee of £50. If one is needed for use in the EU, a Multilingual Standard Form is needed at a cost of £22. You can order all death certificates on the HM Passport Office site in England and Wales. an you register a death without a birth certificate? Yes. A birth certificate can help the death registration process, but the only essential document needed to register a death is a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, which will be given to you by a doctor. If a death is registered overseas, however, a

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

Where to start when the worst happens – A guide to the administration of an Estate T he loss of a loved one is a difficult time and often the procedure and paperwork required to deal with the Estate can feel overwhelming for the family members and friends involved. Williams Thompson Solicitors outline the key issues to consider when handling the Estate of a loved one.

What should I do first? Whilst the business and financial affairs of the deceased must be dealt with promptly there are personal aspects of the administration that take priority following the death of a loved one. These include notifying friends and family, registering the death and making the necessary funeral arrangements. Who is to deal with the Estate? It is usually those closest to the deceased who will have the task of calling in the assets, settling any debts and liabilities and distributing the Estate. This process is known as administering the Estate and the individuals responsible for this are collectively called the Personal Representatives. Where there is a Will in place it should name Executors, individuals chosen by the deceased to act as the Personal Representatives of the Estate. When there is no Will the person is said to have died ‘intestate’ and the rules of intestacy will determine the Personal Representatives, known as Administrators, who are entitled to deal with the Estate.

The role of the Personal Representatives The Personal Representatives are

Seeking assistance from a Solicitor Administering an Estate can be an intricate process. It can become complicated if a complex Inheritance tax return needs to be submitted or if a dispute arises between beneficiaries. If the Personal Representatives do not administer the Estate correctly, they may be held personally liable for any loss suffered. Administering an estate can be a laborious process during a difficult and emotional time. Seeking expert advice and assistance from a Solicitor can ease the burden and will ensure that the administration is dealt with efficiently and precisely.

deceased will need to be dealt with. If there is a Will in place then this should be considered by the Personal Representatives to gain an understanding of how the residue of the Estate is to be divided and whether the deceased made any specific gifts to individuals. Personal Representatives are also responsible for dealing with the tax issues of the Estate including Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

For all but the smallest of Estates, the Personal Representative will need to apply for a Grant of Representation. The Grant of Representation is issued by the Probate Registry and confirms that the Personal Representatives are authorised to deal with the Estate. Most financial institutions will require sight of the Grant of Representation before closing the deceased’s account and releasing the assets.

required to administer the Estate in accordance with the terms of the Will or the rules of intestacy. This involves having to deal with the deceased’s financial investments such as bank accounts, pensions and shares in addition to identifying the liabilities of the Estate. There is often property which will need to be sold and the property contents and personal belongings of the

For further information please contact David Orr or Jessica Percival-Riley of the Wills and Probate Team on 01202 484242

enquiries@williamsthompson.co.uk www.williamsthompson.co.uk

What do you do after registering a death? The deceased’s Will, property and finances can be handled once the death certificate has arrived and you will be able to lay your loved one to rest when the Certificate for Burial or Cremation has been filled in and given to your funeral director.

David Orr Partner - Head of Wills and Probate

Jessica Percival Wills and Probate

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

Questions to ask funeral directors before you make the decision

Questions to ask a funeral director

If you are comparing funeral directors, keep in mind that not everything will be included in the overall price that you are quoted. You should ask a series of questions to ensure you receive a high quality service which is best for you and your loved one:

C hoosing a funeral director that will arrange a fitting funeral for your loved one and ensuring the arrangements run smoothly and a dignified service is delivered is the most important task surrounding the death of a loved one. What does a funeral director do?

• What is and isn’t included in your costs?

• What services do you provide?

• Can we choose a burial or cremation funeral?

On the day of the funeral The funeral director should personally oversee your chosen arrangements and guide and support you through every step. They will usually meet with you prior to the day of the funeral to ensure all your requirements are met, confirm arrangements and ensure all instructions are correctly recorded and any changes noted and acted upon. In addition they should be present at your side on the day to supervise the occasion and direct all in attendance and ensure sufficient pallbearers are available and instructed to escort the coffin with dignity and respect. They should prepare all locations for the service and committal and liaise with any Minister or officiants. They should personally see to every detail, including the collection of cards from floral tributes, charitable donations, book of remembrance and other memorials from the day for you to treasure and keep. They should also prepare the deceased in accordance to your wishes, dressing them in their own

• Would you come to our home to discuss the arrangements?

clothes if you wish or a suitable gown. They should also follow any instructions regarding hairstyles and make-up and care for any personal effects in accordance with your instructions. They will prepare a private Chapel of Rest and allow you to spend some private time with your loved one by agreed appointment at any time, or will bring them back home for you to pay your last respects. processional route for the cortege with you. This may be comprised of a journey that includes treasured memories or personal landmarks. Ask whether they are a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD). The NAFD ensure all of their funeral directors adhere to strict codes of practices, compliant procedures and full price transparency policies, ensuring you receive a high level of service. They will discuss specific requirements regarding the

Choosing an experienced and professional funeral director will help ease the burden and stress of arranging a funeral for your loved one. During the arrangements you can expect as much time as is necessary. You should have personal, face to face contact to discuss your individual requirements and take instructions either at the funeral directors or your home. The directors will arrange the venues, transport and required personnel – to a time and day that suits you. They will also consult on choice of coffin and any lasting memorials that you may wish to have. They will also prepare, collect and distribute all the required documentation and coordinate ‘external payments’ that are necessary for the funeral to legally proceed. They can also collect and administer charitable donations, co-ordinate music for the service, floral tributes, service stationery, obituary notices, catering and any other special requirements.

• Where will the deceased be kept until the day of the funeral?

• Can the funeral be personalised?

• Is there a range of coffins, caskets and urns to choose from? • Can I visit my loved one before the funeral?

• What happens if I move house?

• Do you liaise with third parties and take care of the paperwork? • Can we choose the day and time of the funeral?

• What funeral transport do you provide?

• What type of funeral ceremony could we have and where?

• Do you offer 24/7 advice and support?

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

Making plans for the funeral A funeral can be a big and often stressful event to organise. In terms of scale it’s second only to a wedding – yet though you may have a year or more to plan a wedding, a funeral needs to happen within just a few weeks. What’s more, it comes at a time when you are still in the first stages of bereavement and not in the best state of mind to plan anything.

Find a funeral director It can be hard to know what to look for if you’ve never used a funeral director before. Even if you have used one in the past, be sure to compare services and prices locally, as these can vary a great deal. Once you’ve found one who fits your requirements, they will move your loved one’s body to the funeral home.

Choose pallbearers If you want certain family members to be pallbearers (the people who carry the coffin), now is the time to ask them. Most coffins require six pallbearers – they can be men or women, but should all ideally be of a similar height and sturdy enough to carry the weight between them. If you think someone deserves to be a pallbearer but is not physically able, then he or she can be an ‘honorary pallbearer’, proceeding behind or ahead of the coffin. Arrange the flowers and tributes Some funeral directors provide flowers through their service, or may recommend a florist that they use. Even so it is worth shopping around to be sure you find one you’re happy with. You may also want to provide tokens of remembrance to give to guests. Even if you’re not hiring a venue, you may find it difficult to provide food for all the guests who come. In this case you may want to hire a catering company, so do so at least a week in advance. An alternative is to ask friends and family members to bring food for the wake. You could even post a food wish-list on a social media group for friends and family to divide up between them – to avoid getting platters of the same sandwiches. Contact caterers — if you’re holding the wake at home

Design the ceremony

Finalise the details As the funeral date draws near, contact the funeral director to ensure that every part of the ceremony is mapped out. Then contact everyone involved in the funeral, from the pallbearers to the readers / performers, so that everyone knows what they are doing and when. People contributing during the service will appreciate getting a copy of the order of service in advance. planned in detail, so your mind should be free to focus on the memory of your loved one. The day of the funeral is inevitably very emotional and can bring the initial shock of grief rushing back, so be ready for that and ensure your right-hand person is too. Give yourself plenty of breaks before and after the service, and don’t feel that you always have to socialise with the guests. And if you do find yourself laughing and joking with friends and family at the wake, remember that that’s normal too. Having everyone gathered together in one place can be one of the best reminders of what a special person your loved one was. On the day of the funeral By now everything should have been

Decide what kind of funeral service you want – your funeral director will have several different packages available, and may also offer bespoke arrangements so you can pick and choose. Keep careful track of the cost, bearing in mind anything not included in the package (e.g. flowers, invitations, catering). Check to see if extras are provided, and whether these are better value from the funeral director or elsewhere. There is much to decide at this stage, from the type of funeral (burial or cremation) to the choice of coffin, type of memorial, venue, music, order of service etc. Some details, such as what readings to have at the ceremony, you can decide nearer the time. Decide where the wake will be held If you’re planning to hold the wake at home, you don’t have to think about it too much at this stage. However, if you want to hold it at a venue, then you should book this as soon as you know the date of the funeral.

Funeral directors know better than anyone how difficult this time can be, and are highly experienced at offering the level of support you need. You should also be able to count on more support from family and friends, so don’t be shy about drafting them in to help where they can.

When planning a funeral, it also helps to use a simple ‘to-do list’ of tasks that must be completed by the day, or on the day itself. When a loved one dies and you are next of kin, you have certain responsibilities and before making any funeral arrangements have a checklist of what needs to be done.

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COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

Celebration of life ideas T he ways in which you choose to Think about the key aspects of the person’s life as well as their family history and of how they contributed to the world around them. How did they

another food) from their personal recipe to give out to everyone, along with a recipe card. You could also ask guests if they want to make a donation to a scholarship fund or other charity in lieu of flowers or other gifts and then perhaps announce during the event how much was raised. Balloon releases have been done in the past; however, but they are now considered to be environmentally unsafe. So, think what else you can release? Birdseed or wildflower seeds into a field? Butterflies or ladybugs? You can also light sparklers, blow bubbles or light luminaries.

If your loved one enjoyed Christmas or gift giving, guests could bring wrapped gifts to be given to residents at a nursing home or to children and families in need. Hire their favourite local band or singer to perform a few songs during the event, or play a selection of songs for a life celebration. When serving food or drink, think of your loved one’s favourite dishes or treats. For example, if they loved ice cream, you could plan for everyone to make their own ice cream sundaes. If they loved macaroni and cheese, think of all the ways you could use that food in your dishes.

Have relatives and friends wear a piece of your loved one’s jewellery. Ask attendees to bring a story, memory, message or memento of your loved one to share. You can set up a table to display the mementos or a message board for of photos and mementos that circles around the event space. Some people may prefer to keep their message or item private. If they had any collections consider having their collection on display during the event. Perhaps create displays or a visual presentation of the person’s favourite song lyrics, poems, aspirational sayings or perhaps biblical passages. people to post their messages. Create a timeline

celebrate your loved one’s life are limitless. Keep their personality, wishes, and desires and the activities or entertainment during the event. Ask yourself: Would the deceased person feel pleased in mind as you plan the event

make others feel? What did your loved one mean to you? Decide on a theme for the celebration of life.

For example, if your loved one was a fan

of a particular sports team, everyone can arrive dressed in that team’s

Plant a tree or flowers at the event site or at another site. You could also send guests home with tree seedlings or other plants that they can take home and plant in honour of the deceased. If your loved one had a green thumb, you could create cuttings of his/her plants that could be given out to guests as well. Maybe your loved one wanted to go out with a bang with perhaps some fireworks to celebrate the end of their life. Celebrations of life are not just for other people and they are not just for the dead. You may want to plan a special celebration for someone who is still alive. If you are planning your own celebration of life event, think about how you want your loved ones to remember you. Is there some-thing about your own personality that you want to shine through during the celebration of life event. Are there any mementos or collections that you would like displayed?

gear. The same could be done if they had a

favourite colour or if they had a cherished pastime. Collect donation items for your loved one’s favourite charity. Perhaps decorate the event space with his/ her favourite flowers.

and honoured if they were there.

Create a memorial quilt of the person’s favourite T-shirts or sweaters. Gather images of your loved one to display on a photo memory board or table. Try to collect photos from all parts of the person’s life: birth through adulthood. You may also want to create a DVD that will continuously scroll through the photos during the course of the event. For many people, these photos can spark a conversation or help them to remember long-forgotten memories. If your loved one enjoyed cooking perhaps create a cookbook of their favourite recipes for all to enjoy. You could bake biscuits or make jam (or

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Let us help take away some of the stress at an already difficult time, by fully supporting you in organising the perfect celebration of life. Our function room is a light open space with a private bar and glass doors opening onto a patio area, all overlooking our picturesque cricket oval.

Balloon releases have

been done in the past; however, but they are now considered to be environmentally safe. So, think what else can you release?

Room Hire from £100 We offer professional catering to suit

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For more information please visit our website or contact us on 023 8086 2143 Email info@teccevents.co.uk www.teccevents.co.uk

F inally think of how you can make the day fun and enjoyable for all so that they leave happy and laughing with wonderful memories of your life and what you meant to them.

11

COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

Family and friends can express their sympathy with photographs adorning the wall, a memorial guest book and other forms of condolence. Welcome to the Ivy Room Redcliffe Garden Centre’s peaceful and personal wake venue W hile wakes were traditionally seen as solemn affairs often held in the

garden centre with her husband Chris. She said: “The Ivy Room has been very well received since its opening in February and has allowed us to extend our bookings for more of our popular vintage teas at £12.99 per head. Previously we have catered for a number of wakes in the Potting Shed Tearoom, but feel that now the more private space creates the right atmosphere and tone for families and friends to come together to remember a loved one. I have a fabulous team of staff who are consistently thanked for their attentive service and caring attitude.

We are always flexible with events and are more than happy to work with the family." The room is available seven days a week between 9am and 5pm and the food, both savoury and sweet, is freshly prepared on site for the event. The minimum booking is for 10 attendees, and usually needs a week's notice for bookings. Jayne, who also cooks and prepares meals at the garden centre, said that the room can be arranged as the mourners wish. She said: “Family and friends can express their sympathy with photographs adorning the wall, a memorial guest book and other forms of condolence. It is entirely up to them as to how

they want to organise the event. We are very flexible.” Jayne continued to say “The purpose of a wake is to celebrate the person who has died, so friends and family will want to reminisce and share stories, laugh or cry together in a more relaxed setting such as the Ivy Room.”

Joining the list is the Potting Shed Tearoom in Redcliffe Garden Centre, Bashley Road, Bashley, near New Milton, which now offers wake celebrations in its new event space, Ivy Room. This ideal venue is perfect because family and friends can enjoy vintage teas in a light and airy setting, in a beautifully decorated people who can be served at the tables with a choice of teas, coffees , cakes and sandwiches all served on an eclectic mix of vintage china. Wine and bottled beers are also available. The single storey room is easily accessible and is situated in a discrete part of the garden centre, so mourners need not worry about being disturbed by garden centre customers. The idea of offering the Ivy Room as a wake venue is from Jayne Warman, who owns the private event room. The Ivy Room can accommodate up to 35

home, today venues such as local pubs,

hotels, social and sports clubs are increasingly chosen as the place to celebrate a loved one’s life.

the

EVENTS VENUE FOR HIRE

The perfect private venue to celebrate the life of your loved one.

Call for bookings or further information 01425 638926 Redcliffe Garden Centre, Bashley Road, Bashley, New Milton, BH25 5RY

Can seat up to 35 people. All menu requirements catered for. From our popular vintage tea parties, with sweet and savoury options to hot food and buffet menus, or simply tea and cake.

Please call today to discuss your requirements — we’d be happy to help. Room hire from £10 per hour.

12

COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

How some legacies can be complicated A legacy is a gift that you leave to someone or

Legacies in Probate When someone writes a Will, they will also be given the opportunity to name executors. These are the people responsible for administering their estate on their death. If you are the executor of a will, you will be tasked with fulfilling the legacies specified in the Will. This is one of the many duties of an executor. Typically the executor will obtain a Grant of Probate and pay the debts that are due, after which he/she is free to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the Will. However, problems can arise that prevent the executor from doing this. For example, the gift may fail. This means that the item referred to was no longer owned by the deceased on their death, and so wasn’t theirs to give away. For example, the engagement ring that was supposed to be left to the granddaughter. If this had previously been lost, sold, stolen or previously given away, the item will no longer be there to give. Alternatively the deceased may have made more legacies than he/she could actually afford. Sometimes this happens when a person writes a will and makes a number of Pecuniary Legacies based on their current financial situation, yet by the time of their death, their finances are significantly depleted. It is known as an Abatement if those who are due to receive a Pecuniary Legacy must have their gift reduced in equal proportions. If the estate is insolvent, where there isn’t enough money to pay tax, debts, administration expenses and all the legacies, the debts must be paid back in a particular order, with the residual beneficiaries being at the bottom of the list. Therefore, distributing the legacies left in the Will may not be as straightforward as it seems. That is why most executors choose to instruct a probate solicitor to carry out the process on their behalf.

Probate and estate administration can be full of legal complexities, and if you are an executor and you get it wrong, you could be found personally liable. When you write a Will, you will be asked whether you would like to leave any legacies, otherwise known as gifts. There are different types of legacy, and it’s useful to understand some of the most common, wh ich include: • A Pecuniary Legacy, which is when you leave a fixed sum of money to a particular person. For example, you might leave £1,000 to your cousin. • A Specific Legacy, which is when you want to leave a specific item to a specific person. For example, you might want to leave your engagement ring to your granddaughter. • A Charitable Legacy, which is when you leave a gift to charity in your Will. This will be tax exempt. • A Residual Legacy, which is when the remaining assets in your Estate are left to a certain person or people. These beneficiaries will receive the ‘residue’ of the Estate, which is the net balance after tax, debts and other legacies have been paid. If you’re leaving the residue to more than one person, you will need to say what proportion each person should receive.

When you make a Will, you need to think about the gifts you would like to include. Are there any sentimental items that you would like to ensure a particular person receives? Would you like to set aside a specific amount of money for a family member, friend or charity? Who do you want to receive the rest of your money and assets? And Will the residual beneficiaries receive equal or unequal shares? These are all things that you must decide when making a Will. A solicitor or accredited Wills advisors can explain legacies in Wills in more detail.

leave to a charity in your Will. You will encounter the term ‘legacies’ both when making a Will, and if you ever go through the probate process, which is when you administer the estate of a deceased person.

If you are the executor of a will, you will be tasked with fulfilling the legacies specified in the Will. This is one of the many duties of an executor.

13

COPING WITH YOUR LOSS

Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground

H inton Park’s natural surroundings offers a beautiful setting to celebrate the life of a loved one.

Andrea continued: “We frequently have many families who may have moved away from the area over the years but who want their loved one to be laid to rest where they originally came from, or the deceased themselves may have wished to be buried or have their ashes scattered in our natural setting. “While the choice between burial and cremation is a very personal one and may be influenced by family tradition or religion, we are very flexible in what either the deceased or their family wants. The tendency has been for mourners to wear black but as this is a celebration of a person’s life we have no set rules. Families or friends have picnicked in the grounds and this relaxed approach is encouraged in what can be a difficult and distressing time for the mourners.” Hinton Park is available for three services each day, each lasting up to two hours, so there is no need for the mourners to feel rushed. She said: “After each service, when the mourners have returned from the burial or interment, either on or off site, the Centre’s rows of chairs are rearranged into a more informal style for a buffet or light refreshments. This means they can talk and reflect in a relaxed and congenial setting.” Andrea also stressed that, “While Hinton Park has all the services and facilities needed by families, it can also arrange funerals for those wanting to use off-site locations or more traditional funeral settings. Woodland Burials are priced competitively, and we also provide the option of a Co-op Woodland Funeral Plan for

those who would like to make arrangements for the future.” Hinton Park is planning to have an open day on august 23rd for people to view the facilities, but of course the funeral directors on site are happy to answer any queries at any other time of the year. A bereavement group is also 10.30am-12.30pm, the group is facilitated by members of staff, one of which is Jane Stevenson, an administrator at the site. Jane said: “The death of a family member or friend can be a very difficult time when available at Hinton Park. Held on the first Saturday of each month between

people can struggle to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. Life can suddenly be turned upside down, and talking with people who are in a similar situation, or who have been through something similar, can be extremely helpful. We arrange the service centre into a relaxed and friendly environment so that people can talk freely with each other, sharing their personal experiences and how they are coping. Attendance at the group is not restricted to people who have used Hinton Park’s services but is open to anyone who has suffered a bereavement who would like to come along, to talk with others for support.”

Woodland Burials are becoming more popular as people take a greater interest the environment in where they may be laid to rest or have their ashes scattered. Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground, near Walkford, is set in 20 acres of countryside surrounded by farmland, mature woodlands with wild primrose and bluebell woods. It is also a funeral home with funeral directors on site who are able to support you in meeting all of your requirements. What perhaps makes Hinton Park unique is the range of funeral options available, combined with the striking design of the service centre, which offers seating for 80 with additional standing room. stoves under a high, wooden vaulted ceiling with skylights, creating a peaceful, relaxing place to also hold a reception following the funeral. In addition, the grounds are home to a lake teaming with wildlife which offers a tranquil and uplifting place for a service. Families can choose to have a plot side service among the trees and wildflowers and can inter or scatter the ashes of a loved one in the peaceful grounds. Each burial plot can have a tree planted on it and there are also memorial trees available with cremation plots at their base. The plots are not marked with a traditional headstone, but It features a central brick chimney with log burning

with a simple bronze plaque which is personalised with the deceased person’s details and a short personal message. Families are able to plant wild flowers from an approved list within the plot areas and can also bring cut flowers to place in the vase provided. Hinton Park is one of three Woodland Burial Grounds operated by Co-Op Funeralcare – the others are at Wimborne and in the Wirral on the banks of the River Mersey – and was among the first to be established more than 25 years ago by a local gentleman before becoming part of the Co-op Group in 2005. Andrea Godber, Regional Operations Manager, advised that research has revealed that 20 per cent of the population are now interested in having a woodland burial. This has been confirmed by the rapidly increasing numbers of those choosing to use the facilities at Hinton Park. She said: “Hinton Park is a place to celebrate a person’s life and we offer an alternative to traditional funerals which can be personalised to meet the needs of the families. If their wish is for a cremation, the service may be held in the Centre either before or after the deceased is taken to a local crematorium.” You don’t have to live in the local area to be buried or have ashes interred, or scattered, at Hinton Park as the Grounds are open to anyone, no matter where they have lived.

Hinton Park is a place to celebrate a person’s life and we offer an alternative to traditional funerals

Hinton Park Bereavement Group

OPEN TO ALL

Losing someone can be a very difficult time. It often leaves you feeling sad, lost and alone. Within your community we are here to help and support you and many others. On the first Saturday of every month, Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground will be hosting a bereavement support group at: Wyndham Road, Walkford BH23 7EJ between 10.30am - 12.30pm Come and join us for a tea, coffee and supportive chat with our caring and experienced staff. For more information contact Hinton Park on 01425 278910

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