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Thinking Ahead – A Guide to Prepaid Funerals

Ask yourself a question: If you could attend your own funeral, what would it be like?  Up until recently, that is something most of us would never have dared or wanted to ask.  However, recent television programmes and media coverage, as well as the Irish Hospice Foundation’s ‘Think Ahead’ initiative, have started a national conversation on just that – thinking ahead.

Massey Bros. have been helping people to think ahead for generations and, to help you consider your options, we have produced a new booklet which explains the choices available to you.  To download a copy, simply click here.

So, what does thinking ahead involve?

Basically, two things:

  • Deciding what you would like to happen at your funeral


  • Protecting your loved ones against rising funeral costs

Deciding what you would like to happen at your funeral is the starting point.

Anything is possible, including a funeral overseas or one that takes place somewhere other than in a place of worship or crematorium.  We have listed below some of the key things you need to consider, remembering that all the time, the choice is yours:

  • Where would you like your funeral to take place?
  • Would you like your favourite hymns, music, readings or poetry to be included?
  • Who would you like to take part in your funeral service and what would you like them to do?
  • Would you like your remains to be buried or cremated?
  • If you opt for a burial, where would you like that to take place?
  • What type of coffin would you like?
  • What kind of hearse would you like?
  • What kind of flowers would you like?
  • How would you like your loved ones to travel to your funeral?
  • Would you like people to make a donation to charity in your memory?

Protecting your loved ones against rising funeral costs is the second key consideration.

Traditionally, people have been able to do this by making a once-off payment for the funeral of their choice at today’s prices, protecting loved ones against future cost increases which, as shown below, can be considerable when taken over several years:

The average total cost of a funeral has risen from €4,000 in 1999 to €7,000 in 2013.  Had you put your €4,000 in a simple bank, building society or credit union deposit account in 1999, by 2013 it would have grown to approximately €5,000, well short of what might be required. 

Because we know that it is not always possible to make a once-off payment, we have partnered with Insurances & Financial Services Ltd to create a new affordable insurance-based funeral plan which allows you to make monthly premium payments – the first plan of its kind in Ireland.

While this new plan still lets you plan the funeral of your choice, it also allows you to leave an extra sum of money to loved ones or to cover other expenses if you would like.

We are here to help you take care of every detail. To find out more, please contact your local Massey Bros. funeral home.

Deciding to plan your own funeral is the most thoughtful decision you could ever make.

Download our “Pre-Planning Funeral Guide” here as a PDF for more detailed information.

Update on ease of Government restrictions on funeral services, as of Monday 6th September.

Numbers attending funerals

From Monday 6th September 2021, all funeral venues (including churches, crematoria and other venues) can accommodate 50% of their usual capacity – this will, obviously, vary depending on the venue and our funeral directors will confirm exact capacities with the venues.


The 50% capacity rule also applies to funeral homes/chapels of repose. However, Irish Association of Funeral Directors is advising its members to take a cautious approach to the re-introduction of public wakes at their premises. From a practical point of view, it may be difficult to manage the numbers attending a funeral home and to prevent an unsafe situation from developing. Families should consider continuing with private reposings for family only or by family invitation instead.

The following safety guidelines should continue to be followed;

  • Mask-wearing in all indoor settings
  • Physical distancing
  • No hand-shaking
  • No condolence books
  • Provision of hand sanitiser
  • Use of directional and safety signage
  • One-way systems in funeral homes where possible
  • Regular hand-washing, coughing & sneezing etiquette and surface sanitising