Muslim Burials

The UK is an ethnically and religiously diverse country, which practices many different faiths and burials. Similar to other faiths that believe in the afterlife Muslims believe that in life if you follow the Islamic religious codes and do good deeds you will be granted entry into eternal Paradise.

As this is such an important ceremony certain rules and customs are put in place so the deceased can pass over in piece. Muslims are buried very soon after death usually within 24 hours if possible, which means no viewing, embalming or family visits. The body is washed by family members of the same gender usually 3 times before being taken to a mosque, this is called Ghusl. The (Kafan) is when the deceased is wrapped in large sheets, men traditionally would have 3 sheets and women would have five. 

Cremation is prohibited and all Muslim burial graves face Mecca. The deceased would then be placed in position so that their right side faces the holy city.  Whilst the body is lowered into the grave the congregation will pray. Most all of the mourners will be male however some Muslim communities allow women to attend the burial. 

The grave is 12 inches above ground level, this will not allow anyone to walk or sit on the grave. The funeral is usually quick, lasting only 30 to 60 minutes with prayer and readings from the Quran. During the prayers, everyone must face Mecca and mourners will each place 3 handfuls of soil into the grave. 

The Islamic religion view death as a transition to the afterlife and if you have lived a good life they believe you will go to paradise. 

The grave is then marked with a small stone or marker so that it is recognisable. It is prohibited to decorate the grave or erect any large monument.  This is because outwardly lavish displays are discouraged in Islam.  

How and why to live stream funerals in 2021

Funeral live streaming has increased significantly this past year due to Covid, but is it here to stay? Covid restrictions have made all aspects of life more difficult, but losing a loved one, and not being able to share the grief with friends and family, can be unbearable. Funeral live streaming allows for this important moment to be shared as the ceremony can be witnessed by anyone from anywhere. This technology makes travel, cost, timing and restrictions irrelevant.

How to live stream funerals

Streaming is absolutely something you can do on your own. Depending on your technical ability you can set up a webcam, DSLR or even a smartphone. Here are some tips to help you set up a live stream.

Audio

Live stream funerals

People often spend a lot of time considering what it will look like and forget about the audio quality. A funeral is a celebration of life: stories, sentiments and kind words are shared. It’s important your online guests can hear what is said. Make sure to test the sound quality of the built-in mic by recording a test phrase when setting up. Listen back to it, are the words clear? If not there are external mics available to buy or hire. You can place it closer to the stage or on a podium for clearer sound quality.

Where to share

Live stream funerals

There are plenty of suitable platforms for your funeral live stream. You just need to pick one that is free to use, has social media integration, privacy control and chat features. Here are a few we recommend: Facebook Live, Zoom, Google Hangouts, YouTube Live or Facetime. Just make sure only invited guests have a link and are allowed to join. You should also make sure someone can keep an eye on the live stream, and if anything goes wrong it’s always good to have a backup. Don’t forget to record as well. It can be a nice memory to hold so loved ones can watch again at a later date.

Connecting

Live stream funerals

Now you have set up the invitees and the stream privacy you need to make sure everyone knows how to access the funeral live stream. Send guests an email or message with a link and detailed instructions on how to join. Think about making a short online tutorial for the older members of the family. Don’t forget to test the internet connection where the ceremony is taking place. If there isn’t any or it’s very slow it’s possible to set up a hotspot using your phone’s 4G connection. Be sure to test this in advance.

Bring in the Professionals

Live stream funerals

Although setting up your own funeral live stream is possible, and a great way to save a little on the cost of the funeral, it may be a bit too much to handle on this emotional day. Professional services can take the weight off your shoulders and keep your mind clear and focused on what’s important; the life and celebration of your loved one. There are plenty available so make sure to check the reviews and select one that suits your needs.

Have a look at our free funeral services directory to find a live stream funeral service near you.

Nearly two thirds of Adults in the UK don’t have a Will

One thing is definite in life, we are all going to die, so isn’t it shocking that nearly two thirds of adults in the UK don’t have a will.*

WHY? Well there are some simple reasons like, they haven’t prepared one because they feel uncomfortable about it, think it applies to old people or simpler explanations such as their previous will has become null and void after marrying or remarrying, they forget to update their wills once children are born or their will still include ex partners or people they wanted to exclude.

If you die without a will, intestate as it is known, you leave a huge problem for those left behind with your estate not being divided up the way you may have wanted. For instance, unmarried partners have no right to inherit anything, no matter how long or serious the relationship was. Only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the rules of intestacy.

It is important to point out here that the intestacy laws differ in Scotland to those in the rest of the UK. So be sure to check it out.

So, making a will is not difficult, there is advice on how to do it yourself, but if you are unsure or have a complicated plan consult a solicitor. 

Why do you need one, well there are some pretty obvious reasons:

The most obvious is saving stress and arguments with the family once you have gone. It can become a long and difficult drawn out process sorting out an estate.

It ensures the right people get what you want to leave them. For instance, children or step-children under 18. You should choose who will look after them, which might mean appointing a legal guardian.

Appoint an executor to make sure the will is followed, and each person get what they are entitled to. 

Your Partner, the law doesn’t really recognise unmarried partners, so don’t expect anything to go to your partner if you don’t make a will.

Your pet’s welfare, what you want to happen to family pets.

Funeral planning, if you know what you want your funeral to be like, you can detail it so that your family doesn’t have to make the decisions.

Your property, ‘Joint tenant’ mortgages automatically pass to the other owner. If you’ve a ‘tenants in common’ mortgage, it’s important to say what happens to your share of the house. If you own a property overseas, inheritance laws may be different to the UK.

If you are a small businesses owner, a sole director, it’s possible that if you die without executors, nobody can authorise payments (including to staff), so your business could collapse.

Reduce inheritance tax, if you die intestate, as mentioned, there are strict laws about to whom and how your estate is distributed. There are two problems with this, first, the money may not go where you want, and secondly, it’s likely to be inefficient for inheritance tax purposes.

You pay 40% of any assets worth over £325,000 that you leave, so those with valuable houses or larger estates may face a large inheritance tax bill. Yet there are many legal ways you can plan ahead to reduce this.

Finally, what makes a valid will?

Well it should say how your estate should be shared out when you die.

Was made when you were able to make your own decisions and you weren’t put under pressure about who to leave things to.

Is signed and dated by you in the presence of two independent adult witnesses, and then signed by the two witnesses in your presence. Remember that the witnesses can’t be people who are going to inherit from the will. 

If you want to change your will, you can’t scribble or add in things to the original will once signed and witnessed.  Any obvious alterations on the face of the will are assumed to have been made at a later date and don’t form part of the original legally valid will.

The only way you can change a will is by making a codicil to the will which is an amendment to the will leaving the original intact or write a completely new will.

Check out our other blogs for information on other aspects of your will.

*ROYAL LONDON SURVEY DECEMBER 2018

https://www.royallondon.com/media/press-releases/2018/december/perplexed-by-wills/

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Funeral Services

Coronavirus: Funerals 'could be streamed online' if COVID-19 ...

At the moment, it’s not possible to  have a funeral service for our loved ones in the traditional way. A limit of between five and ten members of the immediate family can attend and this in itself is far too distressing for many. We need to look at an alternative way of remembering our loved ones and celebrating their life. 

We could conduct a conference memorial service via Skype or WhatsApp, or we could celebrate their life while isolating at home the same way. Technology being what it is today means that it may be possible to view a funeral service online, remotely, instead of attending in person. As such, it could also be recorded to watch at a more convenient time. We have to do the best we can at this difficult time… If you should ever find yourself in a position where someone has died, either in your family, or a member of the public, from COVID-19, you should keep well away from the deceased. You should call the doctor, or 111, or an out of hours number. You should also call 999.

Benefits & Financial Support

Financial and emotional support: The friends and family that are left behind can face difficult times ahead coping with the death along with the financial worries if that extra income is lost to the house hold, the deceased did not have a funeral plan or insurance set in place. (more copy to come for this page)

Benefits: You may be entitled to receive some benefits when you lose a loved one within the family. A great resource for this of course in the direct.gov website where you can check your eligibility and process your claim. Here is a few of the benefits that you may be entitled to:

Bereavement Payment (One off payments of £2,000) before 6th April 2017

You may be able to get Bereavement Payment if, when your husband, wife or civil partner died, you were either:

  • under State Pension age
  • over State Pension age and your husband, wife or civil partner wasn’t entitled to a State Pension based on their own national insurance contributions

Additionally, your husband, wife or civil partner must have either:

  • paid enough National Insurance contributions
  • died because an industrial accident or disease

Bereavement Support Payment (monthly payments) after 6th April 2017

You may be able to get Bereavement Support Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017.

You could be eligible if your partner either:

  • paid National Insurance contributions for at least 25 weeks
  • died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work

When they died you must have been:

You can’t claim Bereavement Support Payment if you’re in prison.

Monthly payment depends on the details you submit on the payment calculator: https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators 

Widowed Parent’s Allowance

You may get Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) if all the following apply:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017
  • you’re under State Pension age
  • you’re entitled to Child Benefit for at least one child and your late husband, wife or civil partner was their parent
  • your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease

You may also claim WPA if you’re pregnant and your husband has died, or you’re pregnant after fertility treatment and your civil partner has died.

Bereavement Allowance (once Widowed Parent’s Allowance has ended).

You may get Bereavement Allowance if all the following apply:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017
  • you were 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died
  • you’re under State Pension age
  • your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease