My Farewell Wishes seeks to give people “a voice in the conversations that happen after you pass away”.
The Cavan-based company launched nationwide services last week and now operates in 57 locations across Ireland, letting people plan their own funeral.
Founder Colm Kieran told The Pat Kenny Show that the company seeks to give people a “voice” in conversations about their death.
“So many people plan their lives, but that conversation takes place after your death without giving you a voice,” he said.
“Our whole concept is to bring up the conversation before you pass away so the elephants in the room can be dealt with.”
Those who wish to plan their funeral can contact a funeral director connected to My Farewell Wishes and begin the process of making decisions.
“More importantly, you share it with someone you can trust,” Mr Kieran said.
“Somebody who you nominated has those wishes and is told about them, so when that time comes, it takes out the hassle, confusion and arguments among family members making decisions.”
The planning is “very much dependent on the amount funds someone has in their estate”, Mr Kieran explained.
“If you don’t have the funds in place, it’s difficult for your executor to put that in place,” he said.
It costs €65 to register your farewell wishes – and you can start a minimum €300 trust fund to cover the costs of the ceremony.
Mr Kieran said someone’s executor is responsible for ensuring the wishes are met and costs aren’t cut to give family members more inheritance.
However, he said he does not think that will be a common problem among the bereaved families.
“We're very superstitious when it comes to funeral arrangements so when they get farewell wishes they tend to stick with them,” he said.
Funeral director Mr Kieran said he has noticed a change in funeral preferences in the last decade.
“It’s a trend, as in weddings, towards civil funerals where people don’t want the full trappings of a religious funeral, but they still want some elements,” he said.
“One thing that we noticed when people get the chance to plan, they go for quite simple arrangements – quite simple coffins,” he said.
“One of the trends is the eco-friendly coffin [such as] the willow coffin, but also cardboard coffins made of recycled materials that can be personalised.
“You're going to see a lot more of that - the Dublin fan with a picture of Hill 16 or a musician with a treble cleft across it.”
You can listen back here: