Planning for your funeral as an expat in Germany

57 posts in this topic

 

The only place I've seen that line used is as instore advertising at TKMaxx

 

maybe it's regional. My mother in-law says it all the time, usually in conjunction with food.

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Thank you.

 

BTW, my own plans are to be cremated, have my urn shipped either to the US or Netherlands for pickup (whatever is easier), and to be scattered in the sea I so love.

 

No expensive plots, stones etc. Throw the flowers in the sea after me.

And have a wake on me.

 

That's a lot like me.

 

After a long-standing friend died recently at the relatively young age of 62 (in my family, that's practically like being a teenager), I put down in writing what I wanted done and sent the letter to my parents.

 

If I die in Germany, cremate me and have the ashes sent to North Wales. I want my ashes to be scattered on Sychnant Pass - where I have a view over the Conwy estuary.

 

If I die in Wales, then bury me in some remote graveyard. The graveyard of Llangelynnin church is pretty cool. I can gently slide down the hillside.

 

As for a church service - I'd like There is a Green Hill Far Away, Calon Lan (Welsh hymn) and to finish off Morning has Broken. For the wake - play some of my favourite music in the background - along with any episode of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

 

And it would be nice if there could be a little donation to the English Library here. The family of one reader donated some money so there is now an Alan Sowter Reading Corner - some leather wing chairs, a footstool and a nice table. A photo of him is nearby. That's kinda nice.

 

The will has been in place for about 15 years now.

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I've left instructions to have my ashes scattered into the Meuse, the Clyde and the Elbe. Don't care how they do it, or even if. I'm also leaving a list of music to be played, which includes mostly stuff people hate anyway, so they I don't ruin it for them. The one exception is Zehn kleine Jägermeister ;)

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I need to seriously make a plan and leave it with a solicitor.

 

I want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered back in the UK. Heard it can be difficult here in Germany though? I heard they do not release the ashes or that it can be difficult?

 

My nightmare would be to be buried in Germany.... :blink:

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If I die in Germany, cremate me and have the ashes sent to North Wales. I want my ashes to be scattered on Sychnant Pass - where I have a view over the Conwy estuary.

 

If I die in Wales, then bury me in some remote graveyard. The graveyard of Llangelynnin church is pretty cool. I can gently slide down the hillside.

 

As for a church service - I'd like There is a Green Hill Far Away, Calon Lan (Welsh hymn) and to finish off Morning has Broken. For the wake - play some of my favourite music in the background - along with any episode of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

 

Ah I love it up there. We used to take our cats to the vet up there and I fished the pond there too. It's a fantastic place. My parents are sleeping in Rhandir Hedd cemetery just outside Llanfairfechan.

 

As for Calon Lan - whenever I hear that I burst into tears as it's my favourite hymn. Can you imagine they played "Men of Harlech" on a modern church organ at my Dad's? At the very least it ought to be a recording of a male voice choir. As for Morning has Broken, they sang that at my Dad's.

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Dear Metall, I just read your excellent post (#4) and then accidentally pressed the wrong button. I hope someone can fix it for me. I agree 100% with you about funeral companies, they are scavengers. Thank you for sharing so much valuable information.

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Since we're on the topic...

 

It's my understanding when one is buried in Germany they are merely 'renting' the cemetery plot for (I believe) 20-30 years. Is it common to rent a plot in perpetuity? What would happen to the remains if ones family did not continue to rent the plot?

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Not common, probably not possible either unless you own the land or something. You can I think extend the lease but once you stop paying, guys show up with shovels.

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I'm afraid that's true, burial space is so limited in Germany that you can only rent for two or three decade at a time, as Gwaptiva already said.

 

Missed payments of course first trigger a search by the cemetary involved for living relatives, but after a while, the remains are dug up (and reinterred in a collective grave if I remember correctly), the headstone is junked, and the space rented out again. Numerous overseas relatives of deceased Germans have had nasty surprises when attempting to visit a German family grave...

 

...another reason I don't want all this for myself.

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if I fall over dead one day, throw me in the cheapest box and fire up the grill. what happens after that happens, I won't care anymore. have already acknowledged legally that I DO NOT want to be kept alive by machine, my partner has full power of attorney w/ patient verfügung as do I for her. if I'm diagnosed terminal someday, I'll live I long as I still have my mind and dignity intact. when the time comes, I'll get me some opiates and go to sleep, never to wake up again.

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Ah I love it up there. We used to take our cats to the vet up there and I fished the pond there too. It's a fantastic place. My parents are sleeping in Rhandir Hedd cemetery just outside Llanfairfechan.

 

As for Calon Lan - whenever I hear that I burst into tears as it's my favourite hymn. Can you imagine they played "Men of Harlech" on a modern church organ at my Dad's? At the very least it ought to be a recording of a male voice choir. As for Morning has Broken, they sang that at my Dad's.

 

Ah, I think my Nain and Taid are in the same cemetery - is that the one on the old main coast road? Black metal iron gates and the road curves towards the left once you've gone through them?

 

I had such a terrible experience at the funeral of this old friend here in Germany, I just had to put some ideas down in writing. I shudder to think what might be planned for my funeral. I want the last impression of me and my life to be one that reflects me a bit.

 

I'm a bit surprised that Morning Has Broken was sung at your Dad's funeral. I didn't think it was a funeral song as it is so lovely and uplifting. I've only ever been to funerals in Germany - Opa (1987), Oma (2009) and now this one - and I've disliked them all. Mum and Dad in Wales are now at the stage when they have to go to a funeral at least once a month and they come back in a positive mood. It seems they do good funerals in the Llandudno/Colwyn Bay area.

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Having written [a totally awesome] eulogy for my Dad, I must say that I'm more concerned about what people will say/ not say than how/ where I'm laid to rest. But I guess in either case, I'll be dead so I won't care. :)

 

Has anyone ever asked their spouse to write your eulogy and show it to you while you're still alive? It ought to be interesting to see what will be said.

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As the arrogant shit that I am, I'll just write my own eulogy so I know it's done right.

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:lol: I've considered doing that as well. Nobody knows me better!

 

It's actually a good idea. It took me loads of time to get certain details of my father's life right. Oh, and write your own obituary, too. That was another pain in the rear. I've since asked my mom to write her own, and she did! Now if I can only remember where I put it... :ph34r:

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Ah, I think my Nain and Taid are in the same cemetery - is that the one on the old main coast road? Black metal iron gates and the road curves towards the left once you've gone through them?

 

Zackly love. Fabulous location beneath Carreg Fawr.

 

A more peaceful sendoff I do not know.

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There was a report last week on TV showing that funerals or rather disposals of the bodies can be much cheaper. There is a company called sarg discount in Hamburg that was offering to collect the bodies and they transport them to a new crematorium just over the border in the Czech republic. The ashes are returned to Germany and as they have been disposed/cremated in another country they don't fall under the stupid German laws and you can do with the ashes of the deceased as you see fit.

 

I can't remember what channel the proramme was shown on but it gave a good overview of the "market" for funerals. The crooks in the industry and the high costs and rip-offs to be aware of. It actually showed a sea burial which was just a whole lot of disposable containers unceremoniously dumped over the side of the boat. It looks like the ashes are put into something resembling an egg carton material which eventually sinks. They also showed how in Switzerland you can have your loved one made into a diamond of varying sizes - depending on your budget. The carbon is collected out of the ashes and then put under high pressure and hey presto - they make a diamond costing you 25,000€. Depending on the carat size an expensive option whether the diamond is actually worth €25,000 is another matter.

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I have only made one request, and that is that my wife not bring a date to the funeral.

Oh, Guest, you're always a shocker. I read that sentence twice and didn't see the word "not", only discovering it when I read a response.

 

I have a friend who lived with my first husband many years before marrying someone else. She and her husband were happy together, but maintained a swinging lifestyle. This meant that on his recent death she was already sleeping with his best friend from childhood and that she's never had an empty bed. I hope your wife has your permission at least to bring a very close friend.

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Germany's not the only place where burial plots are rented. At least here you get a notification before the rental period ends. We discovered recently that my Grandfather's plot was no longer his. None of us had realised that it was a rental deal and no one had received a notification, either. That cemetary is in Western Australia. I imagine it wouldn't be much different in other english-speaking countries.

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There are no rental plots that I know of from where I am from in the US. The baby sister of a cousin of my grandmother still has her grave from around 1910 there, and all the other family members from after 1910 are still there, too. There are earlier graves there from other people, too.

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