Where Do You Want to be Buried?
When most people think about preparing for their death they start thinking about their will and how they want to distribute their possessions. Many will also think about taking out life insurance so that their family left behind doesn’t have to suffer financially as well as emotionally. Life insurance policies can offer a payout to your family when you die, to help them pay out the mortgage on the family home, cover the day to day living expenses, and maintain a lifestyle even though your income isn’t coming in regularly.
As you start comparing life insurance policies to prepare for your death, think about whether you’d like to leave anything else behind, in the form of a unique burial, perhaps inspired by the following characters.
1 – Don Adams
In 2005 Don Adams died at the age of 82 after shooting to fame as the loveable Maxwell Smart in ‘Get Smart’. Whether his friends and family actually attempted it, in one of his last public appearances before he died, Adams said: ‘Actually, I plan to live to at least 100. However, if it doesn’t work out that way I just want to say now that I don’t want a big funeral. No flowers and eulogies or anything like that. I just want a few close friends to get together…and try to bring me back to life.’
If you think you’d like to share Maxwell Smart’s request, then you may not need a life insurance policy after all…
2 – Water burial
If your final request is to be buried at sea, then you need to go see Guye Richards in Merimbula on the South Coast, who is operating Sea Burials Australia. Sea Burials Australia gained permission to offer burials at sea in 2004, after having spent over five years working on getting his business idea past Environment Australia. The cost of a sea burial is comparable to a traditional cemetery, but there are no ongoing maintenance costs, and Richards can even take your family back to the site on your anniversary to visit.
3 – Family burial plot
If you never want to leave your home when you die, you can request to be buried on the site of your family home, but you may have to take it up with the council. For example, the Cessnock City Council received so many requests for family burial plots on private land that they had to bring in a new burial policy.
The council rules ensure that drinking water won’t be affected by the burial sites, and that the burials be registered with the council. A hundred years ago it wasn’t uncommon to bury family members on the grounds of the estate, so you may be able to stay close to your family after all.
4 – Peter Labelliere
When Peter Labelliere made out his will in July 1800 he started with several unusual burial requests. Labelliere first wanted to make sure that the two youngest daughters of his landlady would dance on his coffin during the funeral. His second request was to be buried vertically at the top of Box Hill. Labelliere surmised that when the Armageddon came the world would be turned upside down, and while the world hasn’t come to an end yet, his topsy-turvy burial site is now a popular picnic spot.
5 – Sandra West
When the wealthy Sandra West passed away in March 1977 her unique burial request was discovered. Ms West wanted to be buried wearing a lace nightgown and sitting at the wheel of her beloved vintage Ferrari. Her burial request was carried out by placing her and her car into a concrete encased container before lowering them into the ground.
6 – Elizabeth Taylor
When Elizabeth Taylor died in March 2011 she arrived to her funeral 15 minutes late. This was Elizabeth Taylor’s own burial request, and when she did arrive, Taylor was buried near her close friend Michael Jackson in the Great Mausoleum at Lose Angles’ Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
7 – Kate Moss
Kate Moss has requested matching burial plots for herself and her boyfriend Jamie Hince. Moss and Hince wanted to be laid to rest side by side at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in France as the site holds special meaning for the couple since they were caught by a guard kissing by Jim Morrison’s grave. Unfortunately that cemetery is full, and the couple will have to search out a new place to spend eternity together.
8 – Woollarawarre Bennelong
Woollarawarre Bennelong is a well known fixture in school history books which cover the early years of white settlement in Australia. In the early 19th century Woollarawarre Bennelong and the now famous brewer James Squire were the best of friends and when Woollarawarre Bennelong died in on 2 January 1813, he died on James Squire’s farm, and was buried in the family’s orchard. The grave was eventually lost under generations of new property developments.