Arranging a funeral for someone close to you is never easy. But if you’re an expat living in Portugal, it can be even more complicated, thanks to cultural differences, unfamiliar procedures and language barriers.

It’s always a good idea to be prepared. If you’re a British expat in Portugal, make sure you and your loved ones know these four facts about Portuguese funerals – it could make things less confusing at a difficult time.

Funerals can happen very quickly in Portugal
In the UK it usually takes anywhere from a week to a month to organise a funeral. But in Portugal it’s traditional for funerals to take place very quickly, often within 48 hours of the death.

However, if you’re an expat, it’s likely that you’ll want longer than this to arrange a funeral. For example, friends and family might want to fly out to Portugal to pay their respects. You should be aware that this will cost extra mortuary fees, charged by the day.

You might have to pay the Funeral Director upfront
Unlike in the UK, many Funeral Directors in Portugal will ask you to pay at least part of the funeral fees before the funeral takes place.

That could be hundreds or thousands of Euros to pay before any arrangements can take place. If you passed away, would your loved ones be able to find that amount in a short space of time? Bear in mind as well that when someone dies in Portugal, their assets (including bank accounts) are often frozen, so the next of kin can’t easily access savings.

It’s hard to shop around for a Funeral Director
If you’ve lost someone close to you, you’ll know that making important decisions when you’re grieving isn’t easy. That’s why bereaved families often find it hard to shop around and compare funeral services.

Arranging a funeral in Portugal can be even harder, because of the time limits, unfamiliar systems and the language barrier. All of these obstacles mean that when the time comes, your loved ones might not be able to thoroughly research and compare their options. That’s why it pays to have plans in place before you need them.

It’s normal to plan ahead
Because funerals happen so quickly, many Portuguese nationals have funeral insurance or similar types of cover to make things easier for their next of kin. It’s a way to make things easier for their family when the time comes.

Many British expats living in Europe choose a prepaid funeral plan to protect loved ones from unexpected costs and complications. A prepaid plan lets you plan your funeral in advance, giving you peace of mind that your next of kin won’t have to worry about making arrangements or how to pay for them.

Advice provided by Avalon Funeral Plans. For further information, please call +34 966 799 070