Cemeteries in Shanghai are running trials on pre-plan funeral arrangement contracts.
The service allows people to decide their own funeral arrangements. They sign contracts with funeral service providers and tailor the service content to suit themselves.
The contract was discussed at a conference on “bidding farewell decently” at Fushouyuan Cemetery in Qingpu District yesterday. Discussions covered topics catered for in the contract — hospice care, memorial service, and death education.
Shanghai Funeral Service Center has just received seven orders for the contract, and Fushouyuan has had more than 100 orders in Shanghai since launching the service last year.
It is priced from 6,000 yuan (US2) to more than 10,000 yuan depending on what options are taken up.
“The service shows utmost respect to life, but it takes time for acceptance because talking about death is believed to bring ill fortune by many Chinese people,” said Wang Hongjie, director of the Shanghai Funeral Industry Association.
Yi Hua, executive deputy director of expert committee of China Funeral Association, said many Shanghainese were taking a wait-and-see attitude on the service, which was launched because “we find most people are not well prepared.”
“The contract allows people to discuss the arrangement after their death with their family members peacefully and prudently and it can avoid panic and regret,” said Yi, who is also Fushouyuan's deputy manager.