The best alternative to making decisions at the time of death is making them beforehand. Making decisions ahead of time can provide a sense of comfort knowing that those decisions are already made in a time when emotions are not running high.
First choices to make regarding planning a funeral or death
- Do nothing.
- Write down your wishes for the ceremony (informal)
- Prearrange your ceremony (with a death care professional such as a funeral director)
If you do nothing this means you leave the decisions about your burial or cremation and ceremony to your surviving family. If they do not have any direction from you, they won’t know what you might have wanted or tend to over or under spend on critical funeral items to buy.
Writing your wishes down on a sheet of paper or typed up in a computer document is helpful. At least your family members have a reference and have some idea of your desires about the final arrangements. You may or may not be able to assist with the cost but at least can make the decision on how elaborate you want things.
Preplanning with a funeral home and director is a more formal approach and make your wishes known to a professional. This does require having some kind of financing in advance to carry out your wishes.
Preplanning: A Wise Choice
There are many people today who are planning their own funeral or memorial services even though they are not terminally ill. It has been a proven wise thing to do in light of the rising funeral costs and to keep the surviving family members apprised of what the desires of the deceased are. Funeral preplanning has been known to ease preparations and burden for the family after the loved one has passed. This is because every detail of the arrangements has been made and there are less decisions the family needs to make. It is beneficial because of the highly emotional time experienced by everyone.
Pre-planning funerals may seem morbid or maybe even uncomfortable to some people, however, it does ensure the wishes of the deceased are met. There is less guess work for the family and more time to focus on remembering the legacy and memory they left behind.
Here some items to consider to determine if preplanning your own funeral is right choice for you. You can also use the information below to help a loved one preplan as well.
- Most people do not know what type of decisions one must make when faced with planning and funeral. There are big decisions to make such as how the body will be disposed of to the smallest details of picking out flower arrangements.
- Sales pressure is often alleviated when preplanning because there is more time to make decisions and your frame of mind is more stable.
- Make sure you find out all the fine details in a preplanning agreement. It can get complicated in the finances since there are many payment options available. There is also the factor of insurance that can create an additional layer of complexity. It’s best to try and take another person along when meeting with a preplanning counselor if you are not comfortable with handling all the financial aspects of the agreement.
Once you choose a preplan option, know that you can start shopping for items such as programs, caskets, urns, etc. These are easily obtain through online retailers such as The Funeral Program Site and can save you much money purchasing it on your own verses getting it from the funeral home. You may also opt to have certain items not included in the preplanning contract to save additional costs. You may need to at some point employ the services of an attorney for living wills or other matters concerning the personal property involved. It does pay to shop around in this area as there may be other more cost effective options.
Preplanning Funeral Packages
You can purchase a preplanning package from your local funeral home. You can begin by choosing several funeral homes and compare their preplanning packages. Once you choose a funeral home you want to work with, make sure you also check their credentials through the professional organization they may belong to. There is more leg work involved in preplanning but you do have more time, depending on how far in advance you begin the planning process. In the end, you will be relieved and glad you did it.
Please use the links below for a more detail look at each part of the funeral pre planning process. There is much to learn about the process and language so reading up on it before you meet with a professional will equip and help you gain some background understanding of what will be discussed in your initial meeting.