The phone rings and your loved ones receive the sad news. You’ve passed away. We can’t avoid death, so why not consider a prepaid funeral?
Consider this – after receiving this devastating news, your family has a few short days to plan your funeral. From choosing a funeral home, how your remains are handled, a headstone, and related services, they’re forced to make crucial decisions under extreme emotional trauma.
Adding to this, some family members may disagree on details, causing additional anxiety for everyone. None of us can control when or how we die, but we can make the process easier for those left behind.
Pre-planning your funeral alleviates some of the stress survivors experience because you’ve made all the important decisions in advance. Planning your funeral gives you the ability to document your decisions and leave no doubt about your final wishes.
Take The Time To Decide Exactly What You Want
What type of casket do you prefer? Do you prefer a burial plot or a mausoleum? What cemetery is best for your final resting place? Or do you prefer cremation?
Pre-planning gives you ample time to explore and research the pros and cons of all your available options. Deciding what will be done with your remains eliminates an emotional burden from your loved ones.
You can also take the time to interview different funeral directors to find one who is most sensitive to everyone’s needs in this process.
Other details you can finalize in advance include:
- Select who officiates your funeral, conducts eulogies/readings, and who serves as pallbearers
- Choose your burial outfit, favorite jewelry, and other personal items you may want tucked into your casket or displayed at your service
- Decide the type of floral arrangements you want or if you prefer donations to your favorite charity in lieu of flowers
- Choose the type of service you want – a traditional funeral, a memorial service or a celebration-of-life event
- Select the music you want played, plus poems, prayers and readings you want delivered
- Details you want mentioned in your obituary or, as some people do, you may want to write your own obituary
Making these emotional and meaningful decisions before you pass on will be deeply appreciated by your loved ones.
Ease The Financial Burden On Your Family
In a state of grief, your loved ones are likely to make hasty choices which may lead to spending far more money than you want them to spend on your funeral. They may be tempted to choose a top-of-line casket that costs as much as $10,000. Or, they may opt for an ornate, expensive grave marker when you prefer a simple traditional headstone.
There are fees for other items and services you need to consider:
- Transporting remains, embalming and other preparation
- Use of the funeral home for the viewing and memorial service
- Use of a place of worship for a religious ceremony
- Rental of a hearse and limousines for transportation to the graveside
- The outer burial container, necessary permits, and copies of death certificates
Even if you choose cremation, a number of these costs and related fees will apply. When you plan your funeral ahead of time, you can control certain costs by paying for in advance.
Depending on which state you choose to be buried in, the average price of a single-space burial plot ranges from $1,500 to as high as $4,000 or more. Planning enables you to visit different cemeteries to get the best value now, before inflation raises the cost of burial plots in the years to come.
You can also set a budget for another expensive funeral item – your casket. Research different types of caskets available, and document your selection, so that loved ones don’t get carried away.
You may have heard about contracting with a funeral home to set up a payment plan for funeral expenses. However, financial experts believe there are far better ways to cover these costs before you pass away.
You can open an interest-bearing bank account ear-marked for funeral expenses and name a relative or trusted friend as the beneficiary. Or, you can purchase a Final Expense Life Insurance policy through a reputable insurance professional. No matter how you pay for your funeral expenses, planning lifts the burden from your family.
When you make all your arrangements and cover the financial costs yourself, you leave something beautiful behind for those you love.