Advanced Funeral Planning

Q) Why should I pre-arrange my funeral?

A) You ease the burden on your family and friends, and you take control of how you want to be remembered.

The one decision that most of us put off talking about is the one that has to do with the inevitable day when not everyone is there to make the decisions together. The discussion of dying and the choices that have to be made by the surviving partner and children are difficult ones, but they will have to be made. Most families that have gone through that process will tell you that it is easier to make those decisions in advance of death when the mind is clearer and the emotions aren’t so overwhelming. That is what pre-planning final arrangements is about. It is for you to carry out your wishes and for your family not to be burdened with deciding what you wanted. Pre-planning is about love.

In the past, pre-planning final arrangements wasn’t as important as it is today.

Final arrangements used to be nearly the same for every person in a family or community, from the schedule of events, to the funeral home, to the hymns, to the cemetery. For better or worse, things are a lot more complicated today.

There are a multitude of  choices to be made and final arrangement planning that is important, not only for yourself, but for your family and friends as well. By pre-planning, you alleviate the stress that would otherwise be placed on your loved ones and family at the time of one of their worst life experiences. It can also establish a budget and even have a pre-funding plan included. We hope that this section will help you understand the importance of pre-planning and give you the information to make the best decision for you and your family.

Q) Why Pre-Plan Final Arrangements?

A) Depending upon their circumstances, people are motivated to pre-plan and pre-fund for a variety of reasons; here are some of the most compelling.

1. Pre-arranging enables us to make our wishes known to our family, ensuring that those wishes can be carried out, even if unforeseen medical expenses deplete our savings.

2. Pre-arranging allows for families to take the time they need to carefully consider their options without the scheduling pressure and emotional trauma that occurs following the death.

3. Pre-arranging allows us to consider the thoughts and feelings of all family members, not just those who happen to be present at the time of death.

4. As an essential component of budgeting and estate planning, pre-arranging allows families to create a memorial service and funeral that captures their wishes, and allows families to anticipate the cost of funerals and plan for them.

5. Purchasing final expense insurance policies, or pre-need funeral insurance, can give many families the chance to fund their final expenses over time through affordable insurance payments. These specialized insurance policies are designed for older adults who can gain peace of mind knowing that their funerals will be paid for, and that their families will be spared any financial burden.

Q) When is the best time to pre-plan your funeral?

A) The best time to begin making your pre-arrangements is now, while you're thinking about it. While some people in their 40's and 50's may think it's too early to pre-plan, people who do say that prearranging their funerals is smart financial planning and gives them added peace of mind knowing they aren't leaving this burden to family members. By taking time now to collect cost information and calmly making choices related to your own funeral arrangements, you'll be protecting your family against the stress of having to make these decisions at a time of extreme emotional stress. This way you can carefully choose specific items you want and need and pay for them now. Prepaid investments through funeral homes allows families to fund their funerals in advance through different investment vehicles.

Q) What Decisions Do I Make In A Pre-Arrangement?

​A) Decisions you can make when you pre-plan:

1. Burial, cremation or entombment (above ground)

2. Type of farewell – family, family and friends and/or community gathering

3. Type of service (religious, non-sectarian, military, theme-based, etc.)

4. Location of service, ceremony, tribute, visitation, etc.

5. Casket type: metal, wood, orthodox, etc.

6. Burial/urn vault

7. Urns/keepsakes

8. Transportation needs

9. Music/Video/Photographs/Program

10. Flowers and/or charitable donations

11. Readings, favorite poems, literature or scriptures

12. Obituary/eulogy

13. Cemetery location and choices

14. Final Permanent Memorialization - A tribute to a life lived and a permanent record for future generations

15. Estate planning and documentation of all personal information (e.g. Credit cards, insurance, investments, pensions etc.) that will need to be followed through with after death

16. Reception and catering arrangements

You have control over all of these details and the financial responsibility for your arrangements and can plan for these ahead of time!