Prearranging Your Funeral Service: How to Make it Easier on Your Loved Ones
Death. According to Benjamin Franklin, it’s one of life’s certainties that we can’t avoid. While we can’t escape the reality of death, we can individually take steps to make the grieving process for our friends and family a little easier when our time comes. Arranging and paying for the funeral service immediately following a death is made even harder as sound decisions, both financial and emotional can be difficult.
To help keep your family or friends from making these tough decisions in a time of grief, you can proactively prepare for the inevitable by exercising the option of prearranging your service. While potentially uncomfortable to think about for yourself, prearranging your service has multiple benefits that can provide a more positive and less stressful experience for both you and your loved ones.
Benefits of Pre-arranging Your Funeral
When thinking about prearranging a service, you might be asking yourself questions such as: do I want to be cremated or buried? How do I arrange for a funeral or memorial service with my funeral home or cemetery? What type of service or celebration do I want? If I’m going to be buried, what will my casket and headstone look like? If I’m going to be cremated, what kind of cremation casket should be used, what type of urn do I want? What should be done with my cremated remains? By not planning ahead, these are all questions your friends and family would have to answer themselves in a short period of time after your passing.
Your family members might want to push the discussion off to a further time. And who can blame them? Death is a complicated and sensitive subject. But you can help make it easier for them. As you’re approaching your golden years, you’re entering the perfect time to address your afterlife plans. By outlining the service you want and how you want to be remembered, the planning will be in good hands and your family members will not be faced with difficult questions and decisions about your service. Instead, lifting this burden off your family will allow them to grieve and heal in a steady process without having to plan for everything all at once.
Beyond the emotional benefits, experts suggest that you pay for your arrangements in advance because you may be able to “lock in” or “freeze” the price at today’s level. You will also have several options on how to finance your service. When prearranging your funeral, you can pay in a single installment, or have the flexibility to set up a payment plan and pay in increments over a period of time. This will allow you to better budget for your services instead of you or your family worrying if there is enough money to pay for what you want all at once.
When you set up your payment plan with a funeral home or cemetery, you pay the fixed rate of the plan of your choice often without inflation affecting the price of your plan. Think about it like a fixed mortgage rate. If you purchase a guaranteed price contract, you pay off your plan at the same price for the determined amount of time. And since the costs of funeral services rise every year, the best way to save money and avoid unnecessary added stress is to be proactive and prearrange your plans.
Know Your Funeral, Burial, and Cremation Options
When you decide to move forward and prearrange your funeral services, there are a few things to keep in mind when you go to a funeral home to make arrangements. Before you arrive, you should educate yourself on the various pre-payment plans available to help familiarize yourself with your options, which can be done through a simple search online or through a trusted family member or friend who has made arrangements of this nature.
Death is never easy to plan for or discuss. But what’s even worse is making logistical and financial decisions during a time of grief and remembrance. While starting the process of prearranging may be unsettling or intimidating, it will allow your loved ones to grieve and remember you as you want to be remembered.