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Pre-planning your own funeral arrangements may seem daunting, and something you want to put off until a later time. But taking some time to either fully plan all the details for your funeral or simply get a few ideas together and sharing them with your family will make things much easier for everyone when the time eventually comes. Planning is meant to make things easier in the future, and it is no less true when it comes to funerals. If you would like to take the first steps in getting started, please check out our easy step-by-step planning tool.
Below are 10 practical and encouraging reasons to get you thinking about planning ahead.
1. Get Peace of Mind
Let’s be honest, the last thing anyone wants to think about is their own death, not to mention taking the time to make plans for something they hope doesn’t happen for a long time. However, setting aside the time now to plan your end of life wishes is one way to face one of life’s few certainties, which will not only help you feel more prepared but could also help you live more in the present. For many people it is the unknown that creates anxiety, and planning ahead and knowing what will come can help give you peace of mind.
2. Make It Easier on Loved Ones
When there is a loss, whether sudden or expected, loved ones instantly find themselves struggling with feelings of deep sorrow, uncertainty, and stress. Many are unfamiliar with what to do or what to expect when it comes to planning a funeral, and such arrangements must be made relatively quickly (within a few days or a few weeks depending on the circumstances). The responsibility of ensuring the services are done just right, how the deceased would have wanted it, can be hard on those left with the task. Planning your own funeral, and making the important decisions ahead of time, allows your loved ones the opportunity to grieve and spend time with family and friends, without the added stress of planning the funeral.
3. Make Your Wishes Known
Having a discussion with loved ones about death is not easy. The time may not ever seem right to talk about burial or cremation or what funeral arrangements you have in mind for when the time comes. Therefore, it is no wonder so few families know what their loved one would have wanted. Whether you want a simple intimate gathering with your cremated remains scattered, or a traditional burial with everyone you have known invited, by pre-planning you’ll be able to make your end of life wishes known and your loved ones will be confident that the services were what you wanted.
4. You Have Time to Learn About Options
With something this important, it’s common for loved ones to feel rushed and overwhelmed when having to make such meaningful and difficult decisions regarding their loved one’s end of life services. If you plan ahead, you have the ability to compare and research different options and not feel pressured into making any decisions. If you are undecided about being buried or cremated or you’re interested in donating your body to science, you can do the necessary research ahead of time. A funeral director at a local funeral home can talk you through the process, help you think about personalizing the ceremony, finding a burial plot, as well as other important items to consider.
5. Save Money
Loved ones often find themselves in a difficult position when it comes to deciding what is the right amount of money to spend on a funeral. The cost of a funeral can be very high, and many struggle with the idea of trying to save money while also celebrating a life to the best of their ability. Your loved ones will also be under a lot of emotional stress, which makes rational decision making more difficult.
If you plan your own funeral, you can save your loved ones from having to decide how much they think is the right amount to spend. You may not mind what sort of casket you are buried in, but caskets range from $500 to $10,000 depending on the materials used and from where they are purchased. Making such decisions ahead of time could potentially save thousands of dollars.
6. Promotes Communication with Loved Ones
When it comes to thinking about death, for many they would rather not discuss it, with an out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach, but it doesn’t make it any less inevitable. Pre-planning will give you the opportunity to really think about what matters which can open the door to important, but difficult, conversations with your loved ones.
It can be very healthy to have a discussion with family and friends, and the earlier you start planning for it the easier it will be to find the right time to communicate your wishes. Your loved ones will be thankful and touched that you care so much that you wanted to make things easier for them.
7. You Can Pre-Pay or Write Down Your Wishes for Family
You can fully plan and pre-pay for your funeral or you can simply start thinking about your wishes and begin sharing them with friends and family. Any sort of planning can help your loved ones and is more than most people do. It is common for people to put funeral instructions in their will or other estate plan documents.
8. Make Financial Plans to Pay for Your Funeral
Funerals can be very expensive, averaging between $2,000-$7,000 depending on the state and the options you select. You may decide that you would like to make financial plans to help cover the cost of your funeral.
If you choose a funeral home and decide to pre-pay for your funeral, you will enter into a pre-purchase agreement with them ahead of time. There are other options for covering funeral costs besides contracting with a funeral home, such as life insurance, funeral or burial insurance, or opening a pay on death account, to name but a few. To view options for life insurance and see just how affordable most life insurance policies can be, visit Policygenius or use their widget at the end of this article.
Life insurance is a popular tool for funding a funeral as life insurance payout money can be available immediately to cover funeral costs. By knowing how much your funeral will cost, you can select the right policy to ensure your loved ones have the necessary funds they will need to cover the expense.
Planning ahead gives you the time to make the necessary financial arrangements to ensure your loved ones are not burdened by the costs of your funeral.
9. Protect What Matters
Making funeral arrangements ahead of time may encourage you to get your other affairs, such as your will or other advance directives, in order. Depending on the complexity of your estate, you may want to contact an attorney to see what legal documents you should have to protect your estate and your loved ones, or you may choose to draft your own. Whatever you choose to do, it’s never too late to protect what matters.
10. Encourage Others to Also Plan Ahead
Not everyone knows they can make their own funeral plans or are aware of the benefits of doing so. Taking the steps to plan ahead and sharing your wishes with loved ones may encourage them to do the same.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, accounting or tax advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.