While all humans do eventually die, most of the time, we try not to think about it. However, there are times when it is important to take our passing into consideration for ourselves and those who love us. It’s easy to be fearful at the loss of a loved one and all of the decisions that need to be made for funeral services, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.
Funeral Service Pre-Planning Pros
Recently, the idea of pre-planning funerals has become very popular amongst families and couples with older members. This article details some of the pros and cons of pre-planning a funeral.
1. Make Your Wishes Known
Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s what he would have wanted”? While it’s a popular expression, how do you truly know it’s what was actually wanted? The answer is that most of the time, we don’t know. When you take the time to pre-plan your funeral, you are able to take what you want into consideration. Do you want a traditional funeral, cremation, a type of headstone, or even the use of a particular funeral home and/or coordinator? By pre-planning your funeral you have control over what you want.
It also brings a degree of peace of mind to your family. The key is to truly base it on what you would want and what is meaningful to you. Often, funeral wishes are left in the will and are not discovered until after the funeral process has ended.
2. Reduce the Burden on Your Family
There are a lot of things to plan in a funeral service. By pre-planning you can take a heavy burden away from your family during their time of grief. Knowing that things are taken care of might even bring a sense of relief to your family. Plus, this helps to eliminate them saying “I hope we got it right.” Your family will have enough to deal with, so being able to lighten their load would be very helpful and much appreciated.
3. Manage Funeral Costs
This is perhaps the most popular reason to pre-plan your funeral. Funerals are far from inexpensive. This is especially true in cases of last minute decisions being made during the grieving process. Having an established plan can protect your family from having to pay out too much for unwanted services. Generally, there are three ways to pre-pay for a funeral service. They are:
Setting aside money – This is the simplest form of preparing for funeral costs. Basically, you can set aside a sum of money to be used directly for your funeral service costs. Provided you have a financially responsible family member or bank, this is a secure way of paying. However, this method does not account for potential inflation costs over time.
Advance Payment – This is where you partner up with a funeral home and pre-pay for the entire funeral upfront. Basically, when the time comes to have the funeral, everything is already taken care of. However, there are some issues with this method. Should the funeral home go out of business or the required materials become out of stock, there might be additional funds needed. Some funeral homes, however, offer locked prices and a money back guarantee.
Insurance – This is quickly becoming the preferred method for preparing for the financial aspects of funerals. You would have to arrange for a certain portion of your insurance money to be transferred to a beneficiary. This person, depending on whether it was a lawyer or family member, would distribute the money to the proper family for use in funeral costs.
As you can see, there are several good ways to pre-pay for a funeral. This is good for many different people because there are options for those of different incomes.
4. Time to Do Research
There are so many options for funeral details these days. Deciding on what you want may take some time and effort. This is particularly difficult if no plans have been made prior to the need for a funeral. Most people make the mistake of just picking the closest funeral home. By taking the time to pre-plan, you can call several different places and get much better deals. It’s important to find a funeral home and coordinator who can work well with your loved ones.
5. Right Frame of Mind
After the passing of a loved one, most family members are not prepared to make multiple difficult decisions for their funeral. They are not in the right frame of mind to think correctly and are often pushed into ideas that are not their own. By pre-planning, you can take this burden away from them and give them the ability to grieve without worrying about a bunch of plans.
Funeral Service Pre-Planning Cons
1. Products May be Unavailable
When pre-planning a funeral, you are required to pick certain products, like urns or headstones, which may not be available at the time of your funeral. This could cause extra costs to be incurred and undue stress to be put on your family. This con can be avoided by pre-selecting good substitutes or providing family with comfort that they don’t need to stress about the small things.
2. Selecting the Wrong Plan
Not every single pre-funeral plan is perfect for you. There are a great deal of funeral homes and coordinators overcharging for their services or products. It is very possible that more money could have been saved. This can easily be avoided in pre-planning by doing some more extensive research.
3. Planning for Your Death
This is perhaps the most understandable con on the list. No one likes the idea of planning for their eventual death. It can be very unsettling for both the one being planned for and the family members with them. This is a con that is not easily avoided.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why pre-planning is a great idea for funerals. While there are some cons, most can be avoided with some extra work and discussion. It isn’t anyone’s wish to plan for their own death when they’re clearly alive, but by doing so, you could be taking a very heavy burden of stress away from your family members who will be planning the funeral. It’s best to talk to your family and plan for this difficult time together.
Updated: March 28, 2014