Many people choose to plan their funerals well in advance of their death. Not only does this ease the burden on family members at the time of death, but it ensures that they know your wishes in advance. Here are five steps to consider when planning your funeral.
- Have a conversation
One of the hardest parts of talking about death is starting the conversation. You may find that family members don’t want to talk to you about your death. It may be best to find someone who is comfortable discussing end-of-life decisions. Write down your decisions so you can share them with the rest of your family and they can read them as they feel comfortable with it. You will find that this will be an ongoing conversation and that, over time, you may change your mind about your decisions. You may also find that your family becomes more open to the conversation.
- What options are available
You may have an exact idea of what you want for your funeral or have no clue where to start. There is a lot of information online about funeral planning. You can also go to a local funeral home to get a copy of their general price list, which is a breakdown of all their services and costs. You should research what different services and prices are offered in your area. If you decide to plan a funeral that is out of the ordinary, you may want to research the funeral laws in your state.
- Put it in writing
When you know what plans you would like to arrange, you should write it down. If you go to a funeral home and plan your funeral, make sure to have copies available to your family or those in charge of your arrangements. You will also want to specify individuals you want involved or services you want performed during your funeral, such as pallbearers, clergy, readings, eulogy or songs. Putting as many details in writing will help your family carry out your funeral as you wish.
- Prepay for it
If you are certain of the decisions for your funeral, you have the option to pay for your funeral in advance. Make sure to ask questions about the exact services or merchandise you are paying for, if there could be an increase in pricing over time, what happens to the money you’ve paid, whether you can cancel the contract or what happens if you move.
- Let your wishes be known
After finalizing any plans, especially if you have paid for funeral services or merchandise, make sure to let your family or executor know. Give them a copy of any paperwork completed and contact information. If you change or update any information, make sure that you let your family know.
Planning your funeral in advance gives you the opportunity to talk to your family about what kind of services you want. You can also research different options and prices available. Advance planning will ease the burden on your family members at the time of death and reassure them that they are giving you the funeral that you want.