If you’re thinking about preplanning your funeral, we commend you for doing the hardest part: starting. The preplanning process is actually fairly simple and almost completely painless, but getting started on the journey is the toughest part. We know that thinking about death, whether your own or that of a loved one, is not something you want to be doing, but preplanning is a positive decision that will benefit your future and the futures of your loved ones. So, let’s get started together.
Q: So I’ve decided to preplan my own funeral. What comes next?
A: There are really 3 major steps to preplanning a funeral. First, set your budget. Do your research on what an average funeral costs, take a look at some specifics that you may or may not want to include, and talk to a variety of funeral professionals so you can find the best price for the most help. Don’t forget the unknown expenses like the transfer of the body and hearse costs, the funeral home’s professional service fee, the cemetery plot, etc. We recommend working closely with a funeral home to most accurately dictate your budget, which brings us to step 2: select the funeral home.
You may be surprised at how many funeral homes there are to choose from in your area. Narrow down your search by prioritizing your needs. Are you looking for a nationwide company or a locally-owned business? What type of services, funeral packages, and customization are available? What cemeteries or crematories does your firm work with? Does your funeral home work in partnership with any preneed insurance companies? Once you’ve selected the funeral home that best matches your needs, work closely with the trained professionals to plan every detail of your future event. Your funeral director can help you nail down the details to make your funeral a memorable experience for all who attend.
Lastly, keep a record of everything that you have planned. Ensure that a copy is kept in a safe place, perhaps with your final will and testament or in the care of your attorney. A copy can also be held by your funeral home to corroborate the agreements and plans that have been set.
Q: What are some things I can preplan, besides the basics (casket, location of burial, etc)?
A: Preplanning really gives you the most options as well as the most time to study and ponder those options. Planning ahead often results in more freedom and benefits than doing everything last minute! Most funeral home have funeral packages that include certain defaults (length of service, setup, event room, even casket type), but the best funeral homes also make it easy to customize even the little details. You can choose your own music, flower arrangements, even speakers and pallbearers. Preplanning can really be as involved or as simple as you want it to be—if you have a vision, your funeral home can make it happen.