How To Pre-Plan Your Funeral and Memorial Service
Did you know that it’s possible to pre-plan your funeral and memorial service? While it can be a difficult and emotional task, it can also provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. When you choose to pre-plan your final arrangements, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and that your family members are not left to make difficult decisions during a time of grief. In this article, we will share details on how to pre-plan your funeral and memorial service.
Step 1: Determine Your Final Wishes
When you’re ready to pre-plan your funeral and memorial service, the first step is to determine what you want for your final arrangements. This may include whether you want to be buried or cremated, what type of casket or urn you prefer, where you want your final resting place to be, and what type of memorial service you want. There are a great many options these days, including several “green” burial options, so do your research and select the best one for you.
Step 2: Choose a Funeral Home
Once you have determined your final wishes, you should choose a funeral home to work with to pre-plan your funeral. You can do this by researching local funeral homes and speaking with their staff. Make sure to choose a funeral home that is licensed, reputable, and offers the services you want. It’s ideal to visit and speak with staff in person to get a true feel for the best service provider for you.
Step 3: Make Financial Arrangements
Funerals and memorial services can be expensive, so it is important to make financial arrangements ahead of time. You can do this by purchasing a pre-need funeral plan or funeral insurance. These plans allow you to pay for your final arrangements in advance, so that your family members are not left with the financial burden. If part of your decision to pre-plan your funeral is based on concerns about your family members footing the bill, this is a favorable step to take.
Step 4: Document Your Wishes
Once you have determined your final wishes and made financial arrangements, you should document your wishes in writing. This can be done in the form of a letter or a legal document, such as a will or trust. You might choose to work with an estate planning attorney to ensure you don’t neglect important details. Make sure to give copies of your finalized documents to your family members, your attorney, and the funeral home where you have chosen to pre-plan your funeral.
Step 5: Plan Your Memorial Service
You may choose just to pre-plan your funeral, but you might also consider pre-planning your memorial service. This may include choosing the location, the date, and the type of service you want. You may also want to choose music, readings, and speakers for the service. As you pre-plan your funeral and memorial service, you may even select the clothing you wish to be dressed in. Of course, you may also record your desire to have no memorial service, if you prefer.
Step 6: Communicate with Your Loved Ones
Although this may be the most difficult step as you pre-plan your funeral and memorial service, it is important to communicate your wishes to your loved ones. Let them know what you have planned and where they can find your documents. This will ensure that your final wishes are respected and that your family members are not left to make difficult decisions during a time of grief. Though it may be a challenging topic to discuss, it is also likely to provide greater peace of mind for all involved.
These Questions Can Help You Begin to Pre-Plan Your Funeral
If you’re ready to begin thinking about your preferences but you aren’t quite ready to take action yet, these questions can help you start to pre-plan your funeral details. As you ask yourself each question, jotting down the answers that come to mind, remember that it’s important to be thoughtful about what you’d truly like for your final arrangements and how you want to be remembered:
– Do I want to be buried or cremated?
– What type of casket or urn do I prefer?
– Where do I want to be buried or have my ashes scattered?
– What type of memorial service do I want (religious, non-religious, traditional, contemporary)?
– Where do I want my memorial service to take place (funeral home, church, park, etc.)?
– Do I have any special requests for my memorial service (music, readings, speakers, flowers, etc.)?
– Do I want an obituary to be published? If so, where and by whom? Will my family write it or will I provide it myself?
– Who do I want to be notified of my passing?
– Can I afford the financial arrangements necessary to pre-plan my funeral?
– Do I have any documents related to my final wishes, such as a will, trust, or letter to my loved ones?
– Which loved ones should be notified of my decision to pre-plan my funeral? How will I broach the subject?
While these questions may not be exhaustive, they provide a good start as you begin to pre-plan your funeral and memorial service.
Final Thoughts on Pre-Planning Your Funeral
Pre-planning your funeral and memorial service can be a difficult task, but it can also provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. By following these steps, you can ensure that your final wishes are respected and that your family members are not left to make difficult decisions during a time of grief.