Are you thinking about pre-planning your funeral? The process is similar to writing a will in that you can set out your final wishes in advance and provide peace of mind for your family in the event of your death. Pre-arranging your funeral allows you to create a customized plan with personalized details on exactly how you want things done for your final send-off. Some people want a simple service, while others may prefer an elaborate affair; whatever you decide, it’s important to consider all the details that go into arranging a funeral. Here’s a list of items you should think about:
- Funeral Home – you can choose a specific funeral home to manage the final arrangements and act as the location for the wake/memorial. The funeral director can provide you with a general price list so you know how much to set aside to cover the service charges, body preparation costs, and permit fees. Many funeral homes also offer pre-paid funeral plans that you can purchase upfront or pay off via installments.
- Obituary – select a family member or close friend to write your obituary or consider writing it yourself. There are numerous guides and resources on the internet that can show you how to compose a meaningful life story.
- Casket – if you choose burial, your choice of casket can be a traditional oak coffin or something more stylish, e.g., some caskets are gold-plated or decorated with hand-painted designs, while others are built to resemble cars, pianos, animals, etc.
- Ceremony – customized funeral services are quickly growing in popularity and often reflect the personality of the deceased. You can pick the type of service (religious, military, spiritual), the location (chapel, restaurant, outdoor space), what kind of music is played, the type of flower arrangements displayed, and defined roles for family members and friends (pallbearers, eulogizer, singers). In addition, in lieu of flowers or gifts you can request to have donations directed to a charitable organization of your choice.
- Burial – carefully consider the location of your final resting place. If you want to be buried but don’t already own a burial plot, you’ll likely need to purchase cemetery space in a public or private cemetery in advance. In addition to reserving a plot, other burial costs may include:
- Interment fees (opening and closing the grave).
- Burial vault/grave liner – often made of reinforced concrete, a vault prevents the grave from sinking as the casket declines over time.
- Perpetual care fees – perpetual care pays for continued maintenance costs of the cemetery, including landscaping, security, and general upkeep.
- Headstone – grave markers and headstones come in a myriad of shapes and sizes. For example, you can choose a headstone made of granite, bronze, marble, or other material that sits atop the grave or lies flat on the ground. You can also be as creative as you like with the inscription carved into the stone.
These are just some of the things to consider when pre-arranging your funeral. It’s also important to include family members in the process if possible; after all, they will be the ones grieving your loss and having a plan already in place can help them tremendously during an emotional and stressful time.
If you’re ready to plan ahead now, click here to learn more and make arrangements online.