People plan ahead for weddings, graduations or their first time out on their own. Yet, when it comes to the final celebration of a life lived, many people shy away from funeral pre planning. It is unfortunate, as this additional step helps to avoid burdening family members with event planning, while also ensuring you get the sending off that you prefer. Here are some tips on how to tackle funeral planning.
Make Payment Arrangements
Your specific payment options depend on your financial situation and the funeral home you work with. Many people may believe that they can use life insurance to pay for funeral home services. However, the beneficiaries on life insurance policies may wish to spend the money in other ways. Because of this, many people prefer the following alternatives:
- Paying in full upfront
- Paying in installments
- Purchasing funeral insurance
Decide on Physical Treatment
These are some of the biggest questions you need to tackle. Would you prefer to be cremated or buried? Will you donate any organs to science prior to or in place of either of the prior options? If you prefer a burial, where will your final resting place be? If you choose cremation, will you leave ashes to family members? Or, would you prefer to arrange for your ashes to be scattered?
Choose a Funeral Director
Note that not all funeral homes will provide the services you want. This may result from religious beliefs of the community members they usually serve or the owners themselves. Some homes may also prefer to specialize in certain areas, such as burials instead of cremations. Once you’ve made a choice, funeral directors assist with sourcing and purchasing materials needed. They also help with making service arrangements and fine-tuning your overall plans.
Select Service Preference
There are many different types of service arrangements to choose from. This too will differ between funeral homes and their religious affiliations. Common choices include memorial services, graveyard services, visitations and wakes. Some families hold a small gathering before and after the burial, cremation or ashes scattering. Other important selections here include preferred readings and songs, as well as who your pallbearers will be, if applicable.
Pick the Right Location
Location is important regardless of the funeral arrangements you choose. If you decide on cremation, will you ask for family members to scatter the ashes? If so, where? If you prefer a burial, you will need to select a plot. Will you only purchase one for yourself, or will you consider a spouse and future family members as well? You will also need to decide where to host the related services, such as a memorial.
Identify Preferred Materials
One of the most emotional aspects of funeral pre-planning is making selections for material objects used at the service. This may include caskets, urns, burial vaults or flowers. If you find that these choices become too overwhelming, you may leave the decision to other family members. Also, note that there is no need to plan every last detail of a funeral. Leaving some things to the discretion of family, friends or the funeral director is helpful as long as you stipulate who gets the final say. This helps to reduce any disagreements that may arise.
Take the First Step
Many people spend a lot of time trying to decide how to go about funeral planning. They may estimate costs, decide on general locations and even make material choices. However, they may feel reluctant to take the first step. This is true whether they are planning for themselves or an ailing family member.
At Wujek & Calcaterra & Sons, we understand the difficult situation you face. We are committed to making this process as smooth as possible for you. Contact us today for more information about how we can help.