There’s a lot to know about preplanning a funeral and it’s never too early to start learning. In fact, planning a funeral or cremation requires making up to 125 decisions.
Losing a loved one is emotional, and making decisions can be overwhelming when grieving. Preplanning your own funeral allows you to relieve stress and give closure to your loved ones.
To successfully preplan your funeral, you’ll need to make many decisions—from choosing burial or cremation, payment method, final resting place, and service. If you have additional wishes, such as personal touches you’d like included, this can also be a part of the preplanning process.
Below is a checklist of decisions to consider when preplanning.
1. Decide Who to Involve
Preplanning may involve a handful of people, but the decision of who to include is up to you. You may elect to seek help in a preplanning advisor or even ask for assistance from immediate family members. Others who should be involved in the process include funeral home staff, an attorney, and a life insurance agent. Identifying these individuals will depend on your personal preplanning needs
2. Choose Burial or Cremation
Choosing between burial and cremation is perhaps one of the most important decisions you can predetermine. Remember that your choice of cremation or burial services come with different costs.
Put your preferences in writing and make sure your loved ones, as well as your attorney, have a copy. If you solely put these wishes in your will, it may not be read until after your service.
3. Determine Your Final Resting Place
When preplanning your funeral, you have many final resting place options to consider.
Your final resting place will depend on if you choose burial or cremation. You’ll want to consider a type of urn or casket, cremation keepsake, burial location, or location of your scattered cremains.
4. Outline Your Choice of Gathering
Whether you choose a cremation or a burial, holding a service or memorial is up to you. There are different types of gatherings, so be sure to consider all options, from funeral services or memorial to immediate burial. If you have a preference, talk this over with your funeral director to learn the costs, and ensure you have your wishes in writing.
If you have detailed requests for your service, such as an open or closed casket, procession or decorative details, be sure to put these in writing, as well.
5. Consider Payment Methods
The average cost of a funeral is $7,000 to $10,000, and prices continue to rise. However, you can lock in today’s rates with preplanning policy, saving you and your family from spending more down the road.
If you plan to pay for your funeral or cremation with a life insurance policy, understand that your loved ones may have to wait to see that money and it may not cover the whole cost.
Another payment option to consider is through Medicaid assistance. If you qualify for Medicaid, you can use this program to pay for your nursing home costs, which may free up savings to prepay for your funeral or cremation.
Additional Preplanning Assistance
End-of-life planning is a way to ease your loved ones’ stress. While it can be emotional, you are working to protect the ones you love down the road. We want to make it easier for you right now with our comprehensive guide to preplanning.