3 min read

My Loved One Prearranged a Funeral. Now What?

Featured Image

Planning a funeral is one of the most stressful experiences families face. It also happens to be one of the most expensive purchases, too.

Fortunately, some individuals choose to preplan and/or prepay for funeral plans to save their family from sudden financial burdens and stressful decisions during an already emotional time.

A prearranged funeral plan generally specifies:

  • The provider the deceased has selected to arrange services with.
  • Their preferred method of disposition (burial or cremation).
  • Service preferences (funeral or memorial).

It may also include the purchase of a burial vault, casket, headstone, cemetery plot or urn, as well as personalization options.

In the event a loved one passes and has prearranged services with a funeral home, we outline five steps to ensure their final wishes are met.

1. Contact the pre-selected funeral home about the death of your loved one.

To properly carry out your loved one’s prearranged funeral plan, you’ll want to contact the funeral home they chose to arrange services with prior to passing. Once notified, a funeral director will meet with you and your family to discuss your loved one’s final wishes.  

If you’re unsure what preplanning entails, these are some questions you may want to ask about your loved one’s plan:

  • Method of disposition: Did my loved one choose burial or cremation?
  • Service: Which service arrangements (funeral, memorial or visitation) did my loved one preplan? Is the service public or private?
  • Payment plan: What’s my loved one’s payment plan? Is the contract paid in full? If not, what expenses remain? Will life insurance cover any additional charges?
  • Personalization: What personalization options did my loved one request to incorporate in the service?

By asking these questions, you can get a better understanding of how your loved one wanted to be remembered.

2. Review the guaranteed and non-guaranteed payments of your loved one’s plan.

Some individuals elect to not only preplan their funeral, but prepay for it as well. If your loved one chose to prepay for services, make sure you have a clear understanding of the guaranteed and non-guaranteed payments.  

A funeral director can detail whether or not your loved one chose to prepay for some or all of the expenses involved. If you have questions about pricing, ask to see a current general price list. A price list briefly details the items and services the funeral home offers, and the cost of each one.  

If interested in purchasing additional items outside of the original scope, talk to your loved one’s funeral director. A funeral home with an on-site remembrance center gives families the opportunity to choose from a variety of service personalization options, including:

  • Bereavement and sympathy gifts.
  • Display of cherished belongings.
  • Literature, cards and stationery.
  • Memorial candles.
  • Music.
  • Unique requests.

By purchasing these items at a remembrance center, you can rest assured knowing the selected provider will help you conduct a meaningful and memorable end-of-life celebration.

3. Transfer their prearranged plan if necessary.

Under Ohio law, all prearranged plans are 100% transferrable at any time. There are many reasons why someone would consider transferring their plan, including:

  • Moving to another state or local area.
  • Previous funeral home comes under new ownership.
  • Prefer the experience and care of another funeral home.

Whatever cost you agreed to during your initial prearrangement agreement is final. However, it’s important to note that under certain conditions, you may not be refunded for a cost difference.  

Keep in mind, all funeral homes have varying rules, conditions and terms associated with their prearranged plans. 

>>> If you’re interested in transferring a prearranged plan to Busch or would like more information, please schedule a consultation with us.

4. Execute the service according to your loved one’s prearranged plan.

While preplanning is a caring and loving act, prearrangements serve as guidelines for the deceased’s family and funeral director to carry out. The funeral home will also work with you and your family to incorporate personal touches that honor the life and legacy of the deceased that may not have been outlined in your loved one’s plan. This may include the addition of a photo collage presentation or multimedia tribute, as well as flower arrangements to enrich the service.

5. Work with a Certified Celebrant to add personalized touches to your loved one’s final arrangements.

While a funeral director will walk you through the prearranged plan made by your loved one that outlines their wants, a Certified Funeral Celebrant can help you conduct a meaningful and memorable tribute.

By working with a Certified Celebrant, you’ll be able to incorporate special touches into your loved one’s service that remind you of them (i.e. values, character, personality, interests).

A Celebrant will work with you to select special readings, like poems or scriptures, that were important to your loved one. They’ll also help you create customized memory boards with photos. They’ll even arrange a display of mementos that were meaningful to you and your family, including personal belongings.

Start Thinking About Your Final Wishes with Our Simple Tool

Preplanning not only helps your family members but gives you the option to choose exactly what you want. We want you to be confident in your planning, so we’ve included all the important factors you’ll need to consider in our Online Final Wishes tool.

Take our online final wishes assesment

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Kathleen Bloesinger
Kathleen Bloesinger
Believes that one of the greatest gifts we can leave behind is to put a plan in place now, to guide those we love into the future. It’s Kathleen’s privilege to give you sincere and honest information on the many end-of-life choices available to you. Honorably serving Busch families since 2002.

Recent Posts

How to Honor a Lost Loved One at Your Wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! Getting engaged and then married to the person you wish to spend the rest of your life with is one of life’s...

Read More

Is It Too Late to Plan a Memorial Service for My Loved One?

When we lose a loved one, there’s an overwhelming number of decisions that need to be made. And oftentimes, it can be difficult making these...

Read More

At What Age Should You Plan Your Funeral?

Humans spend a lot of time, money and effort planning for life-changing moments such as marriage, children, or retirement. So, why should planning...

Read More