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Funeral Plan GraphicPre-planning your funeral might seem morbid, but more people are thinking about their own end-of-life choices. One of the most stressful times in any family’s life is making decisions after a loved one dies. Pre-planning lets your family know what you want, which can help avoid family arguments and stress. It’s not the easiest discussion to have with your loved ones, so here are some tips to start thinking about your final wishes and to create a funeral plan.

How Do You Want To Be Laid To Rest?

The decision between burial and cremation is a personal one that can depend on your own traditions, religion and culture. Although it’s commonly believed that cremation is a less expensive option than burial, it can depend on which options you choose as part of your funeral service. You may want to research the cost before you decide on specifics. If you’re choosing burial, you should also consider the cemetery. If you have a family plot, is that where you want to be buried?

If you choose cremation, ask yourself whether the service should be held before or after the cremation. Some people want to have the body available for viewing at the service. What should the family do with your ashes? Think about the type of urn you prefer if you think your loved ones will want to keep the ashes. There are many modern options for cremated remains: You may want to make your ashes into jewelry or have them shot into space.

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Think about the funerals you’ve attended in the past. What comforted you? What didn’t you like? Think about these aspects of the funeral service:

  • Where should the service be held?
  • Who should officiate?
  • What hymns or music do you want to be played?
  • What religious traditions do you want to be included?
  • What poems or scriptures do you want to be read at your service?
  • Should the service include any special elements, such as flowers, colors, military honors or another interest?
  • Should the casket be open or closed? Will you be cremated before the service and have your ashes scattered?
  • Do you want donations made to a specific charity instead of flowers or other memorials?

Do You Need To Prepay To Plan Your Funeral?

Pre-planning and prepaying for a funeral are two separate things. Pre-planning tells your family about your wishes. Prepaying puts money aside for your end-of-life decisions. There are many ways to prepay a funeral:

  • A payable-on-death bank savings account
  • Funeral home prepayment
  • Burial insurance
  • Veteran’s benefits

You may want to research your options to make sure your family isn’t financially burdened by your death.

Create a Funeral Plan

You don’t have to make all these decisions in one day. You can start planning and writing your wishes down as you realize what you do want. You have to decide what is important to you. While you’re writing your funeral plan, you may also want to include items that you want or don’t want in your obituary.

Although you can include your final wishes in your will, your will may not be read until weeks after the funeral. It’s recommended that you create your own separate funeral plan and let your next of kin or legal representative know where it is. You can review it every few years to make sure nothing has changed. You should also review it any time you make a big life change.

Grieving the loss of a loved one isn’t easy. Giving your family a funeral plan doesn’t change the situation, but it can help alleviate some of the stress involved in making final decisions.

Category: Funeral


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