by James Quigley, funeral apprentice, Cache Valley Mortuary
Thinking about our own deaths is not something most people are comfortable with, so preparing for your funeral might make you feel uneasy. Still, more and more adults are finding that pre-planning a funeral is a natural part of life and offers great emotional and financial security for their families. They see funeral planning as an extension of will and estate planning.
By taking time to designate funeral preferences and pay for many or all of the expenses in advance, you ensure your loved ones will have fewer complicated decisions to make during that emotional time.
Although making your funeral and cemetery arrangements may seem overwhelming, it isn’t hard. We recommend you approach planning using four easy steps.
- Reflect. Take time to consider the type of funeral and cemetery services you want to celebrate or memorialize your life. Consider the tone and atmosphere of the services. Will they be somber? Traditional? Celebratory? Will they reflect your unique interests and personality? Answering these questions will help you begin to make the funeral and cemetery selections that are right for you.
- Record. Once you have determined your wishes for your final arrangements, writing them down is the best way to ensure they will be carried out. Whether stored on paper or electronically, this will allow your loved ones to act on your behalf. Just as you keep your will and financial documents updated, you should review and update your funeral and cemetery plans, if necessary, as well.
- Share. After you have recorded your funeral plans, it’s important to share them with your loved ones, so they will be able to carry out your wishes. Keep these plans in a safe, but accessible location. If you work directly with a funeral provider, they will keep this on file.
- Support. Does pre-planning require pre-payment? The simple answer is “no.” You can simply record your wishes, and leave it to your family to pay for the desired services at the time of your passing. Or, if you are financially able, you can relieve your family of the need to pay for your funeral or cemetery services by pre-funding your plan. This ensures your expenses will be covered when you need them to be. When you choose to pre-fund your final arrangements, your money is put into a state-approved trust account, or top-rated insurance policy, until required. After your pre-plan is paid for in full, the price is guaranteed. You will never have to pay more for the items you have already paid for. Also when you pre-plan with a reputable mortuary, your plan will go where you go. No matter where you reside at the time of your passing, your plan will be transferable to any funeral home in the United States.
You can begin the process of planning your funeral arrangements on your own, or it may be beneficial to work with a pre-planning specialist at your selected mortuary to ensure your wishes are organized and secure.