Preplanning your own funeral will save your loved ones a lot of stress. It's a thoughtful gesture which also relieves them of the financial burden of funeral expenses.
However, there are those who are still not convinced that preplanning a funeral is worthwhile, or they may feel it’s an uncomfortable process. Perhaps that’s why you’re reading this article right now. Of course, we always recommend you go with your heart. If you feel preplanning a funeral is not right for you, that’s totally fine and understandable. Having said that, if you’re still on the fence, here we discuss 5 reasons why you should preplan your own funeral.
1. Spare your loved ones from financial obligation
One of the biggest benefits of preplanning your funeral is the fact that you will save your loved ones from further stress, heartache, and burdens when the time for your departure comes. That’s because by preplanning your funeral, you will be able to pay off a prepaid funeral plan or funeral trust, hopefully long before your departure. That means your surviving loved ones won’t have to shoulder the financial burden, and they can focus on grieving, healing, and coming together to honor your memory.
So, what are some ways of sparing your loved ones from your funeral costs?
First, let’s take a look at funeral plans. A prepaid funeral plan is a convenient way to save your family some emotional stress when the time comes. That’s because the big important decisions about your funeral will have been made by you already, and the money will have been paid.
Consult with your chosen funeral home or funeral plan provider about what’s included in the package.
Another good option is a funeral trust. A funeral trust entails setting money aside for your funeral costs. The funeral trust will be connected to a contract for pre-arrangements with a funeral home or cemetery. Essentially, you’ll be contracting in advance for funeral or burial services.
2. Save money
Speaking of financial benefits, by preplanning your funeral, you will be saving money overall.
That’s because the price range for funerals is expected to stay between $9,600 to $13,000 in the next few years. The average price will just keep increasing over the next decade.
When you preplan your funeral now, you can secure an affordable funeral plan. Even if the cost of funerals increases in the future, at the time of your departure, what you pay for now will be honored by a reputable funeral home.
On top of that, you can begin comparing prices between different funeral service providers and cemeteries, as well as other items in the expenses list, such as a casket or urn, and the cost of a burial plot or cremation. This will allow you to choose the right options for you based on your budget.
This way, your surviving family members won’t feel pressured or rushed to make decisions when your time comes if they’re unprepared. This kind of pressure could lead to unwise financial decisions, or to choosing the more expensive options. By doing your due diligence now, you can save you and your loved ones significantly.
3. Get the details of funeral arrangement
When you preplan a funeral, you have lots of time not only to research every aspect of your funeral arrangement, but also set it up to be implemented when the time comes.
During your preplanning process, you can browse for reputable funeral homes, houses of worship, and cemeteries near your loved ones so that they can visit you easily. You can also compare the price of a typical funeral and interment expenses, such as caskets and burial plots, or even a mausoleum.
After doing your due diligence, you can then specify your choices in a will, funeral plan or funeral trust.
When you preplan your funeral, you have control of your both your life and your departure.
4. Get the right people to handle your departure
Remember that it will be other people who will eventually handle your preplanned funeral arrangements. That’s why choosing the right people to send you off you on your final farewell is a critical part of preplanning a funeral.
Picking the right people isn’t just about choosing reputable funeral homes, cemeteries and other funeral professionals. It also includes choosing which loved ones will carry out your final wishes. Our loved ones have busy schedules and their own priorities, and we don’t know what their life will be like at the time of your passing. They have kids to take care of, work to do and bills to pay, among many other stresses of daily life.
Once you choose which loved ones will handle your final departure — usually a spouse, children or siblings — have a formal discussion with them about their role and the details of your pre-planned funeral, such as your prepaid plan or trust and final wishes. As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to have life insurance and wills set up before your departure. If you have these arranged, be sure to discuss the details with your loved ones and even a reputable attorney who specializes in wills and estates.
5. Express your final wishes
When you pre-plan your funeral, you will be able to express your final wishes to both your loved ones, and the funeral and cemetery professionals who will make them come true.
You can express your final wishes formally and legally through a will and estate plan. However, you can simply have a personal conversation with your closest loved ones. While we recommend you create an estate plan or will through an attorney in your state, it’s also fine to just discuss this important matter with your spouse, children and other close relatives.
What’s important is you freely and accurately express what you want and how you want it to be done when you depart. You can then integrate these wishes into the funeral pre-planning process. For example, if you would like to be cremated, you can begin looking for the urn you want and shopping around the different prices. If you have a pre-arranged funeral plan, you can designate your preferred crematorium or talk to a funeral director who could arrange such services.
Preplanning a funeral can be a tough thing to do, especially since we have to face our own mortality while we're still alive and well. However, as you’ve learned from our journey today, preparing for the future is one of the selfless and thoughtful things you can do for your loved ones. Remember to always look ahead, no matter where you are in life.
One of the most important steps in preplanning your funeral is to choose the right funeral director. Check out our guide on finding trusted funeral directors to help you get started.