“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” – Allen Saunders

5 Reasons To Plan Your Funeral

One thing is certain–none of us know what the future holds. I have several friends who unexpectedly lost their spouses at an early age. They faced planning a funeral while wading through the dark waters of shock and grief.

Suggested Read: Coping With The Death Of A Spouse

Why Do People Not Pre-Plan Their Funeral?

Although 62.5 percent of people understand the logic behind preplanning a funeral and communicating those plans to family members, only 21.4 percent have done so according to the National Funeral Directors Association’s (NFDA) 2017 Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study. Most people contribute a failure to preplan to a lack of priority, lack of awareness, or lack of finances.

5 Reasons To Pre-Plan Your Funeral

Below are five reasons to preplan your own funeral:

1. Give a Wonderful Gift to Those Left Behind

Planning a funeral requires time, thought, and effort. In the throes of grief, many people experience mourning fog–a period of confusion, distraction, forgetfulness, and anxiety. Gifting family with a pre-planned funeral relieves them of a difficult and exhausting task.

2. Save Money

Families often overspend on a funeral. Many times, this is due to a lack of knowledge about the death industry and the pressure to plan quickly. Pre-planning allows people to research costs and budget accordingly. In addition, some funeral homes will offer discounts, payment plans, or let you pay for tomorrow’s funeral at today’s prices.

Suggested Read: Keeping Up With The Jones Doesn’t End With Death

3. Provide Peace of Mind

It’s a relief for both the preplanner and his or her family to know that there will be no financial surprises. Using a credit card or money set aside for other expenses like college, a wedding, or retirement creates a burden for families. Funerals aren’t cheap. The average cost is around $7,000, and the average cost of cremation can range up to several thousand dollars. When payment is provided up front, families do not have to worry about a possible financial hardship later.

4. Choose your End-of-Life Ceremony

Even with the best intentions in mind, your family may forget some of the details. If you decide on cremation, your family will know exactly where or how you’d like your ashes interred. If you choose burial, all of the details surrounding the visitation, funeral, cemetery plot and gravestone will have been decided.

Suggested Read: Why We Need End of Life Celebrations and Differences Between Memorial Services, Funerals, Wakes, And Viewings

5. Get your Affairs in Order

Planning your own funeral necessitates that you locate important documents.

The funeral home may need the following:

  • A birth certificate
  • Marriage license
  • Military discharge papers
  • Deeds to a cemetery property
  • Life or funeral insurance policies

5 Reasons To Plan Your Funeral

Giving The Gift Of Pre-Planning To Your Loved Ones

Planning one’s own funeral is not foremost on people’s minds. It’s much easier to view death as an abstract concept way off in the future. While most people don’t normally rush into expensive purchases without some research, families may quickly purchase a funeral package due to lack of time, confusion, or resources. Preplanning a funeral will relieve everyone of unnecessary anxiety and provide loved ones with an invaluable gift.