How Do I Talk To My Family About Pre-planning?
Before sitting down with family to discuss pre-planning your funeral, it’s important to have a plan in mind. This way, you will be able to answer any questions your loved ones pose. The idea of pre-planning a funeral is to take the burden of planning off of your loved ones during their time of grief. Arriving at the discussion well prepared will let your family members know you have put some serious thought into your end-of-life celebration. Below are some questions to consider:
6 Questions To Consider As You Pre-plan Your Funeral
1. Do you have a budget in mind?
A reasonable budget can guide your decision making. Pre-planning a funeral gives a person the luxury to compare prices and make wise decisions.
2. Do you want to be buried, cremated, or donated?
It’s important to educate yourself about the various options. Understanding the process of each can help you make a more informed decision. If you decide on burial, you will need to choose a cemetery plot or a space in a mausoleum. If you choose cremation, you will need to decide on traditional cremation or direct cremation. With direct cremation, the body is disposed of immediately after death without a funeral service. Next, you need to determine what will be done with the ashes. For example, they can be buried, scattered, made into keepsake items, or stored in an urn and kept with a family member or placed in a mausoleum. Finally, if you choose body donation, you will need to find and contact an organization, preregister, know your obligations, update legal paperwork, and decide whether or not you would still like a funeral.
3. Who will you use as a funeral director?
Unless you already have an established relationship with a funeral home, it’s advisable to visit a few and consider the following:
- Special religious or cultural considerations
- Extra amenities and services
Suggested Read: What’s A Funeral Director, A Mortician, And An Undertaker? and A Funeral Home’s Purpose
4. Where will you be buried?
There are choices when it comes to cemeteries. For example, there are national and veterans’ cemeteries, religious, public, municipal and even green cemeteries. Visit the cemetery you are interested in to see how well it is maintained and the courteousness of the staff. Before signing paperwork, make sure all of your questions are answered.
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5. What products will need to be purchased?
Caskets can be purchased from a funeral home or an online retailer. You will also need to purchase a grave liner or burial vault. If you are opting for traditional cremation, a casket can be rented from the funeral home and there are many styles and varieties of urns.
6. What kind of service do you desire?
Think about the following when opting for a traditional funeral:
- Open casket or closed
- Clothes and hairstyling
- Scripture readings
- Graveside proceedings
A memorial service can occur any time after death since it does not require the presence of a body. These services are usually less religious and more informal, and the location can range from a church to a beach. Here are a few things to sort out:
- Religious readings (if desired)
- Master of ceremonies
- Presence or not of an urn
- Eulogy and who will give it
Finally, personal touches can be added to any ceremony. This includes decorations, videos, donations to charitable organizations, participants, food, and keepsakes.
A Final Consideration
Planning a funeral can be an overwhelming undertaking. Pre-planning a funeral allows an individual to take his or her time so that thoughtful decisions can be made without putting added stress on grieving family members. Take the time to convey your reasons for pre-planning to your loved ones. Once they understand your intentions, they will likely be more open and receptive to hearing your plans.
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