Planning your own funeral is not something most people like to think about. All too often, we don’t want to talk about the subject of death, much less actually plan it out. Today, I will explain to you why it is important to plan ahead of time.
Taking care of it in advance is smart. It’s easier to do than you might think. Plus, I guarantee it is not as scary as you may have imagined it to be. In todays time death is a certainty for all of us.
How to Plan Your Own Funeral
- Choose your funeral home.
- Call ahead of time to make an appointment to talk to a “Pre-need Counselor.” (He/she is the expert you will be dealing with.)
- Decide on burial or cremation.
- Be honest with your pre-need salesperson. Let them know your budget. Normally there will be a small down payment (usually 10%) and monthly installment fees.
- Think through the different types of services, and what you want to happen during the funeral.
- Your pre-need counselor will talk you through everything you need to know. Ask questions!
- Make your choices. Only buy what you want and what you have to per state or cemetery law.
- Let your loved ones know your plan. Your arrangements don’t do any good if no one knows about it!
As you can see, it’s not as difficult as you may have feared. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these points.
1. Choose the Funeral Home
Choosing a funeral home you can trust is important. You want to be comfortable with the surroundings and the staff. You will want to know that you will be treated with all of the dignity and respect you deserve.
- Discuss the funeral homes in your vicinity with family and friends. What has been their dealings with any of them?
- Call at least two local funeral homes. Speak with a funeral director and ask the important questions. Example: How long does it take you to come and pick up a body? Do you have a storage facility on-site? Is your crematory on-site? Is your prep room on-site? These are all valid questions and ones you will want to know the answers to.
- Get price lists from at least two different funeral homes. Compare prices. Please don’t feel shy about calling a funeral home and asking them to explain their prices.
- After doing your research, you should have a good feeling about the choice of funeral homes.
2. Choose Burial or Cremation
- Choosing burial or cremation is a very personal determination. Don’t let anyone else’s opinions dissuade you from what you really want to happen
- Some people are staunchly against cremation due to personal, religious, or cultural reasons. This is just another reason why it is important to plan your own funeral service.
- There are also financial reasons to choose cremation over burial. A funeral service with a burial can cost well over $10,000, and that won’t even include your cemetery plot. A “direct” cremation can cost as little as $2000. Pricing ranges vary and need to be considered if finances are limited.
3. Plan the Service the Way YOU Want
- Funeral services are changing with the times. Not everyone feels the doom and gloom of a funeral. Playing funeral dirges doesn’t happen very often these days.
- As a funeral broker, I will often refer to a funeral as a Celebration of Life. Truly, a funeral is to commemorate your life. So why not plan it with your own personal flair?
- Are you a motorcycle buff? A fisherman? A crafty kind of gal? Incorporating almost anything and everything is perfectly acceptable.
- Spending your hard-earned money on a service you have planned will give you a sense of accomplishment. You can know that you have done the best for your family and yourself. You’ve taken the burden off of your shoulders and put it where it belongs, with the funeral home.
A couple of details to keep in mind
- Finding a good funeral home. This should be a place you feel comfortable about, who treat you well and offer good help.
- Choose the service type(s). Will the funeral include graveside/committal service? Or will it be a memorial or “celebration of life“?
- Arrange the funeral events. These might include a wake/viewing, visitation, reception, and/or formal mourning period.
- Plan the service. Think about the decor, musicians, pallbearers, the minister, someone to give the eulogy, prayers, funeral song selection, readings, special tributes, and so on.
- Choose the final disposition. Burial, cremation, “green” burial, other alternative disposition methods.
- Choose a final resting place. Cemetery burial, a mausoleum or crypt, eco-friendly options, cremation with scattering or inurnment, placement in a columbarium niche, a beautiful urn for display, etc.
- Plan on how to pay for everything. You can set aside funds, pay in advance, get an insurance policy, and so on.
Secure Your Legacy has saved families thousands of dollars when it comes to funeral related expenses. Let us help eliminate confusion and excessive expenses at time of need. Call today to find out more or contact our office to attend a free educational workshop on funeral planning (832) 953-4229 or 832-9-LEGACY.