Funeral pre-planning or “pre-need” funeral planning gives you the ability to arrange your funeral in advance without the added burden of urgency during a time of great stress and grief. With funeral pre-planning, you will be able to make your wishes known to your family and relieve them from the burden of arranging your funeral service and burial.
There are three major elements involved in pre-planning a funeral: financing, the funeral service and the burial location. When pre-planning, you can focus on one element, all the elements, or parts of any of the elements.
Determining how to pay for your funeral is the most significant aspect of a funeral. Many families choose to pre-fund their funerals
Pre-funding is arranged by purchasing or instituting one of the following:
- Burial Insurance
- Final Life Insurance
- Pre-need Insurance
- Funeral Saving Accounts
- Life Insurance
- Trust Funds
Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages. Before deciding which option suits your situation best, talk with a financial planner or funeral director to obtain all the facts including tax-liability and risk.
Pre-planning the funeral service involves deciding several of the funeral service details such as the following:
- Funeral Home Preference.
- Style of Funeral Service: Traditional, Graveside, Memorial.
- Type of Funeral Service: Burial, Entombment, Cremation
- Where the service will be held (List the name of the church, funeral home or other service location).
- Will there be a visitation? If so, where will it be held.
- Who will preside over the service (Clergy or special eulogy)?
- Will the service be open casket or closed casket?
- Special flower requests. Type of casket spray.
- Will the service involve music? If so, what kind (Vocal, Instrumental, Recorded)? Will there be special music selections?
- Will the service include specific religious passages, poems, or other material that will be read?
- Name of Pallbearers.
- If a veteran, will a flag drape the casket or will there be a folded flag?
- List facts that will be needed for obituary including where to submit obituary.
- Give instructions as to clothing, glasses, jewelry and hair.
- If burial, location of cemetery property and deed.
- If cremation, where will ash be interred or spread?
- Type of property: burial space, lawn crypt, mausoleum/niche.
You may want to include your ideas or instructions on these funeral elements as well:
- Type or color of casket and casket lining.
- Type of outer burial container.
- Type of urn if cremation.
- Who will notify which relatives.
Do you want a slide show of pictures from your life? Many funeral homes offer a slide show during the visitation or funeral service.
Memorials contributions.When pre-planning a funeral, you will need to create a document with instructions detailing the decisions for each of the questions. You may want to create multiply copies to give to those who will be involved in organizing your funeral. You may want to designate someone to be in charge of coordinating the funeral. This person should also know where your life insurance policy and will are located. Not all question have to be addressed. However pre-planning as many of the funeral service elements as you can will make it easier on for your family.
Many families pre-plan their burial location. In fact, many families have their own section in a cemetery or have family mausoleums. For families who do not have families cemetery plots or mausoleums, you can still pre-plan your burial location by purchasing a plot ahead of time.
With a little pre-planning, you can ease the grief and stress of your family and friends.