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Pre-Planning a Funeral Service

Many people prefer to think about funerals only when they have to attend one. But while thinking about mortality is not easy, preparing for your end-of-life needs is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for your loved ones. It is not possible to thwart the grief your family may experience after your passing, but you can reduce most of the worry that may transpire when your loved ones plan your funeral.

A growing number of people are planning their own funerals, designating their funeral preferences, and sometimes even paying for them in advance. These people see funeral and memorial service planning as an extension of estate planning. Here are some useful tips when planning for your funeral:

Make the Funeral more personal

Many funerals are based around religious preferences or family traditions, but you can try to personalise it so it reflects your life. You can choose to have a green burial, unique transportation with horses or limousines, your favorite music and flowers, an order of service, etc.

Include all important elements in your planning

When planning your funeral, you should keep in mind that the memorial service is intended to provide support and comfort to your surviving loved ones. So, try to find ways to enhance the recovery and healing process.

Plan for:

  • A ceremony or service – services are held to honour the deceased, as well as to provide spiritual and religious elements that will provide the grieving family with hope.
  • Procession to the graveside – this is a symbol of support, unity, and acknowledgement that a significant event has occurred, and helps families transition and accept the finality of the deceased.
  • Private gathering – after the committal service, a public or private, informal gathering can be arranged so family and friends can continue sharing memories and comforting each other

Consider where the remains will be buried/scattered/entombed

There is limited time between the death and burial of a loved one, and many family members often rush to buy a grave or cemetery plot without careful thought or a site visit. If there is a specific cemetery where you would like to be buried, make sure that you check their rules regarding the placement of gravestones. If you prefer to be cremated, choose a place where your ashes will be buried or scattered, and obtain permission from the relevant authority.

You Don’t Have to Pay in Advance However Prepaid Does Give Peace of Mind

Pre-funding funeral arrangements usually provides peace of mind to your loved ones. It prevents emotional overspending, allows informed decision making that is free of emotional stress and pressure, and is often accompanied with a comfortable payment plan that fits your budget. However, businesses may close or change ownership over time, and prices may change with increased competition. So, always review and revise your decisions every few years, and inform your family of any changes.

Remember to choose a memorial

Memorials provide a way to be remembered by your loved ones for generations to come, and can range from simple flower in a garden to a headstone at a grave. Typical options for a physical permanent marker include:

  • A memorial garden
  • A tree or plant planted above a biodegradable urn
  • A memorial fund to support those in need

Lastly, always put your preferences in writing and give copies to your lawyer and family members. Don’t attach your preferences to your will, because the will is usually read after the funeral. Also, don’t lock your preferences in a safe deposit box that is inaccessible on weekends or holidays, since the funeral may have to be planned quickly on such days.

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    Many people prefer to think about funerals only when they have to attend one. But while thinking about mortality is not easy, preparing for your end-of-life needs is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for your loved ones. It is not possible to thwart the grief your family may experience after your […]