Thinking About The Unthinkable -- A Guide To Preplanning Your Funeral

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While few people want to think about their own demise, it's important to make some arrangements if you want to ensure that your own wishes are met if you pass away. Leaving this task up to chance can cause costs to skyrocket, family members to get upset, or your own interests to be overlooked. 

If you're considering arranging your funeral in advance, here is a handy guide to how it works. 

How to Preplan

You can preplan as much or as little of your funeral, cremation, or burial arrangements as you wish. What's right for you will depend on how specific your needs are, how much you want to spend and what you would like to leave open to family or friends' decisions. 

The funeral home you choose likely has documents to help guide you through outlining the choices you want. You may include such things as:

  • whether or not you are donating organs
  • how your body should be disposed of
  • who should be notified if you die
  • what type of service you want
  • what the obituarty should include
  • who you want to speak or offer a eulogy
  • what organizations should benefit from memorial donations

Once you complete a preplanning (often called "pre-need") arrangement, it generally cannot be changed by others unless something is unclear. For this reason, work with the funeral home to determine that everything you put in writing is complete and understandable.

How to Pay for It

There are several ways to pay for what you've decided upon. These include:

  • Funeral insurance
  • Life insurance specifically purchased to cover burial expenses
  • Money placed in a trust with the funeral home
  • Money in a bank account earmarked for these expenses

What to Do Next

Now that you've decided what you want to have happen at your funeral and how you want to pay for it, it's time to discuss your decisions with your family. Be sure that your next of kin understands that you have arrangements written down and which funeral home you are working with. If you buy a life insurance policy or place money in an account for final expenses, make sure they can access the money when the time comes. You also may choose to go over your wishes with family and friends, or you may want to leave that in the hands of the funeral home. 

By preplanning your funeral arrangements, you can help ensure that things run smoothly and as you would want them if the unthinkable happens. And even though it may not be a comfortable conversation, it could benefit not only you but also your loved ones. For more information, contact establishments like Fletcher Funeral Home PA.