Funeral pre-arrangement: making the right choices at a difficult time

No one likes thinking about future funeral arrangements, whether for a parent or themselves. Funeral pre-arrangement can help remove some of the stress.

Funeral pre-arrangement: making the right choices at a difficult time

Perhaps, too often, the task of planning and arranging a funeral falls on loved ones, who often are surprised and most likely in deep mourning. Neither surprise nor grief lend themselves to the types of logistical and financial decisions that need to be made when arranging for a funeral.

Pre-arrangement can help avoid leaving some uncomfortable decisions in the hands of grief-stricken loved ones. It can lead to some additional benefits as well.

Speak with your family

To begin the pre-arrangement process, talk with your family and any loved ones who you may leave behind. Talk over the idea of pre-arranging a funeral and try to get their input on the level of involvement with which they are comfortable; incorporate any ideas that they have for the vision of what your funeral should be like.

Meet with a funeral director

Sit down with a few professional funeral directors to get an idea of what type of funeral you want, whether you choose a burial or if you're interested in cremation or other options. You should also very carefully discuss all the factors that go into the total cost of the funeral. If you choose a burial, you may need to look separately at burial plots, depending on the location you choose, as funeral directors are not always able to arrange these. Moreover, pre-selecting a burial plot is the best way to ensure that you're laid to rest where you want to be.

In addition to saving your loved ones the added trauma of quickly planning and paying for a funeral at the last minute, pre-arrangement can also offer economic benefits. When you pre-pay your arrangements, you are locking in the cost of the funerary services at today's dollars. Depending on how soon you will need funeral services, admittedly a morbid thought, you can save your family hundreds or even thousands of dollars by avoiding rising costs due to inflation. Many funeral service providers also offer financing or installment plans for pre-arrangements. If you take advantage of such plans, neither you nor your family will have to cover all the costs out of pocket and all at once.

While your funeral may be the last thing on your mind, take some time to consider pre-arrangement; the cost savings and peace of mind for your family offered by planning for the inevitable may make it worthwhile.

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