Is pre-planning your funeral arrangements right for you?

Taking care of your own funeral arrangements in advance will help your family when they need it the most. Funerals are expensive and difficult for grieving loved ones to arrange. By preparing your own funeral arrangements, you can spare your family from making big decisions during such an emotional time. Instead, they can spend that time drawing on the support of friends and family.

Is pre-planning your funeral arrangements right for you?

The benefits of planning in advance

By making your arrangements in advance, you can spend some time doing cost comparisons, review funeral homes and select the service you’d like. This way you can get the best price, something your relatives can't do in a short time. Your planning may leave your family without that extra burden.

You have many options to consider when pre-planning. You’ll want to consider the funeral, memorial service and burial or cremation preferences.

Where to start funeral planning

Once you decide to pre-plan your own funeral arrangements, you’ll want to create a checklist. Ask a funeral home to provide you with a pre-arrangement guide you can share with your family.

You can pay in advance

You’ll be able to pay for all of your funeral arrangements in advance through methods such as life insurance, funeral insurance, bank-held trusts, savings accounts or funeral trusts. Speak to an attorney before you decide how you want to pay.

Finding a funeral home or burial service you trust

In order to find a funeral home or establishment you trust with your last wishes, it’s a good idea to do your research by including opinions from friends and relatives. You can also try funeral consumer groups that offer help, guidance and resources.

What you need to know about prepaying for your arrangements

Before you sign a contract for your services and arrangements, you should ask the following questions:

  • Are there any additional costs not covered in the initial contract?
  • Are the prices quoted final?
  • What happens to the contract if the funeral home closes or is sold?
  • If there is interest earned on the account, who pays the taxes on the income?
  • Can the contract be cancelled?
  • What is the penalty to cancel the contract?

You should consider your preferences in advance in regards to cremation versus burial, and organ donation. Pre-planning your funeral arrangements can help your family follow your wishes without having to make any extremely difficult decisions during the grieving process.

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