Today pre-arrangement of funerals has become a normal part of estate planning, just as creating a will or opening a retirement fund. It can be difficult to think about one's death, but arranging a funeral in advance either for you or on behalf of a loved one can be a good idea.
Prearranging your funeral allows you more time to think clearly about what your final wishes really are. Thinking ahead can help you make informed and thoughtful decisions.
Prearranging helps relieve family members of some of the decisions that are difficult to make at the time of death. Making decisions under the pressure of time and strong emotions is stressful on the surviving family members.
Prearranging clearly outlines all of your wishes, which will prevent the occurrence of guilt and prevent your loved ones from making possible costly choices that don't reflect your own desires.
Prearranging puts all of your information in one place. Too often family members scramble to find necessary information needed for an obituary. Documenting family members and the correct spelling of relative's names relieves the stress.
Prearranging at a funeral home is an important step in this process. The funeral director can sit with you as he/she guides you through all of your choices and documents your decisions. All of these decisions are kept at the funeral home until the time of need. Avoid putting your wishes in a will or in a safe deposit box. Most often a will is not read until after the funeral and a safe deposit box is not opened until later as well. Once you have put all of your decisions on paper, the director can complete a "goods and services" form, which outlines your expected costs for what you have chosen.
It is also important to inform your family and/or loved ones, who will be involved in your funeral process, of your prearrangement. They will need to know which funeral home you would like to use and should be aware of the location of your important papers.
You may choose to plan your funeral wishes without paying any money in advance or you may wish to prepay. The funeral director will discuss your payment options based on your current situation. You may wish to prepay the entire cost, or select a partial payment option. T he advantage of prepaying your funeral cost is that with a "payment in full" we can guarantee your costs. We guarantee that you will never pay more for the selected services than what is in your trust. It's important to note that all payments collected are placed into a regulated funeral trust. The funeral home does not "keep" your money. It is kept in a trust in your name and payable to the funeral home only at the time of death.