Ways to Start Funeral Planning Now (And Why You Should)

Published: March 30, 2023

Planning a funeral—especially for yourself—may not be something you regularly think about. But you should, especially if you have loved ones who would be left footing the bill for your passing. Advanced funeral planning can help you avoid leaving debt behind whenever your time comes. Here, Desmond Funeral Homes shares how to plan your own funeral and more details about why you should.

Plan for Expenses Beforehand

Unfortunately, funerals can be expensive. And depending on what type of funeral you have, the bill could total many thousands of dollars. Outlining the potential expenses ahead of time can help you prepare a financial plan for covering everything from a casket to a burial plot. Purchasing burial or funeral insurance is a smart step to take in order to avoid passing debt to your family or loved ones. Depending on the size of the policy, it might even cover debt like medical bills or personal loans. You can choose a plan that fits your needs and the type of service you want plus any debt you may leave behind.

U.S. News explains prepayment may also be an option at your local funeral home, both up front as well as through different types of insurance plans. With any form of prepayment, you should read the fine print carefully to ensure you’re getting a reasonable deal. Keep in mind that prepayment locks you into whatever you select, so there’s no changing your mind later. Also, remember that standard life insurance doesn’t always cover burial costs, so having such a policy may not provide as much assistance as you think.

Decide What Your Final Arrangements Will Be

Part of outlining your financial plan for burial coverage involves knowing what type of service you want. Choosing a cremation will involve different costs than opting for a casket burial. Mutual Choice mentions that a direct cremation (meaning no memorial service) may cost as little as $2,183, while a burial service can cost $9,420 or more.

Regardless of your religious affiliation or your family’s traditions, you can choose the type of funeral that feels right to you. From a tribute to a burial alternative, there’s a lot to think about and plan. Knowing what final arrangements you want can help you plan for the financial aspects more accurately. For reference, consider that the average funeral costs around $7,848 according to Bank Rate. Covering these specifics—including financial provisions—beforehand can help reduce stress and give you and your loved ones less to worry about for your future.

Inform Your Family to Ensure They Respect Your Wishes

Having an open discussion with your family about your death might be tough to navigate, but it’s an essential part of the process. Plus, you may need to take legal steps to guarantee your loved ones will stick to your last wishes. Consider putting your wishes into a letter of instruction. As AgingCare explains, this is a document outlining your wishes regarding the funeral service you want (if any), including who to invite and who should be informed about your passing.

It’s also worth considering the other end-of-life documents you may want to prepare in case you are incapacitated. Your family can be spared the difficulty of making decisions about your wishes regarding medical treatment if you have a durable power of attorney and a living will in place. Once you have your documents prepared and ready, consider saving a digital copy so that your loved ones will know where and how to access the information whenever it is needed. Here's a solution that will let you merge all of your end of life-related documents into one file. You could even email the merged file to your loved ones to ensure they know your wishes.

Make a Plan to Benefit Yourself and Your Loved Ones

For many people—healthy folks especially—planning a funeral can seem a bit odd. But taking these steps well in advance means less for your family and friends to worry about later. The last thing you want to do is make your death harder for those you care about. Both for you and your loved ones, funeral planning can provide peace of mind and financial security.

If you are looking for help starting your pre-planning process, contact Desmond Funeral Homes. Our knowledgeable and kind staff can walk you and your loved ones through this process together.

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