There are a number of distinct advantages to planning your own funeral. We will cover some of these benefits briefly below.
- Letting Your Loved Ones Know What You Want
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is adding funeral instructions in their Will only and nowhere else. This often has the unfortunate consequence that the deceased’s wishes regarding their funeral service never become know until it’s too late.
You should remember that when someone dies, and amongst all the emotional difficulties, the immediate focus will be on burial and taking care of the loved ones that the deceased left behind. All too often, the deceased’s Last Will (assuming one was made) is not reviewed until after the funeral service takes place. In many cases, this is because the Will is in a safe deposit box or in the deceased’s lawyer’s office. The result is that the deceased’s funeral wishes are never taken into account.
Fortunately, by planning your funeral and clearly documenting your wishes you can ensure that this type of oversight is avoided. Of course, the avoidance of this problem is very much dependent on your executors and family being made aware that you have made a funeral plan and knowing where and how to locate it when the time comes.
In reality, it doesn’t take much effort to put together a basic funeral plan setting out what you would like to happen following your death. Some very comprehensive funeral plans can be purchased online – just make sure you chose one provide by a funeral director or a company with estate planning experience.
- Reliving Your Loved Ones of Difficult Decisions
By preparing a funeral plan you will relieve your family of a huge burden and strain during an already difficult period. You can remove the necessity of having them make important decisions regarding your funeral ceremony. Consider, for example, the simple turmoil caused by your family being unsure as to whether you would prefer burial or cremation or even where you would prefer to be interred (if that was your preference). These are important considerations especially when your family is worried about making the wrong decision…..remember whatever decision they make is final and they will have to live with any resulting guilt, doubt or worry.
All of this can be avoided with a funeral plan. You can make all the important decisions regarding your final arrangements. You can decide whether to donate organs, whether to opt for a full traditional funeral or a simple memorial service, whether to for cremation rather than burial, what you want done with your ashes or where you want to have your remains interred, and so on. Making these decisions yourself will greatly help your family and, of course, by getting them involved right from the planning process you will ensure that no difficult decisions will be required in their time of difficulty.
Without the benefit of your instructions and a clear funeral plan, your family will end up with additional burdens during a difficult time – all of which could have been avoided. Believe it or not, even a simple funeral plan outlining your preferences will go along way towards assisting your family.
- Reducing The Costs of Your Funeral Service
A funeral service can be quiet costly, so it certainly pays to shop around and compare and contract the costs and services offered by the various funeral service providers in your locality. If you do not prepare a funeral plan well in advance it is likely that you or your family will pay top prices for the service.
Often people tend to pick the funeral home closest to them or one that their family has always used. This does not however mean that you are getting good value for money. The services provided by different funeral homes can change dramatically from one to another. If you fail to check the prices offered by other funeral homes then you may be spending well over the odds and also putting yourself under unnecessary financial strain.
Under federal regulations, funeral homes are obliged provide you with price quotes over the phone. In addition, they are also required to present you with an itemized quotation when you show up in person to discuss funeral arrangements. As a result, you should be able to call into any funeral home and request a general or standard price list. This should enable you to readily compare the costs that different funeral service providers will charge for your funeral service. Obviously it is in your best financial interest (and your family’s best interest) to compare and contrast the different prices quoted by different funeral service providers.
In addition to cost, there are other issues that you will need to consider when selecting a funeral service provider such as the staff’s efficiency, helpfulness and manner. We’ll discuss these aspects later in this book.
- Removing The Financial Burden of Funeral Costs
One of the major advantages associated with pre-planning a funeral is the ability to make arrangements to have the cost of your funeral discharged after your death or even paying for it in advance! Given the costs associated with funerals, removing the burden of your family having to discharge these funeral costs after your passing can be a blessing to them.
Generally speaking, there are three main options when it comes to making advance preparations to pay for your funeral. The first is simply setting aside an amount of money to pay for the plan, the second is paying for the plan in advance and the third is arranging to have insurance cover put in place to cover the cost of the plan when the time comes.
The purpose of prepaid funeral contracts is that by making all of your funeral arrangements in advance, you ensure that your wishes are carried out and that the costs of your funeral won’t impose a financial hardship on surviving family members. Depending on your state’s particular laws, you may be able to specify in great detail the type of funeral you want.
By ensuring that your family has the funds necessary to pay for the plan, or by paying for it in advance, you can make it a lot easier for them to implement the plan that you chose in the manner you chose.
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Funeral Planning Guide
This guide will take you step-by-step through the process of planning a funeral. It will introduce you to issues such as organ donations, purchasing caskets, cremation, burial, purchasing grave plots, organization of funeral services, and much more. You will also be introduced to some of the legal and financial issues relating to funerals including how to save money on funerals and how to finance them.