Funeral Planning

Death is a hard topic to deal with for a person of any age. Taking charge of your own funeral planning is a responsible thing to do, since it will relieve your loved ones of the hardships of having to prepare arrangements at the time of your death. It will undoubtedly be emotionally draining for your loved ones to spend hours at the funeral home to prepare your final arrangements.

Funeral planning is a contract between you and the funeral coordinator where you put your wishes in place for honoring your life after you have died. You and a funeral coordinator will work closely together to ensure your life is remembered the way you want it to be, from choosing a casket or urn to selecting the exact type of service.

The first step of funeral planning is to decide on your final disposition. Will you be buried? Do you wish to be cremated? Perhaps you would prefer to be entombed. Talking to your funeral director will help you decide which decision is right for you. They will also discuss prices that may or may not be covered by pre-need insurance.

  • Funeral Planning Checklist
    Communicate Your End-of-Life Wishes
    List of steps for preparing a will and arranging a funeral or memorial service so that you have a complete end-of-life plan in place.
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Why Pre-Plan Your Funeral?

Pre-arranging your funeral lets you design your funeral from start to finish. Typically included with pre-planning a funeral is pretty much every service from the time of your death to the time your body is released to its final resting place. It helps your family members know exactly what you want and how you want to be remembered. From cultural and religious traditions to choosing songs, readings, and photographs, pre-planning your funeral can give you and your family peace that all your wishes will be honored in the exact manner as you planned it. If you pre-plan your funeral with pre-need insurance, you will be able to lock-in today’s prices for your services and products. If the prices of products or services should rise over the years, your pre-selected prices will not.

With knowledge of the available services and prices for your funeral, the pre-planning option makes more sense. Rather than have your family deal with the stress that comes with funeral preparation, pre-planning will bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones. It is important to keep your loved ones in the know about what you've decided for yourself. It is also important to have your family members know how much money you have in your respected accounts, which would go wherever you chose, instead of having the money go towards your funeral.

Pre-planning your funeral is one of the most reasonable and caring choices you can make for yourself and your family. Read the articles below to learn more about the pros and cons of pre-planning your own funeral service or the funeral of a family member.

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Learn more about planning a funeral for yourself, or a loved one, in advance.

Funeral Planning TopicsThe death of a loved one is a difficult time and planning the funeral adds unnecessary stress to an already difficult situation. By preparing in advance you will eliminate the time required to plan the funeral during such an emotional time. Explicitly arranging each step of the funeral, or putting in writing things that are most important, will make it easier to plan the funeral after a loved one's passing. Read the topics below to learn more about how to plan the funeral, the products available and the costs involved.

Funeral Arrangements

Articles on selecting a funeral home, cemetery, memorial service, and planning the funeral.

Funeral Costs

Articles on the average funeral costs including cremation, burial, funeral service and products.

Funeral Products

Articles on selecting funeral products including casket, urn, monument, flowers, and more.

What Steps Must You Take to Plan Your Funeral?

Taking steps to pre-plan your funeral is a responsible and caring act. Our world knows that death knows no age—so you don’t need to be ill to pre-plan. The following steps will help guide you in planning your funeral ahead of time.

Research: Research all service and funeral options available. You really want to cover every aspect to help you make your decisions. It’s very important to let your loved ones know you have chosen to pre-plan your funeral to avoid any confusion after your death. Letting them know can also add to their own peace knowing your service will be carried out exactly as you will want it.

Personal Information: Before going to any funeral director, you will want to prepare your personal information including name, address, social security number, religion, ethnicity, life information, and death information (your wishes). The funeral director will go over in detail different options for death services, but it would be wise to have something in mind beforehand. Providing your life information will help the funeral director write your obituary. You can even assist in this process if you’d like.

Finance Plan: You will need to create a plan to pay for the finances required for your planned funeral. Pre-need insurance comes into play if you wish to fully pre-plan your funeral ahead of time. By choosing this option, some of the services and products may be covered entirely by the pre-need insurance plan benefits. By choosing this financing option, you will be able to lock in prices, which will take the guesswork out of estimating what your funeral will cost. Final expense insurance plans are available to set aside funds. You may also create a will and write your wishes to the beneficiary of your accounts. After you pass away, it will be this person’s job to handle expenses from your account that will go towards your funeral.

Select People: If you choose to plan a religious ceremony, you can select people you want involved. Common people include a pastor or rabbi, readers, pallbearers, performers, and someone to deliver the eulogy.


Decide on a Type Of Funeral Service

A direct funeral service, either burial or cremation, includes basic services such as coordinating plans with the cemetery or crematory, obtaining permits, filing death certificates, and transporting the body in a casket or urn.

A traditional funeral service includes all services and products included in a direct funeral, in addition to embalming the body and having it professionally prepared. As well, it includes an outer burial container, which keeps the grave from sinking in. It also includes a funeral ceremony and the use of a hearse. The casket or urn does not have to be present during the ceremony.

A traditional-plus funeral service includes all services of a direct and traditional funeral as well as the option of having a public visitation. The casket may be open or closed for this portion. If you choose to have an open casket, keep in mind you should also have embalming and professional preparation of the body.

A memorial service is an add-on to any of the above listed services. This service can be held as a ceremony at the funeral home or as a graveside service. This add-on gives loved ones a chance to honor the life of the deceased.

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