Pre-planning a Funeral or Cremation Ceremony
If you’ve ever seen a friend experience the loss of someone close, then you have likely witnessed the pain, sadness, confusion and overwhelming stress that person endured while making funeral arrangements. It can be extremely taxing to configure cost and fulfill your loved one’s wishes when emotions are running high. On the contrary, there are pre-planning steps you can take to ease the burden on the family members left behind.
“Pre-need” is a term used to express the need for pre-planning your own funeral by means of arranging and funding the ceremony ahead of time. Pre-planning your own funeral is important because it can alleviate the burden on your family of making important financial decisions during a time of great stress. It can also give you peace of mind because you know your arrangements are ready. It can also help you control the cost of the funeral and preserve it from inflation. There are a few steps to get the process started.
Get in contact with a local funeral director. Talk about different options. If a cremation funeral is what you want, there are factors to discuss:
The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), requires funeral directors to give you itemized prices in person and, if you ask, over the phone. It’s often beneficial for someone else go with you while making sensitive and important decisions. Your friend or family member might hear that you didn’t, or ask questions that you may not have thought about.
Something else that most people don’t realize, it is not legally required to use a funeral home to plan or conduct a funeral. Beyond funeral homes, the FTC suggests that arrangements can be made with a memorial society, which is a nonprofit organization providing information about funerals and disposition, but not offering actual funeral services; or directly with a crematorium.
Within the realm of pre-planning, pre-paying or funeral financing is also an option. Not everyone is financially ready to pay for the future funeral when making arrangements. Just bear in mind that prices fluctuate over time and businesses may unexpectedly close or change ownership. So, it is wise to re-examine your decision every few years.
Pre-planning your own or a loved one’s inevitable death is an extraordinarily sensitive and stressful experience. As difficult as it may be, it will give those who cared for you the ability to grieve and the relief not to endure the financial burdens during a death. Information about funerals is very important to In the Light Urns and we produce a great deal of helpful advice after losing a loved one.
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I've been fortunate to not lose anyone really close to me. I have lost some grandparents, but they were really old, and ready to go, so I was actually kind of happy for them. Though, dealing with a death of someone really close, and before their time, would be really hard. I think having a funeral home with a good staff that in understanding and empathetic, is half of their job. I think it's a good idea to plan this stuff ahead of time, so there isn't a rush while you're in turmoil.
I've been put in charge of planning my grandmother's funeral services, and I think that being able to get help would be good. I'm glad you talked about being able to get in contact with the funeral director. I'm going to have to look for some different options and figure out what funeral services would be best for me!
I am glad you talked about how you need to discuss the budget for cremation with the family. My grandma opted for cremation in her last wishes and requested to be planted in a bio urn. I appreciate the information on pre-planning a funeral.
Pre-planning definitely makes it easier on the surviving family members with making financial decisions as well as help coping with emotions. There are more detailed ways to create a funeral or cremation ceremony that your grandmother can also have a say in the way she would like her life to be celebrated. Although difficult to go through, pre-planning can be comforting for families.
I really like the idea of finding a funeral home with pre-planning options. I know that when the time comes for me to go that I won't want to leave my family with the stress of planning and paying for a funeral. I don't think that I have to worry about it at the moment, but I will have to look in to picking the proper funeral home for pre-planning in the future. Thanks for the good ideas!
Yes, pre-planning is a great idea if you are up for it, and is actually gaining a lot more popularity. It's always good to get some guidance when it comes to choosing the right urn. There are so many different options when it comes to urns and the possibilities for customization can make shopping for your own urn even more exciting. Feel free to give 800-757-3488 a call to talk to one of our memorial specialists if you would like some more help. We specialize in custom cremation urns as well.
[…] find yourself in this position, rest assured that you are not alone and there is a way through. Pre-planning, to the extent that we are able, can provide a degree of security and calm in the midst of the […]
Thank you Sutton, I'm glad you found this post helpful.
Thanks so much for sharing this advice on pre-planning your funeral. It is really nice that funeral homes have to give itemized prices for their services. That, in my opinion, could make it a lot easier to compare prices. Plus, when you find a good deal for a certain service, you may be able to pay now, and have that deal available for whenever you need it.
I didn't know that it wasn't legally required to use a funeral home to plan or conduct a funeral. I always feel like a funeral home is the easiest option, since they have all of the supplies necessary to handle a variety of different services, but it is nice to know that there are other options available. Still, if you are planning to have a cremation a funeral home's services would almost certainly be required.
I think it is very smart to plan out a funeral before passing, that way you can make all the decisions you like and your family do not have to worry. I think with how much funerals cost it would be smart to get more if not all of it paid in advanced. Think that is something I will looking into at a later time and date.
Susan, there was so much that I didn't know about planning funerals. I've thought about cremation but I'm kind of tradition and would prefer to find a good funeral home for my service. I was tempted to choose cremation when I learned about all the unique things you can do if you choose that route.
To save my children from the responsibility of funeral planning, I am looking to preplan my funeral. Not only will this alleviate their burden, but it will also help ensure that it is done the way I want it to be. As you suggested, I will be sure to have someone to come with me to the funeral home to help make these sensitive and important decisions.
This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that pre-planning your funeral can make the burden lighter on your loved ones. I haven't heard of planning everything ahead of time when it comes to a funeral! This sounds like a great idea because then your loved ones don't have to worry about getting everything in order during their time of grief. I'll definitely look into doing this in the future. Thanks for the great post!
And of course, you also need to plan a service! It always helps to plan ahead.
Kudos to In The Light Urns for providing Celebrating Life: How to Create Meaningful Memorial Services with Templates and Tips. The free eBook is available for download at:
As scary as it is, it is a great idea to pre-plan for your funeral. My grandparents have been working for years to make sure that everything is in order for when they pass away. This eliminates the struggle and burden for their children, and they get to have it the way they want. They found the funeral rule very helpful when choosing their caskets.
It is easier for the families to go through this difficult process once the time happens. I agree with you! Having a say in what type of service you want as well as the urn or casket style makes it more personal and meaningful.
You're welcome Ashley, I'm so glad you found this post helpful. Cremation seems to be a rising trend since it is more cost efficient than traditional burial which is three times the cost of cremation. A lot of people don't realize all the options there are when it comes to cremation and honoring a passed loved one as well. The options for customization are endless with all the different types of urns. Here are some examples of some custom urns we have done in the past just to give you a better idea, https://www.inthelighturns.com/custom-cremation-urns.html
My grandmother has decided that she wants to start planning her funeral. She has always enjoyed planning parties and is treating this the same way. We like how you say that pre-planning can alleviate the burden on surviving family members of making financial decisions. Now that she has read your article and is even more convinced that this the right choice, she's going to look for a good funeral home.
My grandmother is very sick and has always said that cremation is more sentimental than burial services, so my mother and I are thinking about planning cremation services for her. I appreciate your comment about how you should look into all the choices of urns there are when planning. Thanks for mentioning how you should have you r budget in mind when starting as well.
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Thank you for taking a look at our post, I feel its always helpful to pre-plan if the person is willing and has the opportunity.
It's a brilliant idea, the pre- planning my own passing came about after seeing the struggles of passed family & friends so I have started with my church, music for viewing until cremation, all in all I don't want my children stressful with having to plan my funeral, I taking care of every little detail even my outfit, the funeral home will take care of the rest
Pre-planning a funeral is always a better option for families. It can become chaotic and emotional if not handled. Although pre-planning can still be emotional to many, it relieves stress and can help prevent conflict in the future. Pre-planning also enables you to pick out the urn of your choice and you have the say in how you want your cremation ceremony to be celebrated.
You make a good point that you should talk to a funeral director. I bet that would help you decide which funeral home would be best for you. It's probably important to make sure you and the funeral home are respectful and nice.
Taking steps to pre-planning a funeral or cremation ceremony can be difficult, but it informs families of the tools needed after a loved one has passed. We offer a free E-book on Celebrating Life: How to Create a Meaningful Memorial Service with Templates & Tips written by myself and well known CT Funeral Celebrant Gail Rubin . This book provides a variety of ideas into creating memorable memorial service for the loss of a loved one.
Glad you found this post helpful Jordan. Feel free to check out our post “Hail and Farewell:” All the Necessities for a Personalized Memorial for some more resources on pre-planning and the different service options.
I like that you mention pre-planning funeral arrangements can help control the cost of the funeral and preserve it from inflation. I've been thinking a lot about this, since having gone to my best friend's funeral just last week. I'd like to plan my funeral ahead of time to make things easier for my children when I'm gone.
I thought that it was interesting that you mentioned paying for the cremation before hand. My grandfather is really sick and has started to plan his funeral for us. From what I know about my grandpa, this is definitely something he would be interested in doing now, if he hasn't done so already.
I made the decision to be cremated if I were to pass away. I didn't consider a viewing before the cremation, though. I just want to make the process as easy as possible for my family and loved ones, so I know I'll be contacting a funeral home soon to go over my options. I know I'll be keeping this article in mind when I speak to the representative. Thanks for sharing.
I never would've thought about what kind of urn you need to choose if you are thinking of getting cremated. I am trying to preplan most of the aspects of my funeral to avoid putting that task on my kids. I will be sure to talk with a funeral director about what kind of urn I will be cremated in.
I'm glad our post had some helpful information for you. I feel no one would want to leave a financial burden behind for their loved ones so pre-planning definitely makes things a lot easier for the family, in that sense, if it is an option.