Many Americans should pre-arrange their own funeral services to ensure their wishes are fulfilled. And as you embark on your pre-arrangement journey, it's important to know how to approach this project. To help you do that, here are a few key dos and don'ts no matter what your plans are.
Do Pay In Advance
The best—and perhaps, the only—way to ensure your funeral wishes are adhered to is to pre-pay these services with the funeral home. Why? The funeral home's client is the person who signed the contract for services and pays for them. Therefore, they will follow your funded plans.
Don't Feel Obligated
The point of planning your own funeral arrangements is to do what you want to do—without interference from other agendas. Don't feel obligated by traditions or practices you don't believe in. Don't feel obligated to pay for services you don't want or to skip elements that are important to you personally. Give yourself time to decide what you really do and don't want.
Do Prioritize Elements
If you don't want to pre-plan every minute detail or pay for the entire funeral, decide what your priorities are. Do you want a burial or cremation? Would you like an open or closed casket? Or no casket? How about a large or small funeral? Make a list of funeral priorities in order of importance to you. Fund what you can, simply plan the lower priorities. This way, your most important wishes are followed.
Don't Discount Advice
The funeral home staff are there to help whomever their client is. You are their client, so ask for and listen to good advice during this process. The funeral director and their employees have worked with many pre-planners, a wide variety of family dynamics, many beliefs, and all budget ranges. Let them help guide you to the best decisions when you're uncertain.
Do Let People Know
Once you've finalized your plan, make relevant individuals aware of it. Some people put their plans with their will, but this may backfire. If your will isn't found or read by the people planning final arrangements—which happens very quickly after a passing—it's all moot. Tell your next of kin, immediate family, and/or executor of the plan's existence and location. How much you tell them is up to you.
Where Can You Learn More?
Want more tips for successful funeral pre-planning? Meet with an experienced, quality funeral home in your area today. With their expertise and options, you'll soon create the final sendoff you really want.