Thinking about your own death is never an easy task. Many people not only put it off, but leave the decision making to the best guess of family members. It doesn’t have to be that way, according to The North Platte Telegraph’s article “Sunday Focus: Don’t wait to make a plan until it’s too late.”
If you pre-plan your funeral, your family and loved ones are spared the unpleasant guessing game. Did she want a fancy casket? What suit would he have selected to be buried in? Or did she wish to be cremated?
If you pre-plan your funeral, you can also lock in costs for the services that morticians and cemeteries provide. If you are married or have a partner, you should go together and try to get as many of the hard decisions made in advance. This will also help you get comfortable with having this discussion.
Some mortuaries have online tools you can use to compile your information in advance, plan your funeral and compare costs. Even if you don’t pre-pay, at the very least you can pre-plan.
Some families purchase plots, so they can be assured of being buried near each other.
The cost of inflation of funeral expenses has averaged about 4% for many years. People bought CDs (Certificates of Deposit) specifically for funeral expenses in the past. However, as interest rates dropped, they stopped being a useful planning tool.
Funeral insurance can be portable. Therefore, if the funeral home that sells you a funeral insurance plan goes out of business, the policy is still yours. If you move to a new home, the policy—along with your directions for your funeral—can be transferred to another funeral home.
The increasing acceptance of cremation may make funerals less expensive, but there are still costs that are involved. Some family members may not like the idea of a loved one being cremated. That’s why it’s very important to convey your wishes to the family, so there is no conflict.
Since fewer people are affiliated with houses of worship, the funeral home has taken a larger role in planning funeral services.
Making the preparation in advance for your funeral can be part of your estate plan. Even if you don't want to secure all of the details, just having your wishes recorded can ease the burden for your family and friends when you are gone.
Resource: The North Platte Nebraska Telegraph (July 22, 2018) “Sunday Focus: Don’t wait to make a plan until it’s too late”