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Funeral planning is a process every family must go through at some point in their lives. In some cases, funeral planning is done prior to the passing of a loved one, thanks to pre-need funeral plans and indepth conversations regarding the wishes of everyone involved. In other cases, these plans come as a surprise, and the process must be handled at the same time as an onslaught of emotions, when funeral expenses and detailed arrangements only add to the pain of losing the one you love.
Neither option is easy, but funeral planning remains a fact of life. By addressing the financial, spiritual, and detail-oriented aspects of funeral plans today, you can free up yourself and your family to make the passing of a loved one all about the most important thing: celebrating a life lived and loved to the fullest.
Most financial advisors promote the idea of financing or even planning a funeral years in advance. Like taking out a life insurance policy or updating a will or power of attorney, taking the right steps today will ensure that your wishes are met without adding a burden on your family or the inheritance you mean to leave them.
In many cases, pre-need funeral plans allow you to “lock in” the rates of today for a funeral at any point in the future. Other options include everything from funeral insurance, which provides a lump sum for covering cremation services or other burial options at the time of death, to straightforward funeral planning services, which simply let you make your wishes clear and available to family members after your passing. Financing a funeral can be one of the largest expenses your family will ever have to take on, and making the arrangements in the years or even decades before your death can save you thousands of dollars and help your family avoid many types of inheritance taxes.
As is the case with many types of major purchases, funeral costs and the prices associated with pre- need funeral planning vary depending on where you live and what sort of ceremony you opt for. State laws also dictate the regulations regarding direct burial, cremation services, embalming, and other burial options — many of which will influence what you can do and how much money you can expect to spend.
Different funeral homes and funeral insurance providers will also offer varied rates and options when it comes to making your funeral plans. Some funeral homes provide full-service burial options and cremation packages, which include all of the planning and transportation as well as body disposal. Others might provide direct burial only, but be able to point you toward their local partners for everything from memorial service locations to flowers.
What kind of funeral planning package you’d like is up to you, and there are a variety of options currently on the market, which is another great reason to shop ahead of time. After all, finding a funeral home that can meet all your needs might take weeks or even months — a time frame that doesn’t exist unless your funeral planning is done in advance. Some of the important questions to keep in mind while going over your funeral plans include:
If you’re interested in funeral planning, whether it’s done as part of a pre-need funeral plan for you, a spouse, or a parent, or if you’d like to learn more about funeral expenses and options in funeral insurance, you’ve come to the right place. We provide free, no-obligation information on local regulations and funeral homes, as well as advice about which funeral planning options might be right for you.
Funeral planning isn’t fun, and it isn’t always easy, but it is one of those things that has to be done, and the sooner, the better. Gathering the information you need today can save you and your family time, money, and heartache — and in many cases, funeral planning can even draw you together.
Sit down with those you love and share your life and visions for the afterlife. Although these might be the most difficult plans you’ll ever have to make, funeral planning is the most responsible and respectful decision you can make. And by freeing your loved ones from the emotional and financial responsibilities of funeral planning, you’re giving them an incredible gift — the ability to celebrate life and cherish the important memories of your legacy.