Pre Funeral Planning

Thinking about your own funeral may sound like a strange thing, but it’s a very reasonable thing to do.

Funerals usually need to be planned very quickly after a person passes away, and this can be a challenging task for family and friends.

Your loved ones will need to tackle difficult decisions when planning a funeral, while they’re simultaneously coming to terms with their grief and mourning their loss. However, pre funeral planning affords loved ones time to focus on supporting each other during this difficult time.

But planning your own funeral can feel complicated and overwhelming. So let’s explore why you should consider pre-planning a funeral and how you should go about it.

Why Consider Pre-Planning?

There are many reasons why you should consider pre-planning a funeral:

1. Less Stressful for Loved Ones

Amid deep sorrow, the burden of making complex decisions about funeral arrangements can be too much for your family and friends. By planning your funeral, you can take the burden of funeral planning off your family’s shoulders and give them more space to focus on supporting each other and dealing with their grief.

Think of pre funeral planning as a final gift to your loved ones—you’re giving them time to grieve without needing to worry about the logistics of the funeral.

2. Easier Financial Planning

Funerals can be quite expensive. But with pre-planning, you may have the opportunity to look at various funeral options and even secure today’s prices, freeing your family from future financial burden. This could be as simple as a cremation without any ceremony or you could opt for a more elaborate funeral that includes a reception with catering.

3. In Line with Your Wishes

Having a pre-planned funeral gives you the chance to let your friends and family know what you want for your funeral and how you want it done. You can decide if you want the service to be charitable, which music you would like to be played, if you want any reading that reflects your beliefs, and the outfit you’d want your body to be dressed in for the service.

4. More Open Communication

Through pre-planning, death and dying can become a subject for open conversations with your family. Talking about your wishes reveals your concerns and eventually creates a feeling of joint understanding. Additionally, it may allow you to learn more about your family’s traditions and hear about their thoughts as well.

What are some common concerns?

Naturally, you might have a few anxieties and questions about pre-planning your own funeral. Here are a few common concerns many people have about pre funeral planning:

1. Is it Too Soon?

There is no right or wrong time to pre-plan a funeral. Planning your own funeral is a personal decision and you can plan whenever you wish. To get an idea of when you should plan the funeral, consider your current health and age or even your profession. If you work a relatively high-risk job, you may want to plan your funeral in advance.

2. Can You Change Your Mind?

Pre-planning funerals are flexible. You can change your plan anytime you want or according to changes in your circumstances.

3. What if it’s Too Saddening?

While pre-planning can be emotionally challenging, it can also empower you. You’ll be able to take control and this can help alleviate some of the anxieties you may have about funerals and death. If you feel that the process is too taxing on your emotional and mental health, take some time to think about it and speak to a close friend or family about your concerns.

What should you consider during pre-planning?

Here are some key areas to consider when you’re pre-planning your funeral:

1. Type of Service

Would you rather have a traditional burial or cremation with a memorial service or celebration of life ceremony? Each choice gives you another way to be remembered. Maybe you want to be buried surrounded by the people closest to you in a natural setting or you would love your funeral to be a happy occasion with music and lots of laughter; either way, the choice is yours.

2. Location

Would you prefer to have the service in a funeral home, church, or a natural setting? Think about what matters most to you and your family members. A park, a beach from your childhood, or even your backyard are some of the most beautiful and fitting places for a final goodbye.

3. Music and Readings

Select music that represents who you are and what you like. This may be an opera piece that you enjoy or a rock playlist filled with your anthems. Likewise, think of readings that matter to you and your loved ones. This could be a poem you love, a funny family story, or a reference to your favorite movie.

4. Pallbearers/Honorary Pallbearers

Is there anybody among your friends or relatives you would want to fulfill this role? Consider people who would feel honored to be part of this part of the funeral and make sure that they feel comfortable in this role.

5. Memorialization

Would you like the headstone, marker, or the urn? Perhaps you would prefer to have a more unique memorial, such as a tree planted in your memory, or a donation to a charity that you care about. Consider the options that are in line with your values so that you can create a fitting memorial.

6. Financial considerations

Consider the pre-payment option or work out the budget with funeral directors. Most funeral homes offer a wide range of services and customization options to meet any budget. Don’t hesitate to let the funeral home know about your financial challenges—a good funeral home will find a way to accommodate your financial situation.

7. Family Wishes

Try having a chat with your immediate relatives to find out whether they have some ideas they would like to be included in the funeral service. Transparent communication will build a service that feels inclusive, where the love you share with your loved ones is reflected.

8. Funeral Home Research

Research funeral homes in the area. Find places with a record for empathy, transparency, and a range of services. Check online reviews and don’t be afraid to meet with a few different funeral homes to find the one that suits your needs.

9. Funeral Pre-Planning Agreement

When you’ve decided everything, the funeral director will help you create a pre-planning agreement. This guarantees that your wishes are followed and there is no miscommunication after your passing. Be sure to give a copy of your pre-planning agreement to your family members and tell them where to find it when the time comes.

How can a funeral home help?

Funeral homes are there to guide you through the pre-planning process with empathy and skill. Here’s how they can help you:

1. Expertise and guidance

Funeral directors are knowledgeable and experienced in funeral planning. They can answer your questions, explain different funeral options, and guide you through the legal requirements.

2. Personalized service

A good funeral home will take the time to understand your unique preferences and budget. They’ll work collaboratively with you to create a meaningful service that reflects your wishes.

3. Emotional support

Pre-planning can evoke heavy emotions. Funeral directors are trained to provide you and your family with compassionate support and guidance throughout the process.

4. Financial planning

They can walk you through various pre-payment options and help you find a plan that fits your financial needs.

5. Venue selection

Funeral homes often have beautiful chapels or spaces suitable for memorial services. They can also help with securing locations outside their facilities if that’s your preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about pre funeral planning:

1. What do I do if I’m not sure about which service I want?

If you’re not sure about the type of service you want, don’t worry. When you work with a funeral home, they will help you understand the different types of services so that you can find one that suits you.

2. Can I still pre-plan if I move to a different state?

In most cases, pre-planned funeral arrangements may be transferable. If your funeral home has a colleague in the state you’re moving to, the agreement may be transferred to them.

3. Can I make changes to my pre-planned funeral?

Yes, you may. Circumstances change all the time and funeral homes know this. You can revisit the agreement anytime and make changes, however, the funeral home may charge a fee for this.

Find a good funeral home for pre funeral planning

Funeral homes that offer professional funeral services can help make pre-planning funerals a less stressful process. By pre-planning your funeral, you can be assured that everything is in place for your funeral after your passing and your loved ones won’t have to bear the emotional and financial burdens of planning a funeral at the last minute.

Get in touch with a well-reputed funeral home in Pittsburgh today.

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